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    Review of GOING POSTAL by Terry Pratchett (see his website)


    HarperCollins, October 2004

    Moist Van Lipwig is a con-man, pure and simple. And now he's been caught, sentenced to die, and scammed on his escape attempt. When Lord Vetinari, tyrant of Ankh-Morpork, offers him a job as head of the postal service, he thinks he's way ahead--he'll be out of town before Vetinari knows what hit him. But Vetinari is wise to the ways of con-men and his golem brings Lipwig back--to the decayed splendor of the post office.

    Once, the post office was the center of commerce, with hundreds of employees, millions of deliveries, and a beautiful building. Now, that building is filled with undelivered mail--and two crazed postal employees. All of which would be bad enough. But, as Lipwig soon finds, Vetinari is using him as cat's paw in a battle against the corrupt 'clacks,' or semaphore sytem that crosses the continent.

    Lipwig is good enough at the confidence game, but something smacking of a real job is not part of his makeup--and getting killed by the clack assassins doesn't sound like fun, either. Still, he's got to do something, and delivering a single piece of mail starts an avalanch that leads in unpredictable directions.

    Author Terry Pratchett (see more reviews of novels by Pratchett) keeps his tongue firmly planted in his cheek as he combines fantasy, adventure, and a probing look at the recent telecommunications meltdown. Pratchett does a wonderful job depicting a con-man and making him confront the damage his tricks caused--and making him sympathetic. His adventures may be strange and improbable, but they also have a distinct logic about them.

    I'm happy to recommend GOING POSTAL. It's a fun, fast read with just enough bite to make the reader think.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 11/12/04

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