In honor of Sir Terry's transition I read again and of course saw more than last time!
This is the second Terry Pratchett book we have listened to as a family (the first being "Marvelous Maurice and His Educated Rodents," also highly recommended). Mr. Pratchett is an artful writer--clever metaphors, well-crafted sentences and flat out hilarious characters make Going Postal highly entertaining. While Marvelous Maurice was more a story about individuals beginning to organize themselves into a society, "Going Postal" offers a commentary on modern events. Lord Vetinari is a clever autocrat a la Vladimir Putin, the post office is a moribund institution that fell into disuse because of the public's desire for instant communication, and The Grand Trunk Company is any number of gigantic and poorly managed companies that were deemed "too big to fail" in the last financial crisis. In fact, I could not believe the book was written several years before the Lehman Brothers collapse and "too big to fail" became a common phrase here. I have to wonder if it was a popular phrase in Britain or if Pratchett revised the text recently.
Any listener with any experience with Boards of Directors, corporate branding, corporate finance or management, or anyone who reads the business section of the newspaper from time to time, will find the book especially entertaining.
The talented Stephen Briggs does a wonderful job of giving each character a distinctive voice without letting the performance detract from the text. We found his voice added to the listening experience immeasurably.
My only negative observations is that this is a very long audiobook, and there are times it seems to drag and go on tangents. I am not sure that a couple of plot lines were ever resolved. Also, while my two older children enjoyed the book, my 9 year old found it too dry.
The Master gave us (with making money) a wonderful set of insights. If Swift was alive he would have laughed and nodded to the study of power in practice.
Moist von Lipwig, the oozingly charming and incredibly clever conman-turned-postal-worker, is probably my second favorite Pratchett character (I think I have to rate Death just a little higher, because he's just such a fantastic anthropomorphic personification). Moist is hilarious to get inside the mind of, and even though he's seemingly irredeamable for the first chunk of the story, you just can't help but root for the guy -- he's such a skilled con artist that he even charms the reader (or, in this instance, listener)!
On top of Moist, you have Adora Dearheart as his perfect love interest (perfect for giving bystanders great amusement, that is), the inimitable Night Watch, Lord Vetinari (the most genius totalitarian ruler anyone could ever meet), loads of other "usual suspects" from Discworld, and of course some great new characters from the post office and the world of crime, all tied neatly into a hilarious storyline. You really cannot ask for more from a novel.
I feel that Stephen Briggs is probably the best person possible for narrating a Pratchett novel (although I do like Nigel Planer, too). He does a great job of giving every character their own unique voice/personality, just as Pratchett intended. As much as I love reading these books, I think that Briggs actually emphasizes comedic elements that I sometimes miss when reading -- or maybe he just helps me see the material in a slightly different way. At any rate, I always feel that my money is well spent on these audio books, and this particular one is a clear favorite.
Word of caution: You might not want to listen to this one in public. I embarrassed myself a bit by snorting and chortling in a socially inappropriate manner on a Beijing bus while listening to this one. Witnesses to my behavior definitely thought I was nuts!
I can't say enough good things about Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I'm a huge fan. I loved the main character, I loved the subplot about gollums, I loved the post office. What I loved the very most was the incredible ending--one of Pratchett's most memorable after Granny Weatherwax picking the real version of herself from the mirrors in Witches Abroad. And the other witches book where Granny Weatherwax puts herself in the bees... that one is pretty darn amazing, too.
I think Briggs is talented, but I'm not over the moon about him. I'd like more accents and variation. Excepting Nigel Planer's strange take on Angua, I think I prefer him to Briggs, which I think I'm probably not supposed to admit. What I love best about listening on audio lets me share the book with my husband and knit at the same time.
I found some of the more prolonged scenes with Vetinari a bit hard going, so I lost focus a bit and had to take a break and come back later.
I've never been crazy about Sci-Fi or Fantasy, but this book (and series) is excellent. It reminds me a bit of a well-written TV sitcom like 'Frasier', in that it's all about the characters and the funny situations. You find yourself rooting for the main character. Pratchett writing style is best described as whimsical. The narration by Stephen Briggs is amazingly good. I can't imagine it being done any better. He has a wide range of voices, with great interpretation that adds to the experience, especially the voice of the Golem.
funny throughout. stunning visuals created, humorous scenarios abound.
started with another and got hooked. have about four now. plan on getting the full series over time.
wanted to but also want to savor
This is an amazing story from Disc World. A new and exciting character to follow. Briggs is once again gives a stellar performance!
The Golem story line was excellent, and the new villain/hero story arc was awesome.
His golem voices were astounding.
It was extremely hilarious.
Once you have finished this one, go for Making Money for the continued adventures of Moist Von Lipwig!