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Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels) Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

1,334 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857522272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857522276
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,334 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he was the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Sir Terry Pratchett died on 12th March 2015

Photography © David Bird

Product Description


"Laugh-out-loud funny...A chuffing wonderful book." (SFX)

"Terry Pratchett's creation is still going strong after 30 years as Ankh-Morpork branches into the railway age.There are sly nods to the history of railways and a cheeky reference to The Railway Children. Most aficionados, however, will be on the look-out for in-jokes and references from previous novels - of which there is no shortage.It is at the level of the sentence that Pratchett wins his fans." (The Times)

"The genius of Pratchett is that he never goes for the straight allegory. . .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. . .I could tell which of my fellow tube passengers had downloaded it to their e-readers by the bouts of spontaneous laughter." (Ben Aaronovitch The Guardian)

Book Description

The new Discworld novel from Britain's number one bestselling writer sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Steve Gardiner on 14 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The majority of the negative reviews on here - in particular the WONDERFUL review by A Nailor - kudos to you, that is the best review I've read on Amazon - aren't entirely wrong. I can completely understand why people are saying that the language, the characterisation, the plotting are all slightly... well, off. This has been true to a greater or lesser extent of all his novels since Monstrous Regiment, and may be (I'm really not sure) a result of Terry having to accommodate the use of speech recognition software in dictation of the novels. Certainly, they are very different animals from the earlier novels, which are much easier to read and full of snappy dialogue and splendid jokes.

So why am I giving this 5 stars? I certainly struggled through the first hundred pages, and felt my heart sinking more and more at the long and convoluted sentences, and the rather jarring scenes which seemed to have little to do with the plot.

But then, something just clicked. I slowed down my reading (and in fact went back to the beginning and reread it with a different mindset). Yes, it's not the same old Discworld, but underneath that it is still the product of the superb mind of Terry Pratchett. It took a lot of effort, but I could see what he was doing, and began to appreciate it. The humour is still there, if not so obvious and instantly accessible.

There's less overt magic, which as a fantasy addict I regret, but this is a grown-up Discworld, where magic is gradually giving way to the increasing industrialisation of Ankh-Morpork.

Do I miss the old Pratchett? Yes, of course. But this is a new phase in the developing world, and I'm glad that Terry Pratchett is still giving us valuable new insights into human (and other species) behaviour. Long may he continue to do so!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tony Hill on 9 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This one is a good 3 1/2 stars but not quite a 4.

Raising Steam is the Fortieth, four-zero, Discworld novel. A hugely impressive fact especially when you consider that Terry Pratchett only published the first in 1983 and didn't decide to take a full-time swing at it and follow that up until 1986 AND found time to complete a further dozen plus non-Discworld books (not to mention the numerous Science of Discworld and other such accompanying works).

As with any series of work, fans are prone to point to different entries as "the best" or "not as good as..." while reminiscing about the days when the Witches weren't resigned to the 'for young readers' books and Rincewind would make an appearance in anything other than footnotes (that being said, any fan will tell you that Pratchett's footnotes are the stuff of legend). There is a distinctive difference between the style of recent Discworld novels and those of, say, pre- Fifth Elephant. With a few notable exceptions (Last Hero, Nightwatch, Monstrous Regiment - the 'Vimes' books it seems are the last bastion of 'grit'), the books have certainly referenced previous novels and hinted at the past yet seemed less involved, lighter.

Raising Steam is just such a book. It nods toward Discworld novels past and depth (the darkness of the Grags and the friction among generations of dwarfs and Dirk Simnel is the son of Reaper Man's Ned Simnel) yet uses brush strokes far too wide to fill in too much detail and just as it appears that we may be reaching a thrilling, involving plot, it's all over but for a medal ceremony.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Anna on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Nothing stays the same.
Some of the reviews almost stopped me from reading the book. Definitely stopped me from buying it. I borrowed it from a friend and read it in 2 evenings. No, it's not bad. Yes, it's still Discworld. It's just changing in the direction that I personally don't like. But isn't our world, too? It's unfair to suggest it wasn't written by the author, that it's so bad it's a waste of money. If you're a true fan, buy it by all means, it's part of the history. Yes, it's quite serious, rather surprisingly bloody for Pratchett, innocent people actually die here and bad guys are too bad for the otherwise subtle Discworld. But hey, it is after all a mirror of worlds, isn't it? Witty repartee and fantastic jokes are all well, but sometimes - especially with 39 books so far - it has to be a bit more somber and a bit closer to home.
If you're ne to Pratchett, you could probably start with something else, but don't be put off. I was introduced to Discworld with Going postal. The book didn't have the best reviews either, and know what? Personally I loved it so much, I haven't stopped reading Pratchett since.
So take a risk, buy it or borrow it from a friend and see for yourself. Hopefully you'll be reaching for more.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Richard Wright on 5 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett – This is a difficult book to review fairly. I want to be kind, given the traumas the author was enduring when he wrote it. On the other hand, I don’t want to pander. I’ll start then by pointing out that Pratchett is, in my view, one of the greatest populist storytellers of the last six decades. I’ve been an avid reader of his Discworld series since I was a teen, and his death affected me as though I knew him. No other author has woven themselves so intrinsically and joyfully through my life to date. With that acknowledged, Raising Steam is not a book I would give to somebody to demonstrate why. It’s themes have been more deftly explored in previous volumes, the writing is clunky where it would usually glide, and the pace is glacial. There’s little sense of threat throughout the book, and almost no reason to care what happens to the protagonists. It presents a two-dimensional Discworld, that only loosely relates to the place in which I’ve spent so much time. That there are good real-world reasons for why does not alter the fact that, in my opinion, nothing in the vast canon of Discworld stuff is as weak as this. I can’t recommend Raising Steam to anybody other than the most loyal completists. There are dozens of Pratchett novels to exhaust before you come to this one. Read those instead.
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