Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Going Postal

I love Terry Pratchett. Anyone who has heard me talk about books knows this. I have been busy and just rereading things that I had lying around half-finished. But I decided instead of explaining each Terry Pratchett book, because there are going to be many, I would just put in some quotes from each book. So here goes. Basic premise of Going Postal is Moist von Lipwig, con man, is almost hanged and offered a chance to redeem himself by re-establishing the postal service. Sounds simple but it is a great book, one of Pratchett's best.

You can't treat religion as a sort of buffet, can you? I mean, you can't say,"Yes please, I'll have some of the Celestial Paradise and a helping of the Divine Plan but go easy on the kneeling and none of the Prohibition of Images, they give me wind." It's table d'hote or nothing, otherwise. . . well, it could get silly.

And there was a fight going on. More or less. But in some ways, at least, time had moved on. You couldn't just haul off and belt someone with an ax these days. People expected things of a bar brawl. As he went in, Moist passed a large group of men of the broken-nosed, one eared persuasion, bent in anxious conclave:
"Look, Bob, what part of this don't you understand, eh? It's a matter of style, okay? A proper brawl doesn't just happen. You don't just pile in, not anymore. Now, Oyster Dave here -- put your helmet back on, Dave--will be the enemy in front, and Basalt, who, as we know, don't need a helmet, he'll be the enemy coming up behind you. Okay, it's well past knuckles time, let's say Gravy there has done his thing with the Bench Swipe, there's a bit of knife play, we've done the whole Chandelier Swing number, blah, blah, blah, then Second Chair--that's you, Bob--you step smartly between their Number Five man and a Bottler, swing the chair back over your head, like this--sorry, Pointy--and swing it right back onto Number Five, bang, crash, and there's a cushy six points in your pocket. If their playing a dwarf at Number Five, then a chair won't even slow him down, but don't fret, hang on to the bits that stay in your hand, pause one moment as he comes at you, and then belt him across both ears. They hate that, as Stronginthearm here will tell you. Another three points. It's probably going to be freestyle after that but I want all of you, including Mucky Mick and Crispo, to try for a Double Andrew when it gets down to fist-fighting again. Remember? You back into each other, turn around to give the other guy a thumping, cue moment of humorous recognition, then link left arms, swing round and see to the other fellow's attacker, foot or fist, it's your choice. Fifteen points right there if you get it to flow just right. Oh, and remember we'll have an Igor standing by, so if your arm gets taken off, do pick it up and hit the other guy with it, it gets a laugh and twenty points. On that subject, do remember what I said about everything tattooed with your name, all right? Igors do their best, but you'll be on your feet much quicker if you make life easier for him and, what's more, it's your feet you'll be on. Okay, positions everyone, let's run through it again. . ."

And one last one: "Peas are known for their thoroughness."

Going Postal. Terry Pratchett. Harper Torch Paperback. 2005

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