Didn’t enjoy this book as much as other David Gemmell novels. The story began interestingly enough, but as it progressed it seemed to increasingly lose focus. The opening character, Tarantio/Dace seemed to drift away from his own story and end up with nothing resolved. Instead, other characters were introduced who spent a lot of time talking about themselves, and talking about other characters, then talking about logistics, then more about other characters. It was hard not to imagine that the publisher had told Gemmell to pad the story with an extra twenty thousand words, just for the sake of wordcount.
There was a lot of promise and potential in the story, but by the end I felt as though it just fizzled out with the same lack of focus it suffered from early on. By all means, there are the classic siege and morality relativity typical of Gemmell’s work, but in this instance it just didn’t really come together very well for me. Not a terrible book, but pretty average fantasy fare and below average for Gemmell.
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The intense moral relativity in this novel is surprising – most every character begins as morally reprehensible and at odds with one another, but over the course of the story they recognize their flaws and try to work together, and become willing to sacrifice themselves for each other if required.
Yet it manages to remain a very enjoyable fantasy novel, filled with all the determined heroism and desperate struggles we’d expect from a Gemmell novel.
What I found interesting is that the first time I read this I presumed it was set in the future – but re-reading it now I’m more inclined to think of it as more akin to an Atlantean pre-history of Gemmell’s world.
Overall, another great Gemmell book that is perhaps unfairly over-shadowed by being a standalone by comparison to his series.
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After Going Postal I had high expectations for Making Money, but ended up disappointed. Whereas Moist von Lipwig had driven the story in the previous book, in this one he simply gets dragged into one situation after another where he doesn’t really do anything.
The first 25% is mainly him being told to run a bank and then touring it. There are also a number of secondary characters who are introduced who don’t actually do anything for the plot. In the end, Lipwig arranges the printing of paper money and that’s it.
For me, Going Postal represents Pratchett at his creative peak, but by the time we get to Making Money we’re well on the downslope from that. While it makes for an OK read, it doesn’t make for a particularly great or engaging one.
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When I originally read Terry Pratchett, I remembered Going Postal and Making Money as the author at the height of his creative powers. After some disappointment with recent Pratchett books I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, Going Postal still delivers.
What we have is a tightly-written story with a very interesting character who constantly pushes the plot forward. This isn’t the case of a character ambling through events like in Small Gods, but instead of cleverly and creatively moving things forward at every turn.
For most of the book I would have given it four stars, but the end climax really is clever and well-thought out.
Overall, this is one of Pratchett’s best, and it still holds up well after all this time.
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