In the eighth chapter of Making Money, Moist gets closer to the truth; Cosmo gets closer to Vetinari; Owlswick succeeds. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Great, now I’ve got ANOTHER variable to think about: Hubert, the Glooper, and the rather rapid transformation of Hubert into a mad scientist. Maybe, I should say. It’s possible that Hubert won’t do anything, but the potential is right there. Igor has made the Glooper so accurate that it might very well be able to affect the world rather than just predict it. And once Hubert knows this, the desire to suddenly smash everything to bits—thereby sending Ankh-Morpork into an immediate and “irrevocable” financial ruin—becomes an unbearable temptation. And I love that Pratchett is toying with the notion of the whole “mad scientist” trope by having the story pull at Hubert seams. It’s like the story is forming around him, and how can he possibly resist that?
Cosmo and Heretofore
In a similar sense—but in a different context—the story is forming around Cosmo. It seems inevitable that Cosmo’s attempt to BECOME Vetinari will be his downfall. And I wonder if that is why Heretofore has a brief burst of pity towards his boss:
For the first time in his career, Heretofore found himself feeling sorry for Cosmo. There was a kind of yearning in the man’s voice. He didn’t want to usurp Vetinari. There were plenty of people in the city who wanted to usurp Vetinari. But Cosmo wanted to be Vetinari.
And we can see that longing in the brief Cosmo scene in this chapter. It’s intoxicating to him to imagine himself as Vetinari, and I get why Heretofore has this impulse. It seems there’s nothing Cosmo wants more, and he yearns for this more than anything else: more than his accumulation of wealth, more than greed, more than friendship or family or love, and it’s sad. It’s a completely delusional desire, you know? And this doesn’t make me feel any less unnerved by it all. IT’S TERRIFYING. So, is Pratchett going to subvert this or surprise me? I don’t know! But Cosmo certainly isn’t going to succeed… right?
The Mystery of Bent
Oh, it was so brilliant that as I eagerly awaited for Moist and Miss Drapes to make it to Mrs. Cake’s boarding house, the first scene about Mr. Bent was from Vetinari’s POV. GODS, Y’ALL, HE KNOWS EVERYTHING. Or he’s at least aware of it. Because there’s only the slightest hint that Vetinari knows the truth, but even then, he doesn’t share it with Drumknottt. (Why didn’t he complete his sentence??? What did Old Lavish think Mr. Bent was???) So, it ramped up the suspense even more, since it’s a playful nod that the reader is closer than ever to this character’s past.
And then, we get to the boarding house—which is truly becoming one of my favorite places in Ankh-Morpork—AND THE TRUTH IS NOT GIVEN TO US. Which doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here; there are new pieces of the mystery placed in the greater framework. For example, in a perfect follow-up to the end of Vetinari’s POV, we discover that Mr. Bent arrived “on a cart owned by some traveling accountants.” Which does give us some context for his past! There were people in his childhood who showed him the value of numbers and the power of their certainty. But even Miss Drapes knows that there’s “something dreadful in his past,” but… WHAT THE FUCK IS IT.
His room, which we’ve seen before, gets a new perspective once other people see it. We knew the wardrobe was there and that there was a huge secret in it, but I didn’t truly understand the SIZE of it and that NONE OF BENT’S CLOTHING IS INSIDE OF IT. I absolutely felt validated that Moist had a theory—one that was pretty damn brief, though—that Mr. Bent was actually a vampire. I still don’t think that’s the actual story here, but hey! At least Moist identified many of the same coincidences!!!
So… am I any closer to understanding Mr. Bent? Not really, but it’s because I’m missing the real BIG piece. What is so embarrassing or so frightening in his past that Cosmo could successfully unravel him?
I felt real weird about Moist fumbling Gladys’s pronouns. Not because it doesn’t happen or because it isn’t realistic! But it seems Moist continues to have problems with how Gladys behaves and how that makes her a woman. Why does he say that she’s “the fault of misplaced female solidarity”? Why is it misplaced? This confused me, and I couldn’t parse Pratchett’s intent. I get the other part of it, that Gladys is developing an idea of what it means to be a woman from a very, very specific source, but I don’t know why that would trip up Moist, you know? Like, he can be worried that she’s going to have a narrow view of the world because of that catalog/magazine, but that doesn’t make her less of a woman.
So, I can see one thing set up here: Cosmo went to The Times to give his side of the story in regards to Mr. Bent. But Moist did not, and he only realizes that he should have leapt in front of that story too late. Lord, what is the Times going to print now???
Also: OWLSWICK SUCCEEDED!!! The bill is done, it’s apparently exactly what Moist wanted, and I assume that this means they’re going to print. Well, I would have assumed that without hesitation, but I’m worried about this Times article. Again, there are so many variables here that could derail this all! Is Moist even going to get to that stage?
I just want to let you all know that I will get my revenge on each of you for the scene in which everyone believes that Gladys cooked Mr. Fusspot. I’M SO STRESSED.
Mark Links Stuff
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