by Gavin GrantNovember, 2004
Another thrilling installment
In the 29th volume of his Discworld series (relax you don't have to read them all), English master fantasist and humorist Terry Pratchett takes on that most moribund of government institutions: the post office. Going Postal features Moist von Lipwig, a career criminal given the choice between death and a government job. Thinking he is being given the opportunity to swindle the many instead of the few, Moist accepts the position of postmaster general. He soon discovers that the post office has gone through four postmasters in the last year, there are rooms full of 40-year-old undelivered mail, the mail is talking to him, and there is an even bigger swindler out to give him and the post office a run for their money. Then there are the golems, Moist's potential love interest, the secret brotherhood of postal workers, the ghosts . . . and Moist's strange and growing addiction to doing good. Pratchett explores the costs and benefits of the Discworld's version of e-mail (a labor-intensive mechanical semaphore system called the "clacks") versus postal mail and also takes a few potshots at the venture capitalists caught up in a financial shell game supporting the clacks. Going Postal has all the emotional weight of the recent Discworld books and is also a hilarious addition to the ongoing story.