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Going Postal

Discworld, Book 33
Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2,043 ratings)

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Summary

Suddenly, condemned arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig found himself with a noose around his neck and dropping through a trapdoor into...a government job?

By all rights, Moist should be meeting his maker rather than being offered a position as postmaster by Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork. Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may prove an impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office.

Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, greedy Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty, piratical headman.

But if the bold and un-doable are what's called for, Moist's the man for the job, to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl and specially deliver that invaluable commodity that every being, human or otherwise, requires: hope.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

©2004 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)2004 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic reviews

"Readers will cheer Moist on." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A laugh-out-loud tale." ( AudioFile)

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In the unlikely event you've never read Pratchett

I wasn't going to review Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, simply because he is such a well known author that everyone already knows that this book, like all the Discworld books, will be funny, imaginative and have everything you want in it to keep you coming back and re-reading year after year. Most Audible listeners also know that all the main narrators that read Pratchett's books (Stephen Briggs, Nigel Planer and Tony Robinson) are all amazing, bringing the book and it's characters to life in a way that earns their five star reviews.

If you are actually a new listener on the other-hand this might really help.

Firstly despite the order they were written in my suggestion would be to start with the guards series. Pratchett has developed a complicated world with several in jokes and this is an easy way to enter it, as the books introduce the reader to the main city from which much of the action takes place. The guards series is arguably one of the most popular and after the first book has a strong cast of both male and female characters. I should warn that some of the other series' books are set before the events in the Watch novels but I still found this the most accessible way, into this vast fictional world.

The order of the guards books are Guards Guards, Men at Arms, Feet Of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night watch, Thud and Snuff (there are also spin off books that are mentioned in the series). From there you can either start reading the witches novels if you prefer female leads, Rincewind if you prefer male or stay in the city with some of what are often refer to as the `industrial' novels like The Truth, Going Postal and Making Money. Guides to reading order can easily be found on the net if you don't want to go by publication date.

I would also think twice before buying the abridged versions. Tony Robinson as a narrator is brilliant but so are the other narrators and a lot of the plot and humor is cut to fit so much into such a short time. I've listened to most of them and I'd personally go with unabridged every time.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Top form Pratchett

I've been reading Pratchett for over 20 years now I think, and I continue to buy them as soon as they come out in paperback. A Pratchett novel is always guaranteed to be reasonable entertainment, and every now and then there's a gem of a novel. This is a complete gem. Moist von Lipwig is an immensely likeable character and his battle to reopen the post office is enthralling. There are some lovely cameos by the Patrician and members of the Watch too. I'd already read it a couple of times in print before buying the audiobook, and I think I'm now on my third listen of the audiobook. Stephen Briggs reads beautifully. And, being Pratchett, even on my fourth go through there are still little comic touches that I didn't pick up before.
I've no idea how this novel would read if you're not familiar with Pratchett's universe, but if I were recommending a Pratchett to someone who'd never read one before I might be tempted to start with this.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It's actually sightly abirdged isn't it?

This is a BRILLIANT novel, funny, well rounded and excedingly Pratchetty, the only problem is that it's actually missing quite a few passages (like Moist's visit to the pin shop)I know it's really picky to notice things like that but when I listened to it I thought I was going crazy remembering bit's that arn't in this \"unabriged\" recording. Just seems a bit strange to miss them out. Otherwise it's marvellous!

20 people found this helpful

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Kept me sane on an eight hour car journey

This is my favourite Pratchett book and, having read it a kazillion times, I had a very definite idea of how the characters sounded. I think Stephen Briggs did an outstanding job of realising those characters, especially Miss Dearheart and Miss Macalariat. The plot is engrossing and, as always, the clever little details keep you on your toes.

I would recommend this to someone who is new to Discworld as you really get a flavour of life in Ankhmorpork, and it's a good introduction to Lord Vetinari. If you are an avid Pratchett fan, you will not be disappointed by this rendering.

4 people found this helpful

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Pratchett at his best

Where does Going Postal rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a great book and a great audiobook. One of Pratchett's best, with one of the most interesting characters in the form of Moist Von Lipwig. This is the start of Moist's journey (the later books - Making Money and Raising Steam develop the character) and allows Pratchett to explore Ankh Morpork society from a different angle to many of the previous books and moves away a bit from the focus in the recent books on Sam Vimes. It's also one of the funnier books of recent times with plenty of opportunities to explore the Patrician's character in more detail and his unique views on governing and governance ...

What about Stephen Briggs’s performance did you like?

Stephen Briggs has read all of the Pratchett books I've bought so far. He's perfect for the material, clear, interesting and a dry delivery which works with Pratchett's understated humour really well.

3 people found this helpful

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The lovable rogue who fools everyone!

Yes I would listen to this again.

Alfred Spangler, a rogue who swindled people and banks alike is caught by the police and is awaiting the hangman's noose in the hope of a last minute reprieve, when none comes he is unfortunately hanged.

Elsewhere on the road to Ankh-Morpork, atop a really tall "Clacks" tower a man falls to his death followed a few seconds later by another man. The Clacks is a form of visual semaphore, it is a very quick way of passing messages from town to town and further using a line if Semaphore towers. This system is at present the only way of getting and sending messages and it is very expensive.

When he, to Mr Spangler's surprise, wakes up, he is in Lord Vetinari's office, the tyrant of Ankh-Morpork. Lord Vetinari offer's him a job as Post Master . This can not be under taken by Mr Spangler as he was hung and lots of people witnessed it, he has to go back to his birth name of Mr Moist Von Lipwig .

Moist is to meet his parole officer outside the post office but instead he runs away, his parole officer called Mr pump, catches and brings him back to the city as he is a golem, a clay man and he does not need to rest, breath, sleep or eat. Moist decides to take this job seriously, at least until he can find a way to escape Mr Pump.

Moist finds out from Mr Groat that the post office in Ankh-Morpork collapsed decades beforehand and is filled with undelivered mail. Two people still work and live there, a young, unbalanced boy named Stanley Howler and Tolliver Groat himself is the other. But Groat is keeping secret's that Mr Lipwig needs to find out about if he is going to make this old dinosaur of a place work, but that's not all Mr Lipwig needs to be wary of.

Listen to this book to find out what happen's next....

3 people found this helpful

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Moist Von Lipwig - great new character

Terry Pratchett's genius is in creating believable characters around which he builds fantastic but moral stories. His latest - Moist Von Lipwig - is at his core a good man, who just happens to be conman and rogue. This novel has Von Lipwig placed in charge of Ankh Morpork's dysfunctional Post Office by Lord Vetinary and takes on the corrupt bankers who own the Grand Trunk Semaphore. The book is a brilliant comic read with an underlying story that reads like an essay on the mid-naughties casino banking. As usual brilliantly read by Stephen Briggs.

3 people found this helpful

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terry pratchett at his best

i loved this audio book. it made me laugh out loud on many occasions.
well read by stephen brigg, he really relates to all the characters.

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

It's hard to keep reviewing Terry Pratchett's work because the same compliments apply again and again! He really was one of the greatest writers of our age.

However, there are a few that for me stand just slightly taller than the rest, and I come back to again and again - this is one of those. Pretty-much a perfect book.

A brilliant story. Wonderful characters - clearly a great imagination is at work here, and woven through the whole thing is humour, wit, satire, a astute observation of the human condition, and a passion for ridiculing pomposity and stupidity.

Absolutely brilliant - highly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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fabulous satire

Pratchett is a genius and the sarcasm that rolls out of this book is a poor joy to read and more listen too.
Stephen Briggs is excellent at narrating the characters and hearing the Igor and spoke voices constantly made me smile!
a great audible, making money next for me I guess :-)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bocoblia
  • 19-10-07

Great as an audiobook

Warning - don't listen to this book whilst driving in peak hour traffic, it's so funny you can't concentrate on the driving! The combination of Terry Prachett as author and Stephen Briggs as narrator is the best. Highly recommended.

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  • Jacobus
  • 05-09-10

Probably one of the best Discworld novels

I thoroughly enjoyed Going Postal. Postmaster Moist Von Lupwig is a brilliantly thought out character (or should I say Mr. Spangler).

The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, decides to put a fraudster, embezzler and thief in charge of the Royal Post Office. He must resurrect the white elephant from the ashes. What follows is typical Terry-Pratchett-wiz(z)ardry.

I also enjoyed Stephen Briggs' performance. He made the characters come live and made you wish you were there! Highly recommended!!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Derri
  • 10-10-18

You don't have to be mad to work here...

Wonderful. Let Stephen Briggs' voice waft you away to Ankh Morpork, the city that knows how to put on a good show.

Stephen Briggs' long working relationship with Terry Pratchett, gives him an intimate knowledge of the characters, their nuances, and their foibles, and his voicing of each as a recognizable entity seems effortless. Alongside the familiar Patrician, Lord Vetinari - politest tyrant alive, and cameo appearances from The Watch, we meet a handful of new characters. Moist Von Lipwig - with his daredevil tongue, and criminal mind, Adorabelle Dearheart - the Disc's most violent smoker, Stanley - it's most passionate pinhead, and Mr Groat, possibly the oldest working postman in the city. Together they attempt to bring back the postal service, up against the competition of the more modern Clacks Towers. With the Clacks now run by a consortium, with profit the only aim, we encounter corporate espionage, de-facto currency, possible murders, and the mysterious group called 'The Smoking GNU'.

The tale gallops along in Terry Pratchett's usual way, with chases, escapes, swindles, pigeons, golems, Gods, miracles, and even an angel.

Laughing out loud, wearing headphones, sitting on a bus - is something I'm getting used to. The funny looks that go along with it - are a matter of personal style ;)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-17

Pratchett as good as ever

Pratchett has a gift for deconstructing and writing from wildly different perspectives and this book is no different. Well read by Briggs too, with just the right amount of acting without turning into a radio play.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 21-05-14

Excellent

Any additional comments?

Possibly my favourite DIscworld novel so far. I highly recommend it, particularly if you like the stories surrounding the City Watch, which I think are similar in style to this one. As always, Stephen Briggs does a great job of reading - he is particularly good at rendering all the footnotes, asides and internal monologues clearly without confusing the narrative.

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  • Stuart
  • 11-12-12

A good transition from paper to audible

Would you listen to Going Postal again? Why?

I have, and will, 're-read' Going Postal. The story flows very well and has the ability to both draw you into the story over an evening or else drip feed the story one chapter at a time.

What other book might you compare Going Postal to and why?

As with almost all of the Pratchett works, the more you listen to (or read), the more absorbed you become in Disc World. There are a number of story-lines available in the Disc World series - so pick the line that you wish to follow and go from there.

Which character – as performed by Stephen Briggs – was your favorite?

Defiantly Von Moist!!

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  • Jason
  • 27-05-12

Nice Moist Von Lipwig book.

A very good book. Pratchetts discworld is going into the industrial revolution and I really like this one. This is a pretty good book and I like his style. I haven't decided if I like Stephen Briggs better than Nigel Planer or not though.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josephine
  • 25-11-09

great book.

This is a very funny book, Terry Pratchett has a strange mind, but you cannot stop reading, the mind pictures are amazing. So all in all a great book, a great read, and if you don't find yourself giggling quietly you will find your self laughing out loud.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Grimelda
  • 23-03-20

One of my favourite Pratchett books

Terry Pratchett was a literary genius, IMO, and this was one of his best. The story follows the exploits of the small time conman Moist von Lipwig following his public execution. After the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork corners him into going legit as the head of the failing Post Office, he manages to miraculously revive the enterprise with style and aplomb all while thwarting his piratical nemesis Reacher Gilt, inventing stamps, falling in love, going insane and learning to live life as an upstanding member of the community.

Stephen Briggs is fantastic as narrator and does an amazing job of bringing the characters to life.

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  • Alice
  • 03-03-20

amazing as usual!

Great story with a good philosophical vibe. Great performance as usual with Stephen Briggs! I love the character of Adorabelle Dearhart