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Raising Steam

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,311964,530 (3.78)2 / 121
"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"--



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English (95)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Welcome the age of reason, one and all, and see how math can be personified in the shape of steam inside a kettle.

The enthusiasm that overflowed the novel was joyful and catching, sweeping up so many long-standard pillars of discworld and carrying them all into the future. It was a good end, if, indeed, it is the end. The cameos of so many characters lent it that inevitable feel. I don't know, since I haven't been keeping up with any official statements or the desires of Mr. Pratchett, but my intuition tells me he's wrapping things up.

The novel, while skimming over events so quickly as to be nothing more than steam, still showed us how fast the world could change, and how irrevocably it did so.

Not my favourite discworld novel, I was still thoroughly amused by Mr. Moist, who is one of my favourite characters.

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This ought to have been a wonderful read: the fortieth Discworld novel, featuring Moist von Lipwig and Commander Grimes coming to grips with the invention of the steam train and revisionist Dwarf terrorists, challenging the Koom Valley Accord. Big themes are brought to the table: how subversion whispers in the dark, spreading fear and denying truth; how there is something magical and dangerous about a new technology; how the men who tinker endlessly and obsessively can become a bigger threat to the status quo than any terrorist and how, in the end, love is a greater driving force than steam.

And yet, this wasn’t a great Terry Pratchett book. Something was missing.

Perhaps is was the righteous anger of “Thud” where the only sane way to win the war was to cancel the battle

“What kind of creature defines itself by hatred?”

Or the irrepressible, maniacal optimism of “Going Postal” where a tyrant puts a criminal in charge of the Post Office because of the criminal sees the world differently

“If you kept changing the way people saw the world, you ended up changing the way you saw yourself.”

Or perhaps it was the mysterious absence from the Watch of Captain Carrot, the world’s tallest dwarf.

Or maybe it was just that this is first time I’ve listened to a Discworld book rather than reading it for myself and the flat narration detracted from the experience.

Whatever it was, it left me disappointed.

It also left me determined to go back an re-read the Discworld books that filled me with joy and tears and a practical human politics: “Guards, Guards, Guards,” “Witches Abroad”, “The Night Watch”, “Small Gods”, “Thud”, “Going Postal”, “The Truth”. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Very similar to the other Moist von Lipwig stories - but I thought the action scenes were a bit rushed, needing more description or consequences - or just fleshing out and things generally had too-nice outcomes. ( )
  curufea | May 2, 2020 |
AnkhMorpork enters the Railway Age.

Lots of cameo roles for people from previous books, making it a conscious swansong even if it wasn't actually the last book. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Apr 20, 2020 |
Moist von Lipwig teams up with Commander Vimes et al. to use the newly-invented steam engine and resulting railway to get the nearly dethroned dwarf king back to his land to safe his kingdom.
Not my favorite Discworld book, but still fairly enjoyable. ( )
  electrascaife | Mar 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (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
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

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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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Average: (3.78)
0.5 1
1 3
1.5 1
2 27
2.5 14
3 128
3.5 61
4 187
4.5 31
5 110

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