Fiction Reviews

Making Money

(2007) Terry Pratchett, Doubleday, 18.99, hrdbk, 349 pp, ISBN 978-0-385-6-1101-5


Making Money is a new Discworld novel from Terry Pratchett. As with most of the later novels in this series, it takes a particular theme (in this case, banking) and stirs it into the fecund chaos of the Discworld, a comedy fantasy world populated by wizards, barbarian heroes, chief cashiers and, well, everything. It concerns the modernisation of the main bank and Royal Mint of Ankh-Porpork (a city) by an old friend, ex-conman Moist von Lipwig, last seen in a similar modernisation of the Royal Post (Going Postal), a couple of novels earlier. As Moist and his Golem-fixated, chain-smoking girlfriend tackle the business of making money, a familiar host of characters try to prevent or encourage this financial revolution. Included are, of course, the chairman of the bank (likes bones), Lord Vetinari (a tyrant) and a blackmailer with errant false teeth.

Terry Pratchett continues to astound me. It isn't just the sheer volume of Discworld novels now available or the fact that they still haven't become stale or particularly contrived. It is more that an apparently limitless, cheerful humanity pervades all of them. No matter how potentially grim the situation is, or even evil a character is, Pratchett always seems to have a wee smile and a wink as if to say (on this occasion at least) "Well, they are all bankers, aren't they?" This isn't to say he isn't serious about the snipes he takes at modern life, just that he seems to accept most of it as something we humans just do.

For previous readers of Discworld, you have probably made up your minds already about it. This offers more of the same faultless humour and perception. For those who have not yet sampled the delights that Pratchett has to offer, I recommend this or any other Discworld novel. Don't let me detain you.

Graham Connor

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