It’s Week Two of the Going Postal Group Read! Here’s the discussion for the next hundred pages of the book:
1) Pratchett has done some lavish setting descriptions by now, notably the Post Office but also rooms at Unseen University, and other places around Ankh-Morpork. What’s your favorite one?
I was unusually struck by Pratchett’s setting descriptions in this book–I don’t remember that so much in other Discworld books, though that may also be a product of re-reading and noticing new things. I love the descriptions of the mountains of letters in the Post Office. That’s such a fantastic, over-the-top image. I also loved Pelc’s study, especially this bit: “It was a wizard’s study, so of course it had the skull with a candle on it and a stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling. No one, least of all wizards, knows why this is, but you have to have them.”
2) In Chapter 7, Moist waxes poetic about the personal nature of letters versus clacks. This could easily be looked at as email and other online communication versus paper letters. Do you agree with Moist, or does he exaggerate? And just for fun, what’s the best piece of paper mail you ever got?
I of course appreciate the speed and convenience of email and other electronic communication, but I do rather regret the demise of paper letters. I think it’s mostly for their lasting power. You can talk about the personal-ness of paper letters, but an email can be personal in its contents. However, I like that paper letters can be saved, and looked at again later. I suppose emails can be too, but they usually aren’t. I like letters as history, which they seem to be in a way that emails aren’t.
Best paper mail I ever got… Certainly the most amusing was when a friend sent me a black spot. We have a bit of a thing for pirates. The most glee-inducing letter was when Geraldine McCaughrean sent a personal reply to my letter to her. VERY glee-inducing!
3) Share your favorite quotes and moments from this section of Going Postal.
Look, [Moist] said to his imagination, if this is how you’re going to behave, I shan’t bring you again.
Re: the Posthumous Professor of Morbid Bibliomancy at Unseen University:
“Why’s he ‘posthumous’?” Moist asked.
“He’s dead,” said Pelc.
“Ah…I was kind of hoping it was going to be a little more metaphorical than that,” said Moist.
“Don’t worry, he decided to take Early Death. It was a very good package.”
“Oh,” said Moist. The important thing at a time like this was to spot the right moment to run, but they’d got here through a maze of dark passages and this was not a place you’d want to get lost in. Something might find you.
Looking forward to reading others’ thoughts! Please link your posts below.