5. Making Money by Terry Pratchett (2007) 349 p.
Every year Pratchett writes a book, and every year I get it for Christmas and then read it while I’m camping. It’s like seeing an old friend again. Making Money continues the adventures of one of his most recently-introduced characters, Moist von Lipwig, a conman-turned-entrepreneur who was responsible for re-establishing the Ankh-Morpork Post Office in previous novel Going Postal. In Making Money, he is appointed head of both the city’s largest bank and the royal mint, and oversees a switch from gold standard to fiat currency (I had to look both those words up).
It’s not really Pratchett’s best work, largely because it lacked the dramatic climax most other Discworld books have. This is one of my favourite aspects about the Discworld series; while the books are satirical, usually zany and always funny, they also have serious plots underpinning them, which always come to a head in matters of life and death (most noticeable in the City Watch books). Much like the average sitcom, they reflect real life – or perhaps my own view of life – in a far more accurate way than stories that are purely drama: amusing and funny most of the time, sobering up into seriousness when the situation demands. While still present to a degree in Making Money, this trend is still diminished somewhat, and the conclusion was disappointingly abrupt.
Nonetheless, even when Pratchett’s major plot is weak his writing remains excellent, brimming with awful puns and dry observations on every aspect of society. Perhaps I’m just prejudiced against his fresher characters.