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Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
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Raising Steam (edition 2013)

by Terry Pratchett

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1,593764,567 (3.77)2 / 97
Member:towo
Title:Raising Steam
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Doubleday (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, fantasy, Discworld

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Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

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Raising Steam - Pratchett
Audio performance by Steven Briggs
3 stars

I’ve been listening to Discworld novels as they become available to me through overdrive. This means I’m consuming them completely out of order. That doesn’t seem to interfere with my enjoyment at all. This book is (I think) the last one published before Pratchett died. It features most of the best known characters in one way or another.

Lord Vetinari marshals his forces to place Ankh- Morpork at the forefront of the steam locomotion industry. Moist Von Lipwig takes on the organization, management, and development of the new technology. Sam Vimes must deal with the consequences of social disruption. The liberal and conservative factions of the dwarf kingdom are at odds again. There’s a revolution in the making.

The book wandered a bit, reminding me a few times of the interminable events in Pratchett’s The Long Earth. I still enjoyed the characters and the satire, even if I did lose the threads of the storytelling now and then. There’s plenty of social commentary amid the fantasy and fun, but it didn’t seem as biting as in the few earlier books that I have read. I was contented to soak in the good feelings of a happily-ever-after ending.

“The grags came down heavily on those who did not conform and seemed not to realize that this was like stamping potatoes into the mud to stop them growing.”

“Mister Lipwig, the world lives between those who say it cannot be done and those who say that it can. And in my experience, those who say that it can be done are usually telling the truth. It's just a matter of thinking creatively.” ( )
  msjudy | Oct 12, 2017 |
Still finding Pratchett a bit of struggle these days. This book took a long long time to come up to the boil and then it felt anti-climactic when it did. I know I'm in trouble when I'm checking page numbers to see how much further I've got to go. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

It has been awhile since I journeyed from Roundworld to Diskworld and with Sir Terry's passing it seemed like the right time. The trouble with picking a Diskworld novel to read is which of the 41 to choose. I settled upon Raising Steam, the ode to the very British obsession with steam trains.

Two things struck me when reading Raising Steam. First was that the TV miniseries adaptation of Going Postal was perfectly cast. Reading I couldn't help but see Charles Dance as Vetinari and Richard Coyle as Moist (Slightly Damp). This gives me great hope for the forthcoming adaptation of the best novel of all time, Good Omens. The second thing was that as a non-British person I feel like I'm missing many of the jokes. There are so many references throughout the novel that hint at jabs being taken at various cultures, peoples, politicians, and institutions. Some are obvious, like the French and Aussie ones, but others I'm guessing I'd have to have been to the UK to understand.

This is all another way of me saying that there is no such thing as a bad Diskworld novel. Goodbye, Sir Terry, thanks for the legacy. ( )
  TysonAdams | Jun 20, 2017 |
I don't know that I would ever accuse a Discworld book of plodding along, but this comes pretty close. For a book based on a love of steam engines, there is never any serious momentum. There are some bad guys trying to do bad things, but there is more fretting than fear. Many old favorites pop up -- even Rincewind has a cameo mention -- but they just do their usual thing and disappear again.

A comfortable read for Discworld fans, but no more. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | May 20, 2017 |
Raising Steam is the third and final book in the Moist Von Lipwig subseries of Discworld, and the second-to-last book in the entire series. In this book, we meet a new character by the name of Simnel who has invented the steam engine and introduced the concept of fast travel by train. Meanwhile, there is more unrest between the traditional and modern dwarfs.

This book spends a lot of time talking about trains: building trains and railways, operating trains, the benefits of trains, train safety, and so forth. This is not, to me, a particularly exciting topic, and sometimes I had trouble pushing through the book. I was interested enough that I didn’t want to abandon it, especially not so close to the end of the series, but it put me to sleep a few times. I was also on my second week of business travel and pretty worn out in any case, so maybe this had as much to do with me as it had to do with the book.

Vetinari, a character I’ve greatly enjoyed since his first introduction, gets quite a bit of page time in this book, but for some reason he didn’t seem like Vetinari to me. Normally he’s more taciturn. He manipulates and influences people with a few pointed words, with silence and perhaps some intimidating looks, and with visual aids. That's one of the reasons I enjoy his character so much. In this book, he had a tendency toward detailed monologues and explanations, and there were one or two weird sections where he sounded like the CEO of a company using corporate buzzwords.

It wasn’t a bad book, and there were parts I enjoyed, but it wasn’t at the level I’ve come to expect from the Discworld books. Combine that with a topic I wasn’t that interested in, and I just didn’t enjoy this as much as the previous books. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | May 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (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 (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Booher, JasonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenReadersecondary 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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
"While it's easy to deal with stupid, bloody stupid is hard to erase."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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