Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making Money: Like Alchemy but Less Messy

I have to say as having read the previous 30 or so discworld books with there being no mention of the real economics or banking industry of the discworld in general and the history of the monetary system in Ankh –Morpork in particular, I was excited that Terry finally took a shot at the issue.

A few broad things: if you’re not into economics as much as I am, I think the book will hold up as a storyline in itself.  This is the second books that I am aware of that has starred Moist Von Lipwig.  I am still not sure as where he stands as a Pratchett character.  He has some interesting traits, but doesn’t seem fully formed.  

Small thing that is interesting to me: I like that Pratchett comes out against hard money, where the city is what gives currency value, not gold that was dug up in one place and the reburied in a vault (see pages  143-4 for a fun exchange on the nature of a currency’s value) 

Key quote: ‘Hubert’s an economist. That’s like an alchemist but less messy.’

If you have not read any of Pratchett’s books, this is as good a place to start as any.  I suppose the beginning may be better, but it is not wholly necessary.  I started in medias res and everything ended up just fine.