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....
©2013 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks
I have read all the Disc World books and enjoyed them. Raising Steam contains many references to characters from previous books but I do not think you would need to read the previous books to enjoy this novel. I have just finished reading this book and I am ready to read for a second time.
"The history of the railway - Discworld style!"
I would recommend this book to any fan of the Discworld (who will probably already have bought it) but I wouldn't suggest starting with this book if you haven't read any of the Discworld before. This book refers to a lot of past events and includes cameos from a lot of familiar characters that would be lost on anyone who had not read any of the Discworld series before.
The book itself is entertaining and follows on with the theme of the integration of different species into Ankh Morpork and how they adapt to the changes and challenges of the 'modern' world - in particular the dwarfs. This story strand has been tackled before by Pratchett and Raising Steam develops some of the ideas that first appeared in The Fifth Elephant and Thud! It also recounts the gradual acceptance of goblins into a role in the city, following on from their initial 'emancipation' in Snuff. Each of these races has a very different reaction to the arrival of the railway on the Disc.
The book is nominally a Moist von Lipwig story, but actually is quite different to Going Postal and Making Money since it contains so many other characters too.
This isn't a five star novel for me, mainly because it feels like Pratchett is trying to pack too much information into the first section and it takes a while for the novel to develop into the familiar style of a Discworld novel.
Probably Moist's fight alongside the Goblins with the delvers who have crossed the line - there is a new edge of brutality in this novel which I don't think is present in some of Pratchett's earlier novels. Pratchett is definitely exploring a darker side to the Disc in recent novels.
I have several books narrated by Stephen Briggs and for me he is the ultimate Discworld narrator. He voices the characters exactly as I imagine them and brings the story to life - I own this novel both in print and in audio and found that Briggs's performance actually added to the story and made some of the longer passages of character introspection more entertaining.
"Should come with a spotter's guide and an anorak"
Yes, the style's changed from most Discworld books, but that change was evident in Snuff too so I'm not sure why people seem so surprised by this. I don't like the long, unnatural speeches the characters make in the later books when apparently in conversation, but it didn't bother me as much in this book as it did in Snuff. Get past this, and the style is different but no less Pratchett.
What this novel really is, for the first half of the book at least, is a spotter's guide to Discworld, its characters and its history (nicely appropriate that - this book should really come with a ticklist and an anorak). I'm in no doubt that this book would be a real turn-off if I came to it cold or having read only one or two other DW books, but the first half of the book is so dense with old characters popping up, and sly references to events in past books, that I couldn't help but enjoy it - it made me feel like a complete geek to be honest. And the events whizzed past, with humour and quite a lot of darkness (lots of people killed in this book!) only really interrupted by the odd monologues Terry seems to love now.
The main train journey itself was well-written. I won't give anything away but the fantasy climax of this book, the most fantastic moment, is one of the best 'images' Pratchett has painted in his novels. The relationship between characters who'd previously not been in close quarters - particularly Vimes and Moist - was also intruiging.
There are some nice little twists toward the end of this novel too, which make this feel much more like Discworld of old than UA or Snuff.
This one's for readers already well-familiar with the Discworld. As I said, spotter's guide defintely needed!
(Stephen Briggs brilliant as usual too)
"Long awaited 40th Discworld novel"
Discworld meets Railroad
Going Postal or Making Money also by Sir Terry.... These are the first two Moist Von Lipwig novels.
Good and humorous delivery as always with Stephen Briggs.
Laughed out loud... For real this time
Discworld meets the industrial revolution and railroad.... All the usual and much loved Pratchett humour and style. A great listen (and read). Highly recommended to the young of heart of all ages.
"Another great discworld book!"
Terry Pratchett has written another humours, witty, engaging book. Not as funny so those including death but one that fits with the series and sets up future books well by developing some new characters.
This was my first experience of an audio book - it was really well read - and I enjoyed it immensely.
Good Narrator. Good Narrator. Good Narrator . Good Narrator. Good Narrator. Good Narrator. Good Narrator. Uniquely fine audio reader.
Another great performance by Stephen Briggs, as usual. Story is decent but not one of Terry's greats.
"Beautiful Pratchett writing as always"
I have listened to this audiobook several times already, each time discovering a new detail or subtle joke. It never gets old.
Moist Von Lipwig, simply because of his charismatic nature ability to pull off the impossible.
the whole book was enjoyable but the final race to Uberwald on 'Iron Girder' with the resultant fight with the trolls is always good to listen to.
A runaway spectacular!
Goblin industrial revolution
This story sees the development and increased depth of several discworld characters, introducing some rather amusing new ones on the way - it's a classic Pratchett, and one which changes the way discworld will be for future books. The introduction of steam, and the accounts of it's troublesome developments were done with the usual superb understated humour so typical of Mr Pratchett - can't wait for the next one!
This is my first listening to Stephen Briggs narration, and it won't be the last - good and well varied voices for a wide range of characters
Oh for the luxury of the time to listen in one sitting - but good in chunks
"Technology overtakes wizardary in the Discworld"
Probably will eventually. It is a good book with all those amazing characters TP has developed and SB brings to life in the ear. But it does feel like TP is dragging the discworld away from magick and fantasy and into a technological/industrial developing world. I feel this is a shame, despite how wonderfully he tells the stories.
There are so many great ideas in the book, the best in my mind would provide spoilers though!
SB is perfect, he is the discworld now, so reliable are his voices and depictions of the characters, infinitely better than the dull Nigel Planner we have to endure in earlier books - and dont get me started on Tony Robinson. Stephen Briggs is the best by far.
Will the Discworld go off the rails?
"Tired & Predictable"
I am a big Terry Prachett/Disc World fan but unfortunately the series has grown tired with predictable humor and plots failing to excite.
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