- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Corgi (9 Oct. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552170461
- ISBN-13: 978-0552170468
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1,511 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels) Paperback – 9 Oct 2014
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"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)
The number one bestselling new Discworld novel sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Wow, was I ever disappointed! Dialogue is stilted and out of character, the narrative is confused, and the main Discworld players go absurdly off point with little (and not so little) asides. There's a glimmer of a good Discworld novel in there somewhere, but only a really die hard fan could enjoy this. It is very much NOT representative of Pratchett's writing style.
Random characters from other series appear to give their two pennies' worth. Lu Tze pops up briefly to have a word with Mustrum Ridcully, on the lines of 'Isn't it a bit early in history for railways', 'No, if railways have happened, then it's time for railways'. Then nothing is heard from them again.
The 'gang' encounter a tribe of gnomes (remember Buggy Squires and the Nac Mac Feegle?), who emerge fearfully from their holes after one of the many 'battle scenes', and randomly offer the information that they make shoes. 'Did you say you make shoes?' asks Moist. 'My railway workers need big boots.' The gnomes agree to make hobnail boots in return for being left alone. Not very gnome-like. And that's it. Totally random.
Vetinari, usually so inscrutable, lays bare his worries, motivations and internal struggles to anyone who will listen. Some tyrant...
Make no mistake, this is very badly planned, written, and edited. All writers rely heavily on their editor, who is a very important part of producing the final product. But in this case there are 3 possibilities.
1) Terry Pratchett wrote this but it was uncharacteristically rubbish, and his editor didn't point it out for some reason.
2) It is the work of a ghost writer, possibly from Pratchett's skeleton notes, and Pratchett's editor thought it was the best a third party could do.
3) Pratchett's editor tried to put something together from Pratchett's notes, was reluctant to leave anything out, and therefore it wasn't properly edited.
Look, it's not terrible. In terms of story, it's the next logical move for Moist von Lipwig. It's an interesting move towards the future for Discworld, the history of which has basically been story of human endeavour from the dark ages up to industrialisation, crammed into about 30 Discworld years or so. If Sir Terry hadn't been so ill it would probably have been very different, and we would all be looking forward to the next 3 books. As it stands, it's not worthy of the man, being badly written and badly edited.
Fans, used to Terry Pratchett's usually crisp style, will struggle but like it in the end. And I'm sure it will spawn a whole load of fan fiction, which will probably be fun.
Basically, as a fan, I'm only a bit miffed at paying the Kindle price. I would consider the paperback price a waste of money.
As a standalone book, I would give this 1 or 2 stars. I gave 3 because it at least is Discworld. Just not as you know it...
I've been looking at it along Steve Gardiner's review lines for a long while knowing that Terry was deteriorating but still able to write a "good un" (book) ..but that Ankh-morpork, Terry, & myself were evolving also, ...once you are familial with a character you wish to follow them through ,because you have an affinity with them, I'd prefer therefore to read a lesser pratchett story than never know what i'd missed, because, whilst the opening pages of the book are hard work compared to earlier set ups, as ever I can't say I didn't enjoy it when i've finished, ..i'm also "converting from physical books to kindle copies (no robotic narration for those times when you just cant read for yourself) ..boo! ..so I also realising i'm unused to the set up & "feel"of this format, ..which is unsettling to my concentration by result.
To think that not all of terry's works are as stellar as his earlier output is not a slur on the author, it is our point of engagement & progression with Ankh morpork & all within, ..i'm 30 years older now than when I first encountered terry at a games workshop convention in London & got into his books... hit or miss I'm grateful for every book he wrote in some way or other, ..witches books ..hmm my "personal" low point, but i've always enjoyed a moist von lipwig book, ..he was strange to start with, but another circle within the chronology. ;)
But I would not recommend a newcomer to Discworld or a younger reader starts with it, ...discworld & the books, + your love of it all come via story progression & evolution.
As with any Discworld book you'll likely finish it & have another perspective of the place, ...I can't get fred dibnah out of my head when reading this, & no I haven't finished it, I am slogging through the 1st hundred pages & other reviews have inspired me to stick with it, ..my last kindle pratchett book (my first ever non paper discworld tome) was also tough going, & that was about sam vimes ..a character I know & love, & now share with my daughter (12) who grew up with "where's my cow" & her foray along the "Guards Guards" point so she'd have a character she already understood to see her through any story bumps along the way!
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