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Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels) [Hardcover]

Terry Pratchett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (946 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Nov 2013 Discworld Novels (Book 40)

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it's soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work - as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital . . . but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don't always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse . . .

Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi' t'flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. 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 going off the rails . . .

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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: 24.2 x 16.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (946 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is 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.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So - farewell, then…? 24 Dec 2013
By No More Mr. Mice Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER
Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett, Doubleday, 2013, 375pp.

This is the fortieth Discworld novel, and we seem to have arrived at the Modern World, with the advent of the steam railway and equal rights for all sentient beings (and most humans). What apparently started as a satire on heroic fantasy has evolved into a study of human life and thought – and those of you who are familiar with ‘Cerebus the Aardvark’ will recognise the similar path that really creative writers seem to follow: growth - “The rising and advancing of the spirit”. Though here, unlike Dave Sim (author of the Cerebus series) this author has chosen the humanist path rather than the metaphysical. Can this be the ‘end’ of the main sequence of the Discworld series? As we know, Mr Pratchett has health problems, and this would make a fitting end-point, with peace on Discworld and goodwill to all sentients being the dominant principle. I’d like to see a ‘farewell’ to the Witches, of course; and inspiration might strike again, for where there’s life, etc., etc. But, if this is the end, then it has ended on a high.

The story itself is a ‘standard’ Lipwig plot – someone has an Idea, and it is up to Moist to implement it somehow, or else be thrown to the kittens. There is a wide cast of characters – everyone except the Witches gets a look in or at least a namecheck. There is no magic or supernatural force deployed – if we set aside the actual existence of Golems, Vampires Werewolves and Wizards – this story is about human (and Goblin) ingenuity; and though the supernatural does come to say hello – or farewell - at the end, it plays no significant part in the story. The Discworld has grown up, and Magic has become Romance; as is fitting when steam engines are involved.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it Ironic 22 Jun 2014
By rosc
Format:Kindle Edition
I was so disheartened by the initial negative reviews, I actually considered not getting this book .Finally deciding I owed Sir Terry my loyalty, as this is the only writer who made me laugh so hard I cried. I was several books behind in the series (deliberately) and I wish I had not read these to catch up as there is nothing wrong with Raising Steam.
It has a cracking story, with the welcome appearance of many of the regular characters . It may not have the same strike rate of jokes,wit or pathos but there is still plenty to satisfy. There is much to ponder on but I was there for the entertainment .It is not the best Discworld novel, but not the worst by cosine or tangent.
So is it ironic that because of this experience I have no intention of reading reviews, like this one, to guide me on purchasing books of my favourite authors again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's not bad. Yes 15 Aug 2014
By Anna
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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139 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, but still Discworld 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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