Where does the term going postal come from?
A new order for the general renovator
Book review by Carsten Kuhr Aug 2007
That really knocks the bottom out of the barrel. Not enough with the fact that our trickster and rogue-eared crook Feucht von Lipwig, who was hanged on the instructions of the court for his crimes, was only allowed to kiss the Ankh-Morpork Post, which was lying in deep sleep, as a conscript minister, no, now Lord Vetinari has made him the managing director of an ailing bank!
That a promenade mix of a dog owns the majority of the shares in the bank, that the greedy decadent family of the luscious is trying to usurp control of the bank, that would still be possible, but then our eloquent general renovator has to find out that the gold missing in the safe. Good advice is initially expensive. How good it is that Feucht maintains excellent relationships with local printing companies thanks to his invention of the postage stamp. The only thing left now is to make the new paper currency attractive to the residents of Ankh-Morpork - and let's be honest, who would be better suited to this than a likable blabber and impostor?
Instead of repetitions, new ideas abound
When everything seems to go its desired course, when the savings socks are emptied and the savings accounts are filled, a new calamity is marching towards our metropolis in the truest sense of the word. A whole army of solid gold golems are serving the city. Willing, capable workers who never tire, who never have to eat, but who also never consume. What threatens is mass unemployment and poverty, not to mention the fact that the indomitable army could overrun any neighboring empire. Our rascal has to come up with something.
While other, even accomplished and well-known authors are desperately searching for topics, the ideas seem to fly to Terry Pratchett. This time, who is surprised, the world of high finance and economic policy is getting its fill. If you consider the currently rampant banking crisis due to the assumption of ailing loans and personal anger for enrichment, it reads a little like a factual report that comes along in the guise of a fantasy novel. With a sharp pen and instinct, Pratchett always puts his fingers exactly where it hurts. In an amusing and entertaining way, he explains to us market policy regulations, mercantile undulations and the effects of supply and demand on the international labor and financial markets. It almost looks like a very amusing lecture in economics, amazes at its underlying simplicity and has at least many times animated me to an "a-ha" and "oh so". Other authors, less gifted with ideas, would have made several books out of the material, Pratchett packs everything into a big whole, which also reflects a fascinatingly real picture of our market economy in detail.
Fitness for the head and for the stomach - laughter is healthy
But Terry Pratchett would not be one of the most popular and enduring - and this is really a phenomenon - authors, if he did not provide for a hearty strengthening of the abdominal and chest muscles in addition to all the hidden knowledge that he shares with his readers. Well-known and beloved characters appear - a certain sausage seller wants a loan to buy a mobile vendor's tray, Feucht immediately has the idea of a fast food franchise chain - a veritable romance is emerging and the assassin guild cannot complain about a lack of orders .
So all in all a real Discworld novel again full of subtle, intelligent humor, even if not quite as lively as "Ab die Post", the first adventure with Feucht. It is also remarkable that the previous translator Andreas Brandhorst was replaced this time by Bernhard Kempen, who did his job brilliantly.
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