In the first half of the first chapter of Making Money, something waits, while someone else plots, while someone else narrowly avoids detection. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read Discworld.Â
Welcome, friends, to the thirty-sixth book in the Discworld series! I am so happy that I was right about this being a Moist von Lipwig book, but… lord, I already donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m getting into. Somewhat, I should say. Making Money opens with a familiar framing device: a mystery. A lot of the recent Discworld books have had this sort of start, so Iâ€™m expecting that whatever is laying in the dark, guarding, is vital to the story at hand. Why did some of them shatter? Why had others â€œgone silentâ€? And why does one of them raise â€œhis mind in songâ€?Â
Iâ€™ll find out. (And try to keep this in mind.) From here, chapter one moves through a few important scenes that establish… well, I donâ€™t actually know. What the hell is Adora Dearheart buying land from the dwarfs for? Actually, not just buying land, but only for a short period of time? Initially, I thought maybe she was buying more land to build some sort of new headquarters for the Golem Trust. But temporary land? Why land for only a few years? (Assuming that what the lawyer says about the lease is a reference to how long Miss Dearheartâ€™s will last.) WHATâ€™S THE SECRET?
I could ask the same of Moist von Lipwig. Granted, thereâ€™s still more of chapter one left, so perhaps the big mystery will be answered. But yâ€™all, Iâ€™m gonna ask the question anyway: WHY WAS MOIST VON LIPWIG TRYING TO BREAK INTO HIS OWN APARTMENT??? Indeed, I feel like I have to repeat what the coachman says later:
â€œHeâ€™s the postmaster! Heâ€™s got a bloody key! Heâ€™s got all the keys! Why the hell would he want to break into his own post office?â€Â
THE QUESTION OF THE EVENING. Why did he have the brick key and the hammer on him? I also assumed that he was in his dressing gown, but I suppose that he could have changed very quickly??? But I donâ€™t know if Moist wearing normal clothes or a dressing gown makes this any more sensible? None of it makes a lick of sense to me, yâ€™all.Â
And Pratchett does not make this any easier to understand, and instead, we move from one chaotic scene to… well, something really sweet. Itâ€™s been really cool to see the development of the golems over the course of this series, and thereâ€™s another example of that in this chapter. Gladys is introduced, and even though she may have been forced to wear a dress because Miss Maccalariatâ€™s ideas of gender are absurd, Gladys comes to be a woman. I appreciated that Pratchett, through Moistâ€™s narration, made sure to make it clear what her pronouns were, too! This is who she is, and after this introduction, itâ€™s made clear that Gladys is a woman, and thatâ€™s just how we should treat her.Â
From this, Moist is summoned to Vetinariâ€™s office, where a very strange (but entirely in-character) interaction occurs. This is Vetinariâ€™s thing. He rarely says exactly what he means in a direct way, but he implies it. Or couches it in hypotheticals. (Like his long monologue to Drumknott.) He levels threats by not leveling them, but letting peopleâ€™s minds fill in the awful blanks. As he puts it to Drumknott, itâ€™s better to get someone to â€œbuild his own rack, and let him turn the screw all by himself.â€Â
So, at the end of Going Postal, Vetinari had offered Reacher Gilt something very similar to what heâ€™d offered Moist at the start of that book: a chance at reconciliation and repair. The Royal Mint needed to be fixed, and Gilt could have reinvented himself and helped. (He chose not to, and by the way, I love the reference to the door in the opening of this chapter.) So, is that what Vetinari is trying to manipulate Moist into doing? Is he trying to pull him away from the Post Office?
If thatâ€™s the case, then the fate of Owlswick Jenkins might be more of a clue than I thought while I was first reading this. What if the title of this bookâ€”and Vetinariâ€™s offerâ€”is a play on words? What if it is LITERALLY making the money, as Moist did with stamps? If the Royal Mint is indeed the direction of this book, perhaps Vetinari knew that Moist would be tempted by the idea of making money, not knowing the offer was a literal use of the word.
Itâ€™s exactly the sort of thing Vetinari would do, right?
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– The paperback edition of my debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now up for pre-order! It comes out on May 7, 2019.Â If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.