Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Going Postal

Terry Pratchett Going Postal (2004)
Once again I find myself in a foreign country, specifically the one in which I was born and staying at my mother's house. I'm travelling light so I haven't brought anything to read, which is okay because my mother has a ton of books. Unfortunately I'm jetlagged to buggery and I'm not going to be up to anything overly demanding, so Terry Pratchett it is - light, genuinely witty, well written and well told being my expectations. Of course, he wrote a million Discworld novels so they can't all be classics, but the consensus is that Going Postal was definitely one of the good ones.

It delivers more or less everything promised by the reputation which has cohered within my expectation gland, and I can sort of identify with at least some of it, having myself been a postman for two decades. The characters are rounded, pleasurably comical without becoming annoying; the concepts and situations demonstrate ludicrous ingenuity - rewiring the internet for a pseudo-medieaval society as something involving semaphore signals, that sort of thing...

Going Postal reads like a work of elegant genius, and yet whilst I'm able to appreciate this, somehow it became a trudge. Maybe it was the jetlag. Maybe it was the page count - higher than I'm accustomed to in what Discworld novels I've read. I enjoyed it, and it made me laugh, and I can find no fault with any of it; but somehow I thought I was going to enjoy this one a whole lot more.

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