Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal

going postal

a review by Nalini Haynes

20th Century Fox

Going Postal begins with Albert Spangler AKA Moist von Lipwig desperately working to escape his cell before he is hanged. He is unsuccessful, and successfully hanged to within an inch of his life. The inch that remained was then presented to Lord Vetinari, the tyrant of Ankh Morpork, who offered Lipwig a choice between certain death and becoming the Postmaster General. Lipwig accepted the offer, then promptly fled Ankh Morpork only to be recovered by his golem parole officer, Mr Pump.

Lipwig begins his job as Postmaster General by meeting his staff, Junior Postman Groat and Stanley, then learning the history, culture and problems of the post office. The principle problem of the post office, apart from its failure to actually deliver mail and short life expectancy of the postmasters, is its rivalry with the Clacks, the Discworld’s telecommunications and internet company.

The consummate con artist, Lipwig gains the attention of the crowd, enlists the aid and support of a workforce of golems plus a veritable Dad’s Army of formerly retired postmen, as well as receiving a gift from the gods of $150,000 to restore the post office to its former glory. Along the way Lipwig meets Adorabelle Dearheart, a young woman bereaved of both her father and brother due to the family’s former connection with the Clacks company. Lipwig and Adora have undeniable chemistry, with their verbal harangues coupled with body language telling a whole different story.

Stanley’s body language and speech appears influenced by Michael Crawford in Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em. Reacher Gilt is effective as the villain supported by his less effective but brilliantly acted henchmen. Vetinari and Ridcully have had changes of actors through the various Discworld productions. Terry Pratchett again plays a cameo role, this time as postman.

Going Postal is an adventure with satire, romance and magic in the best tradition of Discworld. The only downside is that, as will all book to movie adaptations, there are omissions. Going Postal retains the tempo and flavour of the original in spite of this, although I did miss the rescue of Mr Tiggles, the Post Office Cat.

The 2 Disc Limited Edition comes in a slip cover with appropriate art (different from the cover art shown), and includes stamps and a postcard. The only difficulty is that there is only one copy of the postcard, so you lose one side if you frame them. The extras include interviews and commentaries, with an optional introduction to Discworld by Terry Pratchett. There are also bloopers, deleted scenes, featurettes and an image gallery.

This is a must for every Terry Pratchett fan.

 

This review was previously published in Dark Matter issue 1, October 2010, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.