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Raising Steam (Discworld, #40, Moist von Lipwig #3)
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Raising Steam

(Discworld #40)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  34,197 ratings  ·  2,686 reviews
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 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.

Hardcover, 377 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  34,197 ratings  ·  2,686 reviews

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Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a tricky book for me to review.

For one thing, it's hard for me to view this book as a thing unto itself. Anyone who knows anything about my reading habits knows that I'm a huge fan of Terry Pratchett. Of all his books, Thud! is perhaps my favorite. And this book is a follow-up to that one. Not exactly a sequel, but a continuance of theme.

So what I was really looking for here was a brilliant book. A book that I loved as much as Thud!, plus, say... 10%.

That's what my heart wanted, even
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was troubled while reading this book. Where were the characters I loved? I could see them there on the page. Vetinari, Moist, Adora-belle etc but their names could have been interchangeable. Their personalities were a blur. I recognise Sir Terry's struggle with his health, but I get the distinct impression that someone else, with a lesser grasp of the intricacies of this fantastical world, is wielding the pen. So to speak. One sentence stood out to me just this morning.

"Tak never mentioned th
Tim Hicks
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
OK, 4.6 rounded up.

I've seen a lot of reviews here that panned this book but seemed to be doing so mostly because it wasn't what they wanted it to be. Too little of this, too much of that. Pfui. Authors get to write whatever they want.

To me, this one's about Moist and the Discworld growing up, maturing. And I suspect it's a wish that Roundworld would too. The retro grags sure felt like the U.S. Tea Party, but not so specifically that readers in other countries couldn't recognize their fringe
Ahmad Sharabiani
Raising Steam (Discworld, #40, Moist von Lipwig #3 ), Terry Pratchett

Dick Simnel, a young self-taught engineer from Sto Lat (and whose father, Ned Simnel, appeared in Reaper Man), has invented a steam locomotive named Iron Girder. He brings his invention to Ankh-Morpork where it catches the interest of Sir Harry King, a millionaire businessman who has made his fortune in the waste and sanitation industry. Harry promises Dick sufficient investment to make the railway a success.

Throughout the stor
Dan Schwent
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
A young man invents the steam engine and the train and railroad soon follow. Lord Vetinari feels the winds of change blowing and puts Moist von Lipwig in charge of the burgeoning railway industry. But not everyone likes the idea of progress...

Here we are, the 40th Discworld book. Even after 40 books, I forget how clever Terry Pratchett is the time between volumes. I wasn't sold on this at first. The grag subplot felt disjointed and it seemed like old Pratch might have been going off the rails. T
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The penultimate novel in the Discworld series.

Truth be told, I very much enjoyed our little adventure with Moist von Lipwig, he of the scandalous and dangerous success, literally coming from the gallows a few books back to become an efficacious leader of the post office, the mint and the bank. But throughout the book, there was always the needling sense that we were drawing to the end, that there was only one book left after this one. That as I read each page, thinking of Sir Terry typing away,
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Terry Pratchett is a writer with a timebomb ticking in his head. Although this is common knowledge, you have to be a very close reader to notice the strain this exerts on him. Pratchett has written his very best work in the period just before his 'embuggerance' Monstruous regiment, the wee free men trilogy (notice here I do not include I shall wear midnight!), Thud, going postal en making money are all fenomenally good. Unseen academicals on the other hand, heralds the change in Pratchetts writi ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I couldn't have imagined that a day would come when this is to be said of Sir Pratchett, but sadly, I must say that he disappoints with this one. All the usual ingredients are present, the City Watch, the Tyrant, the Turtle, the rolls, dwarfs and goblins, as are the smart-alecy quips and puns and double entendres, but, Where is the Plot, the Enticing Tale? Even the pleasure that the exploration of an idea for its own sake provides, such as in Long Earth, is completely missing here. The only exci ...more
Belinda Lewis
Nov 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didnt-finish
I honestly didn't even finish this book. It was just so dreadfully boring. I made it about 80% through - and I only got that far because I love Terry Pratchett and wanted to persevere - and then just gave up. The dialogue is terrible, the narrative lacks any kind of rhythm (its just and then and then and then and then) and worst of all the characters are unrecognizable. Moist, Vimes and Vetinari are probably my 3 favourite characters in the entire mythos - they don't behave like themselves, and ...more
Ms. Smartarse
The invention of the steam engine takes Ankh-Morpork by storm. Everyone wants a piece of it, from the city's richest, to its most powerful, all the way to its simple people. Even foreigners take a keen interest in the steam engine's evolution, excited about all the new money-making opportunities.

While its technical and monetary needs are well looked after, the steam engine's marketing needs are held in Lord Vetinari's firm grasp, by overworking Ankh Morpork's most charming crook. For all of Lipw
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
My husband (Simon) and I were taking the train into Chicago to see a dance performance. The journey is about 1 hour, 20 minutes and I wasn't sure we could sustain a conversation that long having been married now for 34 years, so, I racked my brain for an audiobook we could enjoy together. I have a widget Simon calls a 'splitter' which I plug into my iPod and it enables us to connect two set of earbuds, one for each of us. I chose 'Raising Steam,' as I had recently loved listening to it and I tho ...more
Dylan Kiely
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While some people say that this book did not deliver on the same level of expectation as Pratchett's earlier works, it is my opinion that this book is so much more developed and gripping than his other books. The humour that is displayed still follows the same structure of parody.
Personally, I loved the whole stories of Moist, and found that there was no Pratchett book that I loved more than "Going Postal", but Raising Steam still delivers a high standard for creativity and genius.
The way that P
Nov 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
For most of my life, I've named Pterry as my favourite author. I was the first in my town/country to read him, and for the last years I've bought his books in hardcover. I still buy his books out of sentimentality, but I wish I would stop.

The worst is that I wish he would have stopped. I was devastated when I learned of his illness and, like most everyone, also mourned all the books now lost. But after the last three or more it's become clear that a bang would have been better than this whimper
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I wavered a bit on what score to give this book. In the end I compared it to the last couple of Discworld books: I enjoyed it a little more than Unseen Academicals and a lot more than Snuff, so let's say it's on the low end of three stars.

I wonder if all those three stars are earned, though, or if I'm just attached enough to the characters included in this book to be pretty lenient. I found reading this book a really odd experience; the pacing is pretty choppy, and sometimes makes the book hard
Emma Sea
Mar 26, 2015 marked it as dnf
In as much as Terry Pratchett runs the Discworld, he is the Patrician. And so to have Drumknott apologising for Vetinari's lack of mental acuity, and highlighting his inability to complete the crossword, this book was heartbreaking before it reached 15%.

The pacing was askew and the characterizations reduced to twee accents.

I am so sorry I tried to read this.

Thank you for all the books, Sir Pterry. Especially Thud!. I look forward to my own atoms joining yours in the heart of a new star one day.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I do not want to analyze Pratchett's books through the lens of his illness. I do *not*. This is the book where I have to start.

I'll do it from two directions. Prose, first. When I opened the book I found the text *Pratchetty*, but *different* -- the rhythm was all kiltered. Too many little phrases and parenthetical asides, the "indeed" and the "as it were" and the "so to speak". It's not clean. The Pratchett I know can run you through with a sentence and make you laugh at the same time, and do i
Jenny Schwartz
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld -- go read Raising Steam. Really there's no more to be said.

If you've not read a Discworld book, this isn't the place to start. This is a book that comfortably assumes our familiarity with many of the characters and there is a REAL pleasure in learning more about them, watching them behave as who they are and yet reveal new aspects. The little character reveals are wonderful - and there's one at the end that just plain delighted me.

I'm trying
Igor Ljubuncic
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Actually, DNF.

This is the first Terry Pratchett book I did not enjoy, and I've read the entire Discworld series, some of the books twice or even ten times. Things sort of started deteriorating when he discovered his disease, and since, he's been obsessed with darkness, rage and such.

In Raising Steam, it's rage for Moist, darkness for Vimes. But there's a bigger problem. Zero emotional involvement. To illustrate, there's a scene where Moist saves kids from a railways track, then he goes to Harry
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy, humor
Raising Steam (Discworld #40) by Terry Pratchett was a welcome return to one of my favorite series. Moist von Lipwig is easily one of my favorite characters and it was great to see him back along with Adora Belle, Vetinari, Vimes, and company. There not quite back in top form, but all things considered all things considered it was just good to seem them. Comforting, if you know what I mean.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a bit difficult at the start, mostly because I never really like the Moist/Industrial Revolution books and Pratchett seems to be tending more towards long paragraphed speeches, either verbal or internal. I miss the days when his narratives were powered almost entirely by dialogue and hilarious misunderstandings and clever puns, when the long paragraphs of insight were actually valuable and brilliant and were usually at the very start and then in the final act. I noticed this stylistic c ...more
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I've applied a lot of words to Discworld books over the years, not all of them good, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I'm going to call one of them boring. Bo-ring. So boring.

He's written this book a good fifteen times already, and most of them were better. A new piece of technology confounds the Discworld (the railroad), there are arguments, protests, less than a handful of good jokes, and an allegedly feel-good interlude about social progress in which, in this case, we have yet anoth
Jean Menzies
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy
This is a generous 3 stars. There is always a certain level of enjoyment from returning to Pratchett's writing, humour and the discworld itself. Unfortunately as one of his final discworld novels this was quite disappointing. The characterisation felt off, especially of Vetinary; Moist felt like a minor character, which I wouldn't have expected from a book following on from his series; there was a noticeable decrease in laugh out loud moments and there was very little plot or moments of suspense ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Re-read 9/28/20:

It turns out I liked this novel better the second time I read it, so I just had to give it an extra star. *sigh* I love Moist. And I really didn't mind the whole Dwarvish issue as much this time. It was genuinely funny this time.

I guess it just goes to show... sometimes we change as people. Sometimes a warm reaction can turn into something rather hotter. But then, maybe I'm just anticipating the end of all these novels. ; ;

Original review:

Welcome the age of reason, one and all,
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do religious (dwarf) fanatics have to do with the invention of the steam engine? Well, everything.

We are in Ankh-Morpork (sometimes) where the Patrician is not standing in the way of progress because, once again, he knows exactly when you have to get out of the way if you want to stay in power. Thus, instead of instigating „accidents“ to happen to the son of a certain inventor, he allows the boy to meet up with a certain Ankh-Morporkian business man and Iron Girder is born.
And if there is
It's like a miracle, this book. I read that Pratchett dictated it to his computer with text-to-speech software. Hoorah for assistive technology! Admittedly, I can tell that it wasn't solely created by the brilliant voice of Sir Terry — or not the Pratchett we know and love — but that's okay, because I sense that the ideas are his, if not the full execution. Plus, it's got my favorite characters (even though they aren't portrayed the same as in previous books). I just adore Sam Vimes, Lord Vetina ...more
D.L. Morrese
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Discworld Fans
Shelves: fun-fantasy
Re-reread April 2015...

This is a Discworld novel for Discworld fans, people who have visited the Disc often. Unlike most of the other Discworld books, which are easily comprehensible on their own to a new visitor, this one is not. A good background with the setting and its inhabitants is required to follow and appreciate this story. Many of our favorite characters from past books have walk-on parts. A reader who is unfamiliar with them will miss a lot. I like how Pratchett's stories have evolved
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. I love the characters but most of all I love the language, the wordplay, the humour. I think the books by itself are great but if you master British English and their slang they become even better. And if you also know their culture, another layer of humour reveals itself. I keep re-reading his books and they still feel like new to me as I keep coming across new jokes that I did not get the first time around.

It is with this in mind that I sadly have
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
This was quite good, it flows seamlessly, the narrative is strong and is quite clever, definitely an improvement but...

Something is troubling me. I love Pterry, I'll always love his work and his genius, his witticism is the stuff of legend and his character development has always been something to make you yearn for the next book, but...

I didn't burst out laughing while reading this last book, not once. Make no mistakes, this is a solid effort, a sort of "grown up" version of the Discworld where
John Connolly
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Terry Pratchett writes while dealing with a debilitating illness (Alzheimer's), which seems to me a particularly cruel affliction with which to curse a novelist, given the importance of keeping a thousand small details in play from start to finish. Raising Steam, the latest Discworld novel, bears no trace of Pratchett’s illness. While it’s not the funniest of the series, it’s still a joy to enter that perfectly constructed world. I had the pleasure of interviewing Pratchett in Dublin some years ...more
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, a
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i

Other books in the series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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