Thursday, August 03, 2006

Finished Book: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Yay! I actually finished a book. Once upon a time, Chas and I would keep a small stack on each side of our bed and read just before turning off the lights at night. It has been roughly four years since we have taken the time to read leisurely. Mostly, we just read magazines, we rarely buy books. With an energetic four-year old on the loose, it's hard to allow ourselves the luxury of getting lost in a book.

However, when Terry Pratchett releases a new Discworld book, I'm eager to make the purchase. His books are funny and thoughtful. I usually laugh through the reading and feel pretty good about life by the end of each book. I think I have the complete set. I have a few older ones missing, some are loaned to friends and the others are probably hob-nobbing with my missing Harry Potter and LOTR books. I'm a little shaky on whether I have everything from the last four years (again, when chasing a four year old, most other things are a bit blurry). Maybe I'm missing Interesting Times. I'm not sure. Perhaps it's Thief of Time that I still need. Chas bought Going Postal and Thud for me a few months ago. I recall asking for one more, but we had to limit our purchases a bit so I could only pick two.

Late in July I decided that it was time to read something other than the Nutshell Library and picked Going Postal. Tonight I finished it! What a great book! It jumped in my top ten favorite Terry Pratchett novels immediately. Saw much more Lord Vetinari in this one, which was very enjoyable--He was almost cheerful. Loved the new characters and the Internet theme (okay, so it's set in a land where magic stands in for technology for the most part, so it isn't computer but clacks).

I've noticed changes in the later Discworld books. He no longer introduces the world. I suppose at this point he assumes we all know that the world is flat, resting on the backs of four elephants who are perched on the great space turtle A'Tuin. There are fewer footnotes, always a favorite with me. In law school students would complete their writing requirements and brag, 'Yeah, My paper is 60 pages long and only 20 of them are actually the text, the rest are footnotes." or "I have 30 pages and 360 footnotes." The early books were crammed with footnotes and I always got the sense that he was poking fun at people who took the need to footnote far to seriously.

Going Postal actually had bonafide Chapters, with chapter names. There were even little descriptions of what would happen in the chapter. I almost didn't know how to handle that. The early books were just stream of consciousness types things with breaks in the story just being separated by a blank line before jumping in the next section.

I highly recommend it.


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