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Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Raising Steam

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld (40), Discworld: Industrial (6)

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1,978885,158 (3.77)2 / 112



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English (87)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Steam locomotion has come to Ankh-Morpork and Vetinari has delegated* Moist von Lipwig to take care that the industry develops smoothly. He would also like a line to Uberwald. Yesterday.

I acknowledge that the character of Pratchett's writing has changed in the last 8 years, most of us have been taking note of it with each book since Thud!. It is a little unsettling, being one of the vultures watching for a hesitation or a stumble. What can we do? This book isn't as good. I won't go through too many reasons why. As LSP wrote: "I observed that. I observed that all day and I didn’t say anything."

'Raising Steam' thematically goes right along with previous novels about the modernization of Ankh-Morpork, and the integration of Discworld society and politics under the watchful eyes of Vetinari, Lady Margolotta and other heads of state. We've come a long way from the burning twin cities at the beginning of 'The Color of Magic'. Steel rails bring food from the hinterlands to the city more quickly, but they also bring everything else. The Grags, the arch-conservative keepers of Dwarf tradition are doing everything in their power to stop change and remove everything that displeases them. Vetinari has more use for the railroad than he lets on.

Or he would have in earlier novels. It might be just age catching up with the Patriarch, but his vocal complaints and peevishness at the discomforts of coach travel didn't ring true to the Vetinari of previous books. Lady Margolotta, too, seemed less Vetinari's aloof tutor of statecraft and more his lackey. But, these are Pratchett's characters after all, if he allows them to move in this direction its for the best.

The novel has plenty of classic Discworld whimsy and I laughed plenty of times, absolutely read it if you haven't yet. Its not time to turn the lights out on this series. Even if this wraps up Moist's story. There's only one major arc left to tie-up....

*under threat of kitten


Next: 'The Shepherd's Crown'

Previous: 'Snuff' ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
The last adult Discworld book ever, which is rather sad. Wonderful series, especially earlier on. An engineer has invented the steam train and Vetinari has demanded that Moist von Lipwig organise a line be laid all the way to Uberwald as soon as possible, if not yesterday. Whether to see his ‘friend’ Lady Margoletta or for political reasons is not ever really made clear. There has been a coup deep underground and the Low King of the Dwarves has to speed back to regain his (or her) kingdom. Some derring-doo and fighting on train roofs is involved. ( )
  Griffin22 | Jan 4, 2019 |
The industrial revolution comes to a fantasy world. Now what? The world starts to move a little faster than Pratchett can keep up with: sentences are given to plots that could take entire books. He knew he was dying by this point, but the genius is clearly there, packed in tighter than ever. ( )
  jonsweitzerlamme | Nov 28, 2018 |
Exquisite ( )
  expatscot | Nov 25, 2018 |
The penultimate Discworld book -- the last one published during Pratchett’s lifetime -- is about the development of the railway system. After a meandering beginning, the plot picks up speed and this becomes a story which is eventful, amusing, sharply observant about people and progress, and delightfully surprising.

This features Moist von Lipwig, but unlike in Going Postal and Making Money he is more of a facilitator of other people’s goals rather than a protagonist pursuing his own agenda. In terms of the political context, this story follows on from the later City Watch books. Since there aren’t any more books about the City Watch, this was unexpected and satisfying -- as were the appearances made by Sam Vimes.

If I were a relative newcomer to Ankh-Morpork, if I was just expecting a sequel to Making Money, I might have felt that this installment was lacking. But as the last book about Ankh-Morpokians who work for Lord Vetinari, it was a very fitting conclusion.

“No, it is your kind of thinking that makes dwarfs small, wrapped up in themselves: declaring that any tiny change in what is thought not be dwarf is somehow sacrilege. I can remember the days when even talking to a human was forbidden by idiots such as you. And now you have to understand it’s not about the humans, or the trolls, it’s about the people. In Ankh-Morpork you can be whoever you want to be and sometimes people laugh and sometimes they clap, and mostly and beautifully, they don't really care. Do you understand this? Dwarfs now have seen liberty. And that’s heady stuff.” ( )
1 vote Herenya | Sep 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Pratchett's unforgettable characters and lively story mirror the best, the worst, and the oddest bits of our own world, entertaining readers while skewering social and political foibles in a melting pot of humanity, dwarfs, trolls, goblins, vampires, and a werewolf or two.
added by melmore | editPublisher's Weekly (Feb 24, 2014)
If sometimes the mighty engine of Pratchett's prose skids a bit on the upslope – a tad didactic here, a little heavy-handed in its moralising there – we can forgive him. Not least because he remains one of the most consistently funny writers around; a master of the stealth simile, the time-delay pun and the deflationary three-part list .
added by melmore | editThe Guardian, Ben Aaronovitch (Nov 27, 2013)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Booher, JasonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collica, MichaelDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerard, JustinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, ClaireCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, RobAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To David Pratchett and Jim Wilkins, both fine engineers
who taught their sons to be curious.
First words
It is hard to understand nothing, but the multiverse is full of it.
"While it's easy to deal with stupid, bloody stupid is hard to erase."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man with a flat cap and a sliding rule. He has produced a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and it’s soon drawing astonished crowds.

To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vetinari, no one is in charge of this new invention. This needs to be rectified, and who better than the man he has already appointed master of the Post Office, the Mint, and the Royal Bank: Moist von Lipwig. Moist is not a man who enjoys hard work—unless it is dependent on words, which are not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. He does enjoy being alive, however, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse.

Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all from going off the rails . . .

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No descriptions found.

Change is afoot in Ankh-Morpork - Discworld's first steam engine has arrived, and once again Moist von Lipwig finds himself with a new and challenging job. The new Discworld novel, the 40th in the series, sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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