Actually I'm amazed that this isn't on about 500 wish lists. Terry Pratchett is one of those authors who is addictive in the real sense of the word. Definitely an intelligent persons comedian who has taken satire to an entire new level. That said, while I opened this book expecting to reunite with old friends such as Sam Vimes of the Watch, DEATH, Corporal Nobbs, Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler and a bevy of Ridcully(ous) wizards I was instead introduced to a new batch of Disc World denizens every bit as quirky and fun. The storyline is quite twisty and the Post Office (and subsequently the Mint) will never be the same. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it for readers of all ages.
One of the things I love about the Discworld series is that you don't really have to read them in order. Each book pretty much stands on its own. Going Postal is the first Discworld book I've read in a while, and I must say it's a good one. Sir Terry is in top form. The narrative flows well (I couldn't put it down). The characters are well-imagined with typical Discworld quirkiness. Fans of the series will note a few differences between this and previous books. First, the book is broken up into actual chapters with short summaries preceding them (reminiscent of "Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog)"). Second, while present, Pratchett's use of footnotes is considerably less in this volume. Third, there is no mention whatsoever of The Great A'Tuin, and I don't recall there even being a mention of "The Disc". That's not a complaint, just something that fans of the series will probably take note of. Newcomers to the series will probably wonder why the series is called "Discworld". The cast of "usual suspects" is downplayed in this book, but still very present. Of those characters, the Patrician (Vetinari) plays the largest role. Death shows up only once. Archchancellor Ridcully plays a small role. Carrot shows up once. Some of the others in the Watch are also mentioned - notably Corporal Nobbs, Vimes and Angua (though she is only referred to as "the werewolf"). Despite the near absence of these characters, the new characters introduced are fun and interesting. I would very much like to see their re-appearance in future volumes (particularly the main protagonist, Moist Von Lipwig and the wonderful Adora Belle Dearheart).
Bottom line: I loved this book! I've been reading more serious fare lately, and was feeling like I needed something a little more light-hearted. This book reminded me of why I love this series so much. If you're a fan, I have little doubt that you will love this one. If you are thinking about trying the series out, this is a decent entry point.
The charismatic swindler (forced to take on the Ank Morpork Postal System as the only alternative to a hanging) Moist von Lipwigg ("I'm Moist, please don't laugh...) is right up there with Captain of the Night Watch Samuel Vimes in my list of Terry Pratchett's top characters.
The brilliant, narcissistic and ambitious Moist (I still can't get past that name) is saved from the gallows through a lucky--but not altogether uncalculated--reprieve from Lord Vetinari, and soon finds himself trying to shovel the old post office out from its present heaps of undelivered 50-year old mail, and similarly bounteous piles of pigeon guano.He is aided by Mr. Groat, descendant of the Olde post office families and with an eye for regulations and knack for natural remedies, and by Stanley, an orphan raised by peas (don't ask) and an avid collector of pins (ditto on the asking). Moist soon finds himself in a bitter rivalry with financial pirate Mr. Gilt and his Grand Trunk Company, a Discworld version of an unreliable internet provider that constantly overcharges. Things come to a hilarious head when Moist challenges the Grand Trunk to race his own post-coach to Genoa ("good luck coding those pictures in binary"). The most quotable quote is when Stanley finally goes "unpinned", and holds much relevance to all collectors of random junk": "Ahh! They're all just pins!"
Terry Pratchett continues his bizarre, hilarious, and above all readable commentary on modern society, blurred slightly through the lens of a parallel universe. Fans won't be disappointed, and newcomers should be delighted as well.
In "Going Postal," Pratchett introduces us to Moist von Lipwig, a conman who ends up owing major debts to the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. This is definitely my favorite novel of the Discworld.
Absolutely one of Pratchett's best. New characters, a new angle, an entirely believable and fun story.