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I'm a huge Discworld fan and enjoyed "Making Money," which is a continuation of "Going Postal," but I couldn't quite shake the feeling that Terry Pratchett wrote this latest installment on automatic, or else got a golem to write it for him. All of the right characters are included---some like Death in cameo roles, and others like Lord Vetinari, almost too visible (a little of Ankh-Morpork's Patrician goes a long way). It's got all of the right standing, falling, and knocking-people-down-with-ladders jokes, plus Punes, or plays on words.

But for a Discworld novel, "Making Money" lacks Pratchett's usual shoot-from-the-hip-and-mouth-and-other-body-parts originality. Maybe Moist von Lipwig, former Postmaster General and current trouble-shooter at the Royal Mint, is too slight a character to have the weight of two Discworld novels resting on his shoulders. Maybe his antics at the Mint are too similar to his antics at the Post Office.

Or maybe it's because I can't stand his girlfriend, Adora Belle---Gladys the Golem has a nicer personality. Heck, the villain, Cosmo Lavish has a nicer personality, which is another one of this book's problems. We don't have a villain we can really hate. I spent the last half of the novel worrying about whether Cosmo's thumb would fall off, not whether he would succeed in replacing the Patrician at Ankh-Morpork's grubby helm.

I'll still grab Pratchett's next fantasy off of the shelf as soon as it appears, but the Moist von Lipwig books are definitely not up to his Night Watch-, Witch-, or Death-standard of Discworld novels.
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VINE VOICEon September 20, 2007
It seems, after reading Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel "Making Money", that money does make the world go `round, even if that world is flat and balanced on the backs of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle.

In "Making Money", Terry Pratchett and his `hero' Moist von Lipwig do for and to the monetary system exactly what they did for and to the post office in "Going Postal". The result is the same - - - - a Buster Keaton-like romp through the strange and wonderful world of Discworld.

It is impossible to detail the plot of this book without giving away spoilers so I think it best just to say that Lord Vetinari has determined that Ankh-Morpork's monetary system is in dire straits and in need of improvement. Vetinari picks, in his inimitable way, Moist von Lipwig to lead the way. In essence, Moist is set-up by Vetinari to become Ankh-Morpork's Alan Greenspan. Unlike Greenspan, however, Moist must deal with a cast of characters that have no idea as to what Moist is up to or trying to achieve. (Well, maybe that isn't so unlike Greenspan!).

"Making Money" feature a cast of old but mostly new characters. As to established characters, Vetinari is featured and his is as delightfully Machiavellian as ever. There are cameo appearances by DEATH, the Watch, and CMOT Dibbler. However, new or newer characters play the largest roles. Moist's second appearance is terrific. Pratchett does a very nice job turning him into what I hope is a regular role. Moist's girlfriend the chain-smoking Adore Belle Dearheart makes her presence felt. Mr. Bent, the oh-so serious bank manager plays straight man to Moist's light-hearted con-man character. Bent is tied to the old ways - where money must be based on gold and nothing but gold. There is something very William Jennings Bryan-like about Bent and his straight-laced approach is the perfect foil for Moist's extraordinarily flexible approach to monetary issues. Moist's antagonists are the Lavish family, Cosmo Lavish and his rather large sister Pucci (of whom Pratchett says in a great line, "she had no idea how to handle people and she tried to make self-esteem do the work of self-respect, but the girl could flounce better than a fat turkey on a trampoline".) They make good foils for Moist and Vetinari.

As always the plot has many twists and turns and one-liners fly almost as fast as the slings and arrows of the Assassins' Guild. Pratchett has a great way with humor and manages to combine that humor with a good deal of insight into how `things' work in the real world. His look at the monetary system in "Making Money" can now stand with Pratchett's look at rock music Soul Music, religion Small Gods, the post office Going Postal, and movies Moving Pictures as some very funny looks at our world through the prism of Discworld.

"Making Money" was a fun book for me to read. It was typical Pratchett (high praise) and I think most Pratchett fans will enjoy it. I certainly did. L. Fleisig
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VINE VOICEon September 27, 2007
The Post Office is an easy target for a gifted satirist like Pratchett; macroeconomics are much harder. Pratchett manages to bring it all off, but overall "Making Money" ranks in the middle third of Pratchett's writing.

Moist Von Lipwig, confidence man, trickster and Ankh Morpork's Postmaster, is bored. And when he is bored, he will take terrible chances. In many ways, it's how he feels alive. The tyrant of Ankh Morpork, the Patrician, Lord Vetinari,recognizes all this and manipulates people and circumstances so the Moist is made the head of the city's largest bank, with a goal of monetary reform. Well, not the actual chairman; the actual head of the bank is a small dog with a taste for toffee.

Moist must cope with the old family shareholders - the completely dysfunctional Lavish clan - as well as entrenched staff, his checkered past coming back to haunt him and missing gold bullion. Moist copes better than Pratchett does. As a novel, "Making Money" is more episodic than was "Going Postal," and the conclusion is weaker. "Money" has its moments, and you will laugh out loud more than once. But as a story, it's just not as strong as, say, Pratchett's last half dozen. In particular, Pratchett doesn't pull all of the plot threads together with his usual skill.

And it must be unbelievably difficult to make economics amusing. Moist's instructions from Lord Vetinari are to get the suspicious citizens of Ankh Morpork to accept paper currency, to free the City from the gold standard. On one level, it is nearly impossible to make it funny; on another, it is nearly impossible to satirize because its satirizes itself too effectively. Pratchett gets a nod just for making the attempt. The "dismal science," to use Carlyle's phrase, could use some humor.

But even a below-average Pratchett novel is a treat, and "Money" is a delight. It's just not outstanding.
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on February 27, 2008
By my count, which is slightly different from Amazon's, this is the 31st book in Pratchett's Discworld series. With its publication, Going Postal: A Novel of Discworld graduates from a stand-alone book to the first of the "Moist Lipwig" subseries (this book being the second in that subseries). Unfortunately, that graduation does not bear presents. Whereas, "Going Postal" was pretty good, "Making Money" is merely OK. Yes, the parodies are funny. But, unfortunately, the main character, Moist Lipwig, isn't really the driving force behind the plot's progression: he seems to be just along for the ride. The first part of the book is pretty good. Moist is front-and-center and seems to be moving things along. But, shortly after he moves to the bank, he just turns stupid (especially considering what he did for a living prior to becoming the Postmaster General) and the book just drifts. I actually put the book down for a couple of days because I was so upset with this. Finally, near the end, he seems to become himself again. But, the denouement essentially turns into an "A Miracle Occurs" moment. I don't know what happened to Pratchett concerning this book. But, really, I don't see the point in it. He really doesn't seem to have put his usual effort into the plot, the development, or the characters.

If you want to pick the book up from the library, go ahead an do so. But, don't expect prime Pratchett material. The best I can rate it is an OK 3 stars out of 5.
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on April 9, 2014
Having been a Pratchett fan for so many years I have learnt that his genius lies in not just one but a great many things. Firstly his ability to entertain. Then comes the fact that all his books are unexpected, smart and funny.

BUT, Pratchett has another genius to him: He can look into the past, then into the future and bring it all together in the present. This book was first published in 2007. The banks crashed in 2008 and governments had to spent billions to bail them out, using tax payers money.
We already see all that happening in Making Money. The abuse of power by the "fat cats" and then the government stepping in to try and prevent the man on the street from loosing all their money.

He has the ability to create characters that makes you think: I know someone like him/her, I wish I can meet this person or I am glad I will never have to deal with that person. They have so much depth and are really believable.
I love Vetinari and wish he was my city`s tyrant, and of course Mr Fusspot`s antics are endlessly entertaining. Then there`s Gladys, Igor, Adora Belle, Mr Slant and of course Moist and Mr Bent. There are so many more characters that are entertaining, but just too many to list.

I strongly recommend this book.

I could not help but notice that those who rated the book 1*star, were all early readers (2007/2008) and most of the 5* readers from later years (2009-2014).
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on October 17, 2015
I have read almost all the Discworld books on Kindle format. This is perhaps second-level Pratchett, meaning merely delightful. It's worth 4 stars. However, its handling of footnotes is the worst of the lot so far.

Pratchett uses more footnotes than any other fiction writer I know, obviously because he comes up with several alternate ideas at a time, and, as a craftsman, prunes the story for best effect. Yet he is reluctant to trash a funny thought; thus the footnote.

Kindle for Android does not handle footnotes well. You see a tiny asterisk for the link to the footnote text. If you tap it EXACTLY right you get to see the footnote; if not, you get to see the dictionary definition of the letter "C". Seriously!

Once you are done, you can get back to the point in the story, occasionally, by tapping the asterisk at the beginning of the footnote. If you tap the Return button/key, you RELIABLY get dumped into your Library. What mental process would make a programmer interpret a return from reading a footnote to be a request to stop reading a story and choose another?

From the Kindle forums I've visited, a real Kindle properly responds with a pop-up footnote and return. IOS devices also respond well. The Android version (4.17.0) on my Note 4 RARELY gets me into the footnote, and has NEVER gotten me back in this particular e-book. NEVER.

The 2-star rating reflects my enjoyment of the book partially compensating for the frustration of dealing with this underdesigned product but reflecting the loss of the very entertaining footnotes.

If you try to read a footnote, first choose any unusual word nearby so you can search for it if you get dumped into your Library.
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on November 6, 2007
Let's get it out of the way - this is not the best Pratchett book.

It its well-written and funny, with the return of many great characters, and a few new somewhat interesting ones. It's snappily paced. It's witty.

It also has a plot that isn't very fulfilling, some strange and optional loose ends, and a very annoying deus ex machina ending. It feels like it's made of spare parts, no offense to the Igors.

Essentially, Moist Von Lipwig, everyone's favorite postmortem postmaster, is bored. The Patrician, of course knows this, and gives Moist a chance to do something else - running the Bank and Mint of Ankh-Morpork. After all, Moist was used to stealing from banks, he just has to reverse his thinking.

However, interested or not, events conspire to put Moist in charge, thanks to a series of events, a clever lady, and a dog. Moist does love a challenge, and he rises to the occasion in some well-written and interesting looks at just what finance and money is.

But despite the best efforts, there's not much plot here, there's not much going on. There's sort of an antagonist, but not much of one. There's some interesting characters introduced that aren't realized quite as fully as they could be. It's really a plot beneath anyone of Pratchett's caliber - it is his talent that keeps it from being a total mess to one that's not fulfilling.

My take is the book is meant to bridge onward to the next novels, as I feel Pratchett is building up towards some big changes in his world. But it's a rickety bridge, even if the company is pleasant. I'd give it 2 stars, but some of the writing and characterization, plus some twists that set things up for the future, are interesting.
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on November 5, 2014
Terry Pratchett really can do no wrong - another great book in the series. I love that this is part of a mini 'Moist von Lipwig' series within the discworld books. A clever story that hints at perhaps some real world solutions for our financial woes - Igors aside of course.
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on August 7, 2015
Do you ever wonder about the logic behind paper money? That's what Pratchett explores in this story. Moist von Lipwig, having turned the post office into a booming success, is itching for another challenge. Enter Vetinari, who arranges for him to take over the Ankh Morpork bank from the ruling mafia family. Great cast of supporting characters, including the fastidious banker with a terrible secret and the mouthy mafiosa who can't shut up. It's a story about a man, his adopted dog, and a dildo...and if you want to know what that means, you'll have to read the book.
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on September 22, 2007
While I enjoyed reading Making Money I found it inferior to it's predecessor Going Postal. I felt that this book was more of an episode Moist's life than a full fledged Discworld novel. I think it really boils down to two reasons.

Making Money lacks the wonderful character arcs that Going Postal had. In Going Postal Moist, Mr. Groat, Stanley, Miss Dearheart, and even the villain Mr. Gilt all have wonderful arc to their characters that added a great pleasure to the over all plot. Both Miss Dearheart and Moist do not really change in Making Money and the only characters that do, don't change in satisfying ways. Cosmo Lavish, for want of a better word the villain, just continues down the path of madness with out any great surprises along the way and Mr. Bent, the Bank's chief cashier, undergoes his change overnight and Pratchett doesn't allow the reader all that much in on what is going on at the time, so when we see Mr. Bent changed, it comes as more of an absurdity than an interesting and logical character arc.

I really did not get any sense at all that Moist was in danger in Making Money. Sure there were plenty of dangers for Moist, but none materialized in any major way. There were no moments in the book as intense or heart stopping as Moist's encounter with Mr. Grial (I'm not sure if I got the spelling right) in Going Postal. And the Lavish family only seemed to pose the threat of long trials and paperwork rather than the tangibly imminent danger posed by Mr. Gilt's presence in Going Postal.

As I said before I did enjoy Making Money a lot, but it doesn't feel like a true sequel to the excellent Going Postal.
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