In the second half of the ninth chapter of Making Money, Moist has a lot of problems. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Well, this escalated, and it did so in a very rapid space of time. Half a day passes, and I feel like… like ten pairs of shoes are all gonna drop at the same time. Cosmo knows the truth about Moist’s past; the Times article still isn’t out; gold is missing from the bank; Hubert is freaking out; the Watch suspects something terrible is happening; Adora Belle is in jail. We’re on the precipice of something, but I still don’t know what that is! And then there’s Mr. Bent, and I DON’T GET HIM.
So, let me start with Moist’s interrogation with Captain Carrot. To me, this served not only as a nice summary of everything that had happened, but once you strip everything of context, this truly sounds like the most absurd situation ever. Like, we totally understand why Moist had to break into his own vault even though he had the keys! But to Carrot and the Watch as a whole, it doesn’t come across that sensibly, so Moist has to turn on the charm and his ability to persuade others, which all don’t work on someone like Carrot. Oh, I just loved this pairing because Moist was rendered useless in less than a minute. Carrot is brilliant and straightforward and completely disarming, and thus, Moist stumbles his way through an interrogation that actually isn’t that difficult! But as much as Moist has a way with people, so does Carrot.
But on a craft level, this interaction is simply hilarious. Because the Discworld universe is so huge and detailed, I find it entertaining when characters from different “series” interact with one another. That’s the case here, and I know I’ve mentioned this in other contexts. Sometimes, we see Vimes and the other Watch members through the eyes of others, like in The Truth. Moist’s view of Vimes, Carrot, Nobbs, and Angua fascinates me! We know what these characters’ internal lives are like, but Pratchett does this amazing thing where he reminds us that no one looks the same on the outside as they do on the inside.
Anyway, how about Cosmo and Cribbins’s partnership? Big pile of NOPE, right? Oh, I already don’t like this, but I feel like there are two possibilities for this subplot. Cosmo now knows the truth about Moist’s past as Spangler, and he is most surely going to use it. Well, I think he’ll try. If he succeeds, I imagine that there’s going to be some sort of twist or means of letting Moist be honest without it tanking his career. Should it? I mean… that’s not really up to me but the people he’s affected with his scams and his cons. Has he done enough for Ankh-Morpork that they’re willing to turn the other way regarding his past crimes? But I’m also curious if Vetinari—who surely must have figured out who Cribbins is by this point—will quietly intervene to prevent this information from getting out at all. It can’t make him look good, right? He staged an execution, and then gave the criminal a job running both the post office and the bank? So, he has a vested interest in keeping this from the general public. Bah, I don’t know yet!
Then there’s this:
“I know what kind of golems are coming!”
Kind. They’re a specific kind. And I’m assuming that they’re a kind we haven’t seen or had referenced yet, so… fun! Clearly this is going to be fun. By “fun,” I mean “deeply chaotic.” Which is a great descriptor for this whole book! Look, there’s still the whole nightmare with the Glooper, and I’m curious if Hubert did decide to tank Ankh-Morpork’s economy by making the gold disappear. Did he really destroy that part of the Glooper? Does he believe that he can put the money back? OR HAVE I COMPLETELY MISREAD THIS? That’s my take, but I know I might be wrong about this since it didn’t happen on the page.
There is one part of this all that was quite striking to me. This has been a really, really fun book, and I’ve appreciated that most of it isn’t as emotionally intense as many of the recent Discworld books. It landed at the perfect time for me, since my life is a little bit too intense right now. But I can’t ignore how powerful it was to see Moist’s vulnerability at the end of this chapter. He has been alone for most of his life, and he likes it that way. He has also relied on himself to accomplish everything, so it’s meaningful to me that as his life is falling apart around him, he asks someone else for help. Yes, it’s the god of things getting stuck in drawers, but it still felt so real. Moist finally had no plan out of this mess, no way through to the end, and while he might just wing it, I enjoyed that he asked for help. Sometimes, that’s the best thing that you can do.
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