Saturday, 6 October 2007

Book Review: Making Money (Terry Pratchett)

It's Pratchett Time!

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Title: Making Money
Author: Terry Pratchett

Synopsis (From Amazon.co.uk):
It's an offer you can't refuse. Who would not to wish to be the man in charge of Ankh-Morpork's Royal Mint and the bank next door? It's a job for life.

But, as former con-man Moist von Lipwig is learning, the life is not necessarily for long. The Chief Cashier is almost certainly a vampire. There's something nameless in the cellar (and the cellar itself is pretty nameless), it turns out that the Royal Mint runs at a loss. A 300 year old wizard is after his girlfriend, he's about to be exposed as a fraud, but the Assassins Guild might get him first. In fact lot of people want him dead.

Oh. And every day he has to take the Chairman for walkies. Everywhere he looks he's making enemies. What he should be doing is ...Making Money!


What I Liked:
  • It's Pratchett!
  • It's Discworld!
  • It's funny! (Somewhat)
  • There's more of Vetenari!
  • I'm really beginning to like Moist as a lead character. Despite the name.
  • I like how Pratchett is expanding and evolving the Discworld, especially Ankh-Morpork.

What I Didn't Like:
  • SOMEHOW, SOMETHING SEEMS MISSING.
  • It also doesn't seem to be as laugh-out-loud as the books used to be.
  • The Glooper bits confuso me at first a bits.
  • The villains just weren't er.. villainy enough for me.

Summary:
Making Money is the 34th (and then some) book in the Discworld series, and it's come a long way since the slapstick RUN-AWAY! antics of Rincewind in the first two books - The Colour of Money & The Light Fantastic.

The latest books, besides the Tiffany Aching ones, have been a lot more er.. serious than the Discworld books used to be, and are a lot more steeped in real-life than they used to be. Oh, Pratchett has always based the books on rea life topics like rock n roll, Hollywood; but he seems to be taking this 'world-building' business a little more seriously now; especially with the Moist Van Lipwig books.

That's not to say Making Money isn't funny though. It is, just more er.. subdued than usual. And serious too. And though I DO miss the rip-roaring, laugh-out-loud moments that were much more in evidence in the earlier books. (I remember reading the early City Watch and DEATH books and laughing non-stop until stomachache); but with the more refined and subtle Pratchett writing comes a different pleasure – one that sees the author fine-tuning his world in a less generalised way.

One could almost say that having created a world that is pretty much capable of existing on a broader basis, he is now micro-managing the smaller aspects of the world.

In this book, he takes another step towards building Ankh-Morpork into a proper modern city, complete, having given it a functioning postal service, a (somewhat) capable police force (or rather, City Watch), and now with Making Money, he tries to build a proper monetery and financial system (he's probably gonna tackle the tax system next. Now THAT would be interesting...)

It's nice to see Lord Vetenari take a more prominent role in this book, and the use of Moist as the catalyst to 'change' the city (both by Vetenari, and Pratchett). Though, the villains this time around seemed to have been put there merely as an afterthought.

Other than a few moments that just went over my head and some comfusing moments, there is little I can complain about with this book. All in all, Making Money may be a little more er.. less funny than usual, but it is still a consistently solid offering from Pratchett.

1 comment:

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