Title: Making Money
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 480
Making Money is one of several Discworld books that grew on me – I didn’t think too much of it after my first read, but subsequent re-reads have led to me enjoying it more and more as time passes. I think that quite a lot of that is due to the fact that Moist Von Lipwig is the protagonist, a character that can take a little getting used to. Nevertheless, he’s loveable enough in his way, and certainly doing pretty well here.
In this novel, Moist receives a promotion of sorts, and he finds himself as the new boss of Ankh-Morpork’s royal mint. As you can imagine, such a job doesn’t come without its difficulties, and he finds himself placed in harm’s way yet again by the benevolence of the patrician, Lord Vetinari.
Of course, this being an Ankh Morpork novel, there are plenty of familiar characters for the serious Discworld connoiseur to try to spot, and there are vampires to deal with, assassins to avoid and dogs to take for walkies. The city seems to have a mind of its own, and when it’s introduced to paper currency for the first time, you know that something interesting is going to happen.
Lipwig is already known to Discworld fans as the Postmaster General of Ankh-Morpork – he managed to almost single-handedly resurrect the postal service, and so running a mint and a bank can’t be too much of a problem, right? And he’s doing it all reluctantly, as he did with the post office – in fact, there’s an interesting story behind how that comes about. The previous owner leaves her shares to her dog in her will, and so her dog becomes the primary shareholder. She also leaves instructions that Moist is to be the dog’s primary caregiver, and that he’s to be killed by the assassin’s guild if the dog dies or if he fails to take up the position.
It’s an interesting predicament to be in, and the fact that he’s forced to act against his will adds an extra dimension to the story. Moist Von Lipwig is one of those characters that we all love to hate – yes, he’s a bit of a scoundrel, but so what? So is almost everyone on the Discworld, and it doesn’t stop you from knowing them and loving them. And, as always, he’s basically forced to run things through the sheer weight of his personality, which feels more developed than it does in almost any of his other characters.
Overall, Making Money is a joy to read, and it comes strongly recommended by me. It might not be the best introduction to the Discworld, but if you’ve read a few of the books before then it can’t hurt to move on to this one.