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Raising Steam (Discworld #40)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  25,858 Ratings  ·  2,333 Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man with a flat cap and a sliding rule. He has produced a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and it’s soon drawing astonished crowds.
     To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vet
...more
Hardcover, 365 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Doubleday (first published November 7th 2013)
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Patrick
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
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Shelley
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Tim Hicks
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 c
...more
Dan Schwent
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Tramline
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sanjukta
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Lyn
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And so ends 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 t
...more
Dylan Kiely
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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_inbetween_
Nov 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
James
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jenny Schwartz
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 no
...more
Jean Menzies
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
Emma Sea
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.
Andrew
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Nisha-Anne
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Igor Ljubuncic
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
...more
Lightreads
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
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
...more
John Connolly
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
D.L. Morrese
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kathleen
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
Mason
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
YouKneeK
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
...more
Marcello
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
...more
Martyn Stanley
I've always loved Terry Pratchett's Discworld Novels, they're perhaps one of the inspirations for me to start writing myself!

The Last Dragon Slayer (Deathsworn Arc, #1) by Martyn Stanley The Verkreath Horror (Deathsworn Arc, #2) by Martyn Stanley The Blood Queen (Deathsworn Arc, #3) by Martyn Stanley The Lambton Worm by Martyn Stanley

Okay! Plug over, I'll be honest I am NOT a patch on Pratchett, I'd like to be one day, but I have a long way to go to even come close and I don't tend to attempt to insert as much humour as Pratchett.

Anyway on to the review. I like the disc world novels, I always have. They're one of the reasons I really got into reading. There have been times when I'd bought a Disc
...more
Trish
"It is hard to understand nothing, but the multiverse is full of it."

Were I a resident of Discworld, I am not entirely sure I wouldn’t be classified a goblin, a troll, or a dwarf. Terry Pratchett has created a satire so rich that we see our lives, successes, failures, and intentions reflected back at us. Pratchett can be biting, but he is never cruel. He retains an equanimity about human failure that inspires us to greater acts of idiocy and splendor.

Now the fortieth entry in the cycle of Discwo
...more
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Published: 09/10/2014
Author: Terry Pratchett
Recommended for: fans of fantasy novels

This is another book written by the most amazing fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett. This is book number 40 in the discworld series, this one is set in Ankh Morpork and features the wonderful characters: Nobby Nobbs, Rincewind, Moist von Lipwig, Sam Vines and so many more, each of the characters bring something to the novels. In this book a new invention arrives in Ankh Morpork which brings crowds of people, when
...more
Olga Godim
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
2.5 stars
Terry Pratchett has always been a hit-or-miss writer for me. This one was a clear miss. I expected so much from it. I enjoyed the two previous novels about Moist von Lipwig – Going Postal and Making Money – but this book didn’t even come close.
It has two interlocking story lines. One – the arrival of steam power on Discworld and the building of trains and railways. Two – the dwarves’ resistance to the advent of progress, both technical and social. Some of the old-fashioned dwarves want
...more
Richard
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, comedy
6/10

One of the weakest Discworld novels I've read but I guess at his 40th attempt and ailing health then you can understand why. It's a shame really as this combined two great characters, Vimes and Moist, but neither felt as unique as they had in other novels.

This outing tackles the steam engine and the shrinking nature of the world that develops from this. It's got the usual social commentary too which felt a bit tired here. I wasn't all that interested in that aspect and found that by the end
...more
Lammoth
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
През 1671 г. сър Исак Нютон прекарал светлинен лъч през стъклена призма и светлината се отразила в различни цветови ивици. Така светът прозрял спектъра на светлината и вече нищо не било същото. Няколко века по-късно сър Тери Пратчет измислил света на диска и прекарал целия реален свят през него, лъчите пак се пречупили и се зародила фантастична светлина. Свят, отражение на нашия реален, но всички невидими цветови гами вече се виждали и откроявали, всичко било вече много по-пъстро и разбираемо, п ...more
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29,530 followers
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, including his first Discworld novel,
...more
More about Terry Pratchett

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 (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
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“In Ankh-Morpork you can be whoever you want to be and sometimes people laugh and sometimes they clap, and mostly and beautifully, they don't really care.” 30 likes
“That's the trouble, you see. When you've had hatred on your tongue for such a long time, you don't know how to spit it out.” 27 likes
More quotes…