Making Money Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby mystmoon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:35 pm

Bouncy Castle wrote:
Tonyblack wrote: Mr Nutt and Glenda


Dear lord. Think of the children! :shock:

Aaand now I'm scarred for life :shock:
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Postby raisindot » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:15 pm

That is true. PTerry is a bit of a prude when it comes to the actual workings of the romance bit. No bodice ripping and gallavanting across the moors whining "Healthcliff!" stuff here!

And don't forget Vetinari--his main squeeze is an undead person!

Matter of fact, the only "romances" among main DW characters that started in a DW book that actually have bear actual evidence of consumation are those of Mort and Ysabell, Carrot and Angua, Vimes and Sybil, and Verence and Magrat. And no one would exactly count any of these among the great passion stories of the ages.

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Postby Bouncy Castle » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:41 pm

Especially since Verence/Magrat spent most of their courtship in silence as they were both tongue tied, or Magrat was away from Lancre entirely and got engaged because Granny had written to Verence to say they were on the way back, and to get the wedding arranged!

I'd have been slightly miffed at Granny for that, too!!
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:43 pm

raisindot wrote:Jan, it's Adorabelle who is the 'aggressor' of the two, not Moist. In both GP and AM, it's she who initiates the physical activity (which is always interrupted), not him.

Did I say she wasn't? She's definitely the dominant partner :lol:

Moist has to come to heel the whole time like some cheeky little puppy dog which is why long term they'll bore the pants off each other and that will be the only sexual activity they'll be getting up to, even if they're at it like knives behind the scenes in this book! Mark my words! :lol:

And yeah - Terry's rubbish at romance, though some of the jokes coming through do gives nods at pre-marital activity (Carrot and Angua mainly). If he wanted to write romance I'm sure he'd be great at it but like many mature people, he's probably of the opinion that it's far less important and much less fun to write about than war, discrimination/abuse, prejudice, belief and lots of other fascinating stuff. Frankly romance is seriously over-rated in a literary sense and people with half a brain should be seeing to that in RL for themselves and reading about far more interesting stuff in their valuable leisure time! :twisted:
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Postby raisindot » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:19 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:
raisindot wrote:Jan, it's Adorabelle who is the 'aggressor' of the two, not Moist. In both GP and AM, it's she who initiates the physical activity (which is always interrupted), not him.

Did I say she wasn't? She's definitely the dominant partner :lol:


Ummm, Jan, yeah, you kinda did, or you at least implied that Moist's libido needed a shakedown every now and then.

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Jeff - attraction isn't the problem for them - in fact there is no probem so long as Spike keeps on slapping him every so often.


I define 'slapping' in the sense of "dumping the water bucket on someone 'trying to do the hanky and the panky.'" Moist certainly thought these things, and he probably did these things (in GP he alluded to them in his previous life as Spangler), but he's the total opposite of a Casanunda, hankypankywise. Sex seems to be the last thing on his mind. What the hell is WRONG with him???????

:D

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Postby raisindot » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:59 pm

Moving on....

What do people think about Mr. Bent?

As I've said, I think that he's the most interesting character in the book. He starts off as the typical 'foil,' and little more than a Mr. Groat copycat. But Pterry goes deeper into his character than he does with nearly any other 'side character' in any book. Bent's story is far more interesting and compelling than Moist's in the book. What seem like the anal-retentive, reactionary quirks of a Luddite become the desperate attempts of a man to hold on to a reality that he knows, deep down, is based in a lie.

His redemption--even if it comes in the narratively unsatisfying form of a deus ex machina--is one of more touching things about the book. By the end, you fully understand who Bent is, how he got the way he is/was, and the sacrifice he has made to right the wrongs in which he himself has served as a conspirator.

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Postby pandasthumb » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:45 am

Jan Van Quirm wrote:And yeah - Terry's rubbish at romance,

thank goodness! If I wanted romance I'd read Jane Austen

I enjoyed Mr Bent, you are meant to feel sorry for the members of the fools guild throughout the series and it makes me feel better that there is 'battle clowning'. I think it says something very intersting about accountants as well. The only accountant I have known socially was an avid abselier. Maybe working with columns of figures makes you want to break out and do something dangerous?

I thought that it was also quite satisfying that Mr Bent continued to work in the bank, with a red nose. Not wholly one thing or the other but both.
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Postby Verns » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:11 pm

Tonyblack wrote:The problem is that Terry really doesn't do romance.

even Mr Nutt and Glenda have buggered off now they are interested in each other. :lol:


Sorry, Tony, I don't agree. I might agree that he didn't do romance, but one of my favourite bits in UA is when Nutt asks Vetinari if he can borrow a golem horse, then turns to Glenda and says, 'Miss Sugarbean. Juliet told me that you secretly want to ride through Quirm on a warm summer's evening, feeling the wind in your hair. We could leave now. I have saved money.'

Isn't that romantic?

Sorry, went off topic - wrong book. :oops: But the romance in DW is often of the unstated or under-stated type. I know it's not exactly Cathy and Heathcliff, but I found Verence and Magrat's romance touching, as I do Vimes' love for Sybil. Moist and Spike have an interesting relationship, and one which would probably be doomed on RW, but it seems to work for them.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:28 pm

pandasthumb wrote:I enjoyed Mr Bent, you are meant to feel sorry for the members of the fools guild throughout the series and it makes me feel better that there is 'battle clowning'. I think it says something very intersting about accountants as well. The only accountant I have known socially was an avid abselier. Maybe working with columns of figures makes you want to break out and do something dangerous?

Quite! Just like this... 8)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:54 am

Verns wrote:
Tonyblack wrote:The problem is that Terry really doesn't do romance.

even Mr Nutt and Glenda have buggered off now they are interested in each other. :lol:


Sorry, Tony, I don't agree. I might agree that he didn't do romance, but one of my favourite bits in UA is when Nutt asks Vetinari if he can borrow a golem horse, then turns to Glenda and says, 'Miss Sugarbean. Juliet told me that you secretly want to ride through Quirm on a warm summer's evening, feeling the wind in your hair. We could leave now. I have saved money.'

Isn't that romantic?

Sorry, went off topic - wrong book. :oops: But the romance in DW is often of the unstated or under-stated type. I know it's not exactly Cathy and Heathcliff, but I found Verence and Magrat's romance touching, as I do Vimes' love for Sybil. Moist and Spike have an interesting relationship, and one which would probably be doomed on RW, but it seems to work for them.
Oh I agree that Terry is quite capable of some very touching, romantic moments - such as in Fifth Elephant when Vimes decides to stay in Uberwald to give Sybil the honeymoon they never had. :) It's just that he doesn't continue it - it's hinted at and then left to the reader's imaginations. And that's just fine.

But what I was getting at was the romance (if that's what you could call it) between Moist and Spike, was far more interesting in Going Postal. Moist almost treated Spike as a conquest - partly, I think, because of the challenge of wooing someone who was so hostile to him. He actually found that hostility attractive. I guess that's because he's the man who 'everyone likes'.

It was fun and interesting in Going Postal, but not nearly so much fun in Making Money. There was no spark to their relationship and I felt it was sorely missed. :)
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:48 pm

Fading into indifference - in the beginning Spike was his Mt. Everest and his mission was literally to make her like, then love him, all of which was partially tinged with a strong streak of self-doubt and an even bigger one of guilt.

What I found interesting in those early days was that he did what all Terry's best worst villains do and didn't recognise or even notice her until they met up again and was in a position of power over him in her Golem Trust work. When he was working his scam in the bank she was a 'thing' to him and that was why he was so guilty and determined to 'make it up' to her and then the greater challenge of getting her to fall for him. It's this that I despise most about him and get really frustrated with her for forgiving him so absolutely. He's totally ego-centric - not selfish necessarily - and sees everything in terms of how he benefits from it. Even the physical attraction is generated by the buzz of challenge in making someone who did and was right in hating him thoroughly fall completely in love with him. In that respect she's just another 'impossible' edificeering conquest (anyone see the reiteration of Teppic's rather more practical exposition of scaling sheer vertical city cliff-faces? Yet another recycled facet to moan about :roll: )

The whole romance thing is born of his laudable contrition over getting her the sack, but he immediately fouls this up again by treating her like yet another scam and so it's his self-serving attitude that's been piqued and tempted into a full-scale charm offensive (I'd have been bloody offended if I was her!) of someone he didn't even look twice at when he swindled the bank. The 'excuse' I know will be that he was concentrating on his target, but that too counts against him from a woman's perspective. He's the man with the bland unmemorable face and Spike doesn't recognise him at all as the man responsible for her fall from grace. In return he doesn't realise who she is until she tells him some of her background and that's the trigger for the outrageous flirting and courtship. Yes he's attracted to her in the usual way but it doesn't become vital for him until he's given a reason that's almost insurmountable to get under her skin.

In MM we see the final bit of resistance to him, which is by then totally unfounded, in him worrying that she'll not feel the same when she comes back to A-M from ancient Umnia (could Terry not find a more original name for the stupid place? :roll: ). There's a cosy reunion and from there he's more or less home and dry with her by her accepting his proposal which was his last big frontal attack on her love and approval ratings - she never surrendered to him but he's cracked her and so we see the passion beginning to fizzle into something deeper and lasting for her and boring and predictable for him. They may marry and even jog along quite happily with that, but he's 'won' her over and from here she's just 'the girlfriend/wife' not his grand passion - any slapdowns and disapproval from her are now just little humps and bumps with no real clout to them because she does love him. He does love her too, but it's all built on the sandy ground of his grandstanding and need to come out on top.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:42 pm

I agree with most of that Jan. :wink:

Regarding the unoriginal name for the lost city of Um. I'm pretty sure Terry is referencing the Lost City of Ur. A real return to Pratchettisms. :lol:
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Postby raisindot » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:52 pm

Jan, you are making GIGANTIC assumptions about what happens in both GP and MM to justify your dislike of Moist, when, in fact, the text itself lends nothing at all to prove these assumptions.


One, you assume that when Moist defrauded Spike's bank (when he was still Spangler) that he actually dealt DIRECTLY with her. There is absolutely no proof of this. In banks, tellers who take checks pass them on to other people, who are then responsible for verifying their authenticity. In reality, it's far more likely that neither one of them actually saw each other. For, if Spike was dealing directly with Moist, she would have known who the man writing the check was--a regular customer whose signature he forged.

Second, Moist started 'romancing' long before he knew that he had defrauded the bank. Their dinner (which preceded the fire, wherein she gave him a huge kiss before he rescued the cat) happened a full day or more before she told him about how she lost her job. He was already committed to romancing her (and that was probably part of his motivation for going in to save the cat, although it's not something he consciously admits).

In MM we see the final bit of resistance to him, which is by then totally unfounded, in him worrying that she'll not feel the same when she comes back to A-M from ancient Umnia (could Terry not find a more original name for the stupid place? ). There's a cosy reunion and from there he's more or less home and dry with her by her accepting his proposal which was his last big frontal attack on her love and approval ratings - she never surrendered to him but he's cracked her and so we see the passion beginning to fizzle into something deeper and lasting for her and boring and predictable for him. They may marry and even jog along quite happily with that, but he's 'won' her over and from here she's just 'the girlfriend/wife' not his grand passion - any slapdowns and disapproval from her are now just little humps and bumps with no real clout to them because she does love him. He does love her too, but it's all built on the sandy ground of his grandstanding and need to come out on top.


Just what book are you talking about here? He doesn't 'propose' to her. They're already engaged when the book starts. Matter of fact, the first thing they do when she comes back is SHE takes HIM to UU to find out about the golem arm. She doesn't give him any time at all for romance. Their relationship is more or less "of the old married couple" sort at this points/ They don't have any time to do the deed because they're too busy being interrupted by golems or Bent breaking into the vault or other things. It's just endless coinus interruptus.

:)

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:53 pm

I myself wrote:He's the man with the bland unmemorable face and Spike doesn't recognise him at all as the man responsible for her fall from grace. In return he doesn't realise who she is until she tells him some of her background and that's the trigger for the outrageous flirting and courtship.

I'm mostly going on about GP in there and because I read MM about 2 months ago I didn't bother re-reading it for this, so blame my memory for thinking he'd actually got the ring during MM - point is that her trip to ancient Umnia (got the UR correlation Tony :wink: but it's still far too close to Omnia philosophically as well) was the last time he was in a state of true uncertainty about her affections for him. :roll:

J-I-B wrote:Jan, you are making GIGANTIC assumptions about what happens in both GP and MM to justify your dislike of Moist, when, in fact, the text itself lends nothing at all to prove these assumptions.

Good to know somebody else is capable of making GIGANTIC assumptions outside of the metropolitan environs of Boston, Mass :wink:

The 'Spike falls for Moist' gig is simply the best example of his basic self-aggrandising mindset - his general attitude for everything, not just her. In GP I certainly got the impression that Spike was the one who took the bogus cheque from some person whom she couldn't afterwards remember - why would she need to recognise him as the person whose account it was drawn on? Anyone who's worked in a money-taking institution, with or without substandard security, wouldn't necessarily be taking any notice whatsoever of the face or alternatively, even in a smallish town, recognise the signature of the account-holder unless there was reason to be suspicious (awkwardness/hesitation in the act of signing itself for instance) or, if they had a system of comparing the calligraphy. Someone of Moist's calibre could easily pass that off with enough practice or simply laugh off any anomalies as a sprained finger or whatever. I know GP better than MM and he was guilty as sin over her getting fired for the consequences of his scam. That was the spice to his initial attraction, which was also yet another act of outrageous chivalry because she was so resistant to his patter and unimpressed by his attitude. :roll:

It's simply the default setting for his personality that I object to. All bluff and bravado and a need to prove himself superior in some way or other, or even in every respect. It's not enough for him to be remorseful and wanting to turn a new leaf - far from it. He has to do this in a spectacular manner, for his own satisfaction and as vindication for his own self-image, whether it's conning the rich and avaricious (to not give to the poor), showing Vetinari he can reform and be a useful, even essential citizen and to prove to himself just how charmingly manipulative he can be in making someone whom he's hurt badly, albeit with no knowledge of who he is, approve of him and his methods.

I don't care if he was Spangler at the time, or that this was before he was caught and about to be hanged. He did the deed and he really doesn't change in any way at all except for switching allegiances and even that's to do with saving his own skin, at first anyway. In that latter respect the self-preservation side of it is upgraded all round, not just for Spike, because he's got this personal need to prove to himself as much as everyone else that he's the best and greatest reformed character, the best and greatest anything in fact, ever.
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Postby raisindot » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:23 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:The 'Spike falls for Moist' gig is simply the best example of his basic self-aggrandising mindset - his general attitude for everything, not just her. In GP I certainly got the impression that Spike was the one who took the bogus cheque from some person whom she couldn't afterwards remember - why would she need to recognise him as the person whose account it was drawn on?


From the text itself, after Spike begins to tell him how she worked at the Cabbage Growers' Cooperative.

"It wasn't a bad job," said Mrs. Dearheart. "In our office we had to inspect drafts and checks. Looking for forgeries, you know? And one day I let four through. Four fakes! It cost the bank two thousands dollars. They were cash drafts, and the signatures were perfect. I got sacked for that. They said they had to do something, otherwise the customers would loswe confidence."

This makes it quite clear that Spike did not deal directly with Moist at all. She was in a back office, and her job was to verify that the checks were real, after someone else (a teller or bank manager) received them. Notice that she never said, "I took four checks as a teller, inspected them, and passed them." She never saw Moist, and Moist never saw her. So your original assumption holds no water.

And that's the whole point of his guilt. Had he seen her in person, and handed her the check in person, he could have at least have said that it was her fault for not seeing through his disguise. But she got fired not as a direct victim of his grift, but as someone who was the collateral damage in his attempts to have 'fun.' To him, it's always justified if the punter gets taken by him directly; it's their own fault for not being smarter. But, he realizes in this scene, that other people who weren't strictly punters pay the price. If there's anything that changes his whole inner moral compass, it's this realization.

This realization is crucial, because here is where he realizes that, as Spangler, the indirect repercussions of his actions were exactly the same level as the repercussions of Reacher Gilt's actions against the Dearhearts. Gilt didn't personally grift the Dearhearts; he allied with the banks and private equity sharks to steer the grift.

This is what finally turns him into a more or less moral person. He realizes that he needs to show, from this point on, that he is not like Gilt. He may use Gilt's methods to defeat him, but he wants to doing it for the right reasons, even if he will not financially profit in the end.

By the time we get to the Moist of MM, he's totally become someone with a strong moral center. So much so that he's too moral to break into anything other than his own post office. So moral that he absolutely no plan or desire to destroy the Lavishes. So moral that he 'steals' the golem for the good of the city, rather than for personal power. So moral that he can't figure out how to wiggle his way out of the false accusation of stealing, and needs Mr. Bent's intercession in the end.

It's the fact that Moist really IS a reformed character, and performs his slight of hand for the good of the city rather than for his own personal wealth, that makes MM overall a not particularly compelling narrative, despite the many individual good scenes.

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