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on 8 February 2016
This was real struggle. I had to persevere just to finish it. I enjoyed Going Postal and Making Money so when I'd heard that there would be another Moist Von Lipwig book I was pleased. Sadly, Moist is simply a bland generic character here and whilst he probably is the main protagonist overall, the story encompasses a large amount of discworld characters including members of the watch and so on and I'm not particularly fussed on Vimes, so that didn't help. The main problem is that it's dull; I didn't really care what happened to any of the characters which says a lot about any book. Very disappointing. 4/10
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on 12 November 2014
This was an interesting and well written book. The problem is that it is not up to the usual extraordinary standards of Terry Pratchett, Since he was first diagnosed with his illness there has been a gradual slippage in the style and quality of the books, and this seems like the first time that it is obviously not the same writer. Some of the humour and joy has gone out of the Discworld, and instead we are just left with the message, and it is obvious why this has happened, no blame can be attached to Terry and it is admirable that he is able to still work at such a level. For me though i do not get the same experience when reading the stories that i used to.
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on 11 April 2015
Rip. terry Pratchett. It's hard to believ that we won't enjoy this level of humorous mayhem again! If your a discworld fan like me this installent will be a godsend, more of moist von lipwig, Lord vetenari, Harry king, vimes, the watch, the clacks and to top it off! A steam train on a a real railroad!
Wacky and loony with just the right amount of derring do!
Overall an engaging read with all your favourite characters from ankh morpork and the sto lat plains!
One person found this helpful
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on 29 September 2015
Its a bit like somebody tried to do a copy of a discworld novel. All the elements are there, but they just dont gel. The humour doesnt work. And worse of all, the footnotes, usually such a rich source of laugh out loud humour, are really, just foot notes. I know Terry was suffering, and maybe he collaborated with someone to help get this produced. But it doesnt do his legacy any good. I had to finish it. But rather than finishing it happy, it made me a little sad. Thank god they published the much better The Shepherds Crown, a far better book.
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on 21 June 2014
This Discworld book features one of my favourite characters of the series - Moist von Lipwig. I've enjoyed all the books he's appeared in including this one however this was the weakest featuring him so far.

It was still good with the usual parallels to our own history. The humour was there plus the storyline moved along at a good pace in keeping with it being about the emergence of a railway. Despite all this, it just seemed to be missing some of the magic of previous books.

I think there was an opportunity to explore more of the storyline of Dick Simnel who I thought was a good addition to the series however I felt the book focused a bit too much on Moist.

As ever though, I would highly recommend the series as a whole to almost anyone especially the books involving the Watch and Moist von Lipwig.
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on 24 April 2018
I have read this three times and found something new each time. Terry Pratchett understood the world, this book is comedy, but all polatishions should be made to read it. His a description of a steam enthusiast is so true, I know several of them.
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on 16 March 2016
Moist von Lipwig does it again. Another brilliant book from Terry Pratchett. So sad we won't have the thrill of another new Discworld book ever again. If you haven't read any before, I'd recommend reading "Going Postal" before you read this one - it introduces the main character. And probably read "Making Money" after that. Actually just read them all - my favourite is Guards! Guards!
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on 11 July 2015
This is really only a serviceable Discworld book; the narrative moves along well, there are some genuinely funny moments and Pratchett's humanism is clearly visible. However, it is all a bit one dimensional. I've given it five stars because it is Pratchett's last full Discworld book, and so deserving of celebration. If you haven’t read the other 39, though, I'd start with Guards, Guards, Wyrd Sisters (my personal favourite, with the best opening in Western literature) or Mort. These are all magnificent books, which stand comparison with all the great satirists of the past.
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on 31 October 2015
Brings together the Sam Vimes and Moist von Lipwig story lines in one final romp across the Disc. Brilliant writing as always. Slightly looser plots than we've come to expect from Pratchett but then he wasn't quite himself when he wrote this. To be honest by the time we got to 'Snuff' Sam Vimes was getting on my nerves because he was just too much of a downtrodden hero. His appearance in this book nicely rounds off his story in that he's just a copper getting on with day to day stuff. The story also provided the perfect environment for Moist to do his lovable rogue act while greasing the wheels of progress on the Disc. Looking forward to The Shepherds Crown (its on my shelf but I can't quite bring myself to read it yet because its the last one) which, I'm told, nicely rounds off the witches stories.
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on 20 June 2014
I usually enjoy Terry Pratchett's writing, but I'm over half-way through this and struggling. It isn't necessarily that it's particularly very slow paced, but so far the story hasn't really moved on a lot from the first chapter in any dramatical sense. I'm giving it three stars as there are a lot of references to previous novels, which raise a knowing smile, and I wish Pratchett all the best so just can't bring myself to give it any less, but unlike a lot of his other books, it's definitely not a page turner and at this rate I'm not sure I'll finish it any time soon. It just doesn't hold your attention as nothing really happens, and when it does, it's very quickly resolved, nearly as if he's afraid of moving the characters too far out of their comfort zone. There is some overarching plot about Vetinary wanting the railway to go to Uberwald and the dwarves being politically divided (no spoilers, that gets explained in the first chapter), but that's pretty much as far as it goes and so far those don't seem to developing into anything much interesting.
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