Raising Steam : Discworld

  • by Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by Stephen Briggs
  • Series: Discworld
  • 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Essential for fans, but not the best of Discworld

If you're thinking of reading this book, you're almost certainly already a Terry Pratchett fan. (If you're not, don't even think of starting with this one - start with "Guards! Guards!", "Going Postal" or "Mort").

Raising Steam is a crossover of the Watch Sequence (Guards Guards, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay etc) and the Industrial Revolution Sequence (Moving Pictures, Going Postal, Making Money). Whilst most of the watch have only cameo roles, the book is closely tied to recent events in the Discworld, so don't skip ahead if you haven't read The Fifth Elephant, Thud!, and Making Money.

I felt the book didn't have the roller-coaster-to-the-end feel of the better Discworld novels. I'm not giving any of the plot away to say that the story builds towards a train journey from Ankh-Morpork to Uberveld against Dwarvish Grag opposition. This journey takes up a fairly long portion of the book, and just isn't that exciting. Amidst the ineffective Grag attacks it is interrupted by fairly pointless and anvilicious scenes with Gnome cobblers and child saboteurs. The end of the journey, when it eventually chugs into sight, brings no surprises. It's more disappointing than exciting to have dramatic revelations of details that have already been heavily foreshadowed.

This isn't a bad book, it just has nothing new or special to recommend it above the other Discworld novels. If you've got several unread Pratchetts and are trying to decide which one to enjoy next, go for a different one. If you've read everything Discworld has to offer, and are wondering whether to continue, it's a good listen. In particular it moves the Discworld technology and race-relations forward, so Raising Steam will be necessary to make sense of future books.

The novel contains cameos from the Wizards, most of the Watch, the reporters, and of course, Death.

I miss Nigel Planer as the voice of Discworld, but Stephen Briggs has read all of the more recent Discworld books and does a splendid job.
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- Andrew John Rae

Ride The Rails Through This Discworld Gem!

To begin, I should admit I'm an enormous fan of all of Sir Terry's work and in particular the Discworld novels. That said, this is amongst the best. The Discworld franchise has gone from strength to strength with the last fifteen or so novels in particularly raising the game substantially. 'Raising Steam' is like a Pratchett bumper-pack filled with an astonishing array of fan-favourite characters, yet it doesn't feel as though they've been forced in for the sake of fan approval. The novel flows beautifully and is extremely fast-paced, perhaps even more so than ever before.

Amongst other things we're treated to another Lipwig 'how is he going to get out of this one?' moment with as satisfying solution as the one in 'Going Postal' as well as a good dose of classic Sam Vimes. There are also some fresh characters to meet too!

Stephen Briggs' performance is, as ever, flawlessly engaging and entertaining.

Really, I don't want to give too much away. So suffice to say that Discworld fans will not be disappointed, though those who are new to the franchise should probably read/listen to some of the earlier novels first as the experience of 'Raising Steam' is greatly enriched if you're already familiar with the Ankh-Morpork movers and shakers.
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- Matt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-11-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks