“Going Postal” – Terry Pratchett

Good gods, the madness is catching, Moist thought, as the golem’s glow disappeared into the darkness outside. I am not the postmaster, I’m some poor bastard who’s the victim of some stupid . . . experiment. What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.

Title: Going Postal
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publication date: 2004
Publisher: Corgi (Mass Market paperback)
Pages: 474

Summary: Moist von Lipwig is a free man. He has enjoyed the freedom to mess with people’s minds for quite some time now. After all, people want you to give them hope, the greatest treasure of all. Hope that the glass ring is a diamond one, hope that the money you’re getting is real, hope that a simple game of cards will make you rich…

But there’s also the freedom to face the consequences, a freedom he chooses over the freedom to… well, die. And all of a sudden Moist becomes the Head Postmaster of the deserted Ankh-Morprok post office. He has an exciting new life (complete with a golden suit and winged hat), an exciting new goal (to make sure that letters are being… well, sent) and most of all exciting new friends (two mad postmen and a golem parole officer who doesn’t sleep, doesn’t eat, doesn’t feel but does know how to hurt). Oh boy, Moist could never have wished for so much excitement…

No, really, he couldn’t and wouldn’t have. But there’s no way to quit now, so why not play along? If that means being on the front page of the paper every day, becoming the city hero overnight and getting a date with the cynical chain-smoker Adora Belle Dearheart… It  might even be worth it. Except that the corrupt owners of the clacks-system are out to destroy him and his post office. The only thing Moist has is the greatest treasure of all… and a few stamps, of course.

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Quotes:

“I wonder if it’s like this for mountain climbers, he thought. You climb bigger and bigger mountains and you know that one day one of them is going to be just that bit too steep. But you go on doing it, because it’s so-o good when you breathe the air up there. And you know you’ll die falling.”

“Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known.”

“Mr Moist, this morning you had no experience at all of being dead, and yet but for my intervention you would nevertheless have turned out to be extremely good at it. It just goes to show: you never know until you try.

“Theres no stink more sorrorful than the stink of wet, burnt paper. It means: the end.”

“Around them, the city happened. Between them, the ashtray filled up with ash.”

“They say that the prospect of being hanged in the morning concentrates a man’s mind wonderfully; unfortunately, what the mind inevitably concentrates on is that, in the morning, it will be in a body that is going to be hanged.”

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