‘I could tell which of my fellow tube passengers had downloaded it to their e-readers by the bouts of spontaneous laughter’ Ben Aaronovitch, Guardian
The Discworld is very much like our own – if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .
Change is in the air for Moist von Lipwig, swindler, con-man, and (naturally) head of the Royal Bank and Post Office.
A steaming, clanging new invention – a steam locomotive named Iron Girder, to be precise – is drawing astonished crowds. Suddenly it’s a matter of national importance that the trains run on time.
Moist does not enjoy hard work. His input at the bank and post office consists mainly of words, which are not that heavy. Or greasy. And it certainly doesn’t involve rickety bridges, runaway cheeses or a fat controller with knuckledusters.
What Moist does enjoy is being alive, which may not be a perk of running the new railway. Because, of course, some people have OBJECTIONS, and they’ll go to extremes to stop locomotion in its tracks.
The Discworld novels can be read in any order but Raising Steam is the third and final book in the Moist von Lipwig series.
A brash new invention brings social upheaval, deadly intrigues, and plenty of wry humor to the 40th installment of Pratchett's best-selling Discworld fantasy series. When intrepid inventor Dick Simnel comes to Ankh-Morpork looking for a backer for his revolutionary steam engine, the Iron Girder, entrepreneur Sir Harry King is quick to grasp the possibilities. So is Ankh-Morpork's ruler, Lord Vetinari, who immediately puts master facilitator (and former con artist) Moist von Lipwig in charge of the Discworld's first railway. But while the would-be railway tycoons are busy cutting deals for right-of-ways, supplies, and second class coach service, a group of radically conservative dwarf extremists are determined to stop the railroad, along with anything else that threatens "the truth of pure dwarfishness." In a realm where "even the factions had factions," Moist finds himself cast as Vetinari's agent to help defeat a political coup that could re-ignite ancient hostilities between dwarves and trolls. As always, Pratchett's unforgettable characters and lively story mirror the best, the worst, and the oddest bits of our own world, entertaining readers while skewering social and political foibles in a melting pot of humanity, dwarfs, trolls, goblins, vampires, and a werewolf or two.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Slowly destroying the fabric of Discworld...
I love Terry Pratchett and his writing... I've bought all of his books, most more than twice. So I was pleasantly surprised that this one came out, knowing a little of how far his tragic illness has progressed.
Unfortunately, it seems clear that someone else helped a lot with this story, and they just can't copy his talent and incomparable writing style. In fact, so little that it was painful to read this, and it's a true shame how they are now destroying some of the greater aspects of Sir Pratchett's legacy.
Some examples include the incredible mangling of Lord Vetinari's character, such as when he is constantly and chattily explaining himself (where one of Pratchett's stand-out skills has always been in his economy of words and crediting of the reader's intelligence). Or the humorless use of footnotes which are normally a great delight with Pratchett. Or possibly worst, the dramatic turnabout from pacifism with Moist von Lipwig's character, who becomes an avid killer of dwarfs.
Unfortunately, the wrongness in the novel goes far beyond just these three examples. It's fair to say now that, whatever Sir Pratchett's involvement had been with this book, what we have now going forward are only other writers extending the Discworld canon with their own tales.
I'll continue my re-purchasing his wonderful works yet again, now in e-book format, but I can't see myself reading these future stories - twisting and damaging the wonderful world he created and nurtured to date.