I am not a big fan of fantasy novels so I have never read anything written by Terry Pratchett although I know that he is quite famous and popular and was knighted by The Queen a couple of years ago.
That is why I was surprised to find in my hands the DVD Going Postal which is based on one of the many Discworld novels written by Sir Terry.
It stars Brendon Coyle, David Suchet (Poirot) and Claire Foy (Little Dorrit).
What intrigued me was that the two-part program concerns a conman who escapes hanging and is put in charge of reopening the post office in the city of Ankk-Morpork. Coming off my Month of Letters, in which I hand-wrote a letter or note everyday in February, I thought this might make for a fun viewing.
Once I got past the whole dark steampunk atmosphere, I found the movie to be very entertaining. It all takes place in some other time and there are some great scenes of the interior of the derelict post office with its rooms and hallways and cubicles filled with undelivered mail. It seems that a different form of communication known as Clacks has been invented. It is based on the semaphore system of signaling and towers stretch across the region keeping the citizens of its cities connected. The evil fellow who owns the Clacks (well, actually, he stole the idea) doesn't care for competition from the post office and has had the last four postmasters killed.
Now it is conman Moist von Lipwig's job to get everything put to rights again.
There is a scene in which the idea of paper stamps is born (rather than hand-stamping each letter) and then the invention of 'perforation'. Apparently this is a great theme of the novels - that of introducing modern inventions into this fantasy world.
I have only watched the first episode and I look forward to finishing it up this weekend. I was happy to see that there is a book Going Postal - I wasn't sure if the story was written just for broadcast - and I may just have to dive into the written weird world of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Are you familiar with his works? If you are a fan, any comments?