So, recently I finished re-reading Making Money, the 36th Discworld novel, by Terry Pratchett. I have read all of them, some of them more often than I can remember.
I’m a bit sad that in my mind the best part of Making Money is that the list of Discworld books on the first pages includes those for younger readers as part of the main series, rather than on a separate list. People going “they are children’s books, so they’re not Discworld book” were a kind of pet peeve of mine, while this novel just fell flat, to the point that I took a break to re-read a 50 volume manga series between chapters.
There were a few bits of impressive or funny descriptions, sure, and I did finish it, and maybe it’ll grow on me if I re-read it more often. For now at least, it just doesn’t click.
Mr Bent’s sermon-rants about gold at the start put me off, and the idea (suggested on the backcover an by Moist von Lipwig in the text) that he might be a vampire does not gel from the start, considering that that would be the first vampire not admitting to being one in how long? The entire series?
Gladys, the golem with a crush on her boss, the abrasive Adora Belle Dearhart, Moist’s old associate with the denture troubles, the Leonardo-with-a-narrower-specialisation,
As to Moist, in Going Postal his crazy stunts to revolutionise the mail system were fun to read. In Making Money, the things like breaking into his own office at the start make sense as something to show he doesn’t deal well with routine, but, well, compared to his last book, his later actions seem rather boring, at least if you already have a basic idea of how money works despite not being backed by gold.
What comes to my mind when comparing those two books is how mundane Making Money is. Paper money is something we all are used to. There were some bits of description that tried to create a sense of wonder about how a penny would “turn into different things” depending on what it was exchanged for, but for me it just didn’t work. Money is something practical and lacks the “magic” and personal touch of the written word that, in form of letters, drove Going Postal.
Superficially, the cabinet and the golems added some magic to Making Money, but it seemed rather tacked on rather than integrated into the story.
In summary, Making Money seemed to me mostly like a mix of “let’s write about how money works” and “let’s modernise Ankh-Morpork” with story sprinkled on top, rather than the (admittedly very high) quality of storytelling that I love so about other books in the series.