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....
©2013 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Andrew John Rae on 19-11-13

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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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By debz on 16-11-13

Slightly going off the boil

Would you consider the audio edition of Raising Steam to be better than the print version?

In both Snuff & now Raising Steam, it seems that Pratchett is using a seasoned cast of characters - the only new character is Dick Simnel, a plain-speaking northerner (north of the UK). The storyline is as funny as we would expect from Pratchett, but it seems an increasing sense of 'edit to size' is being carried out by his publishers. I've noticed, particularly on Audible, that some books have minor elements with a tacked-on feel to make the magic 400-page mark.
It was rather depressing to hear Pratchett talk In Ely (he clearly wasn't up to it) and I'm beginning to think his helper, Rod Wilkins(?) may be doing more than just copying down Pratchett's word.
Still better than 95% of books in an average bookshop would be considered a great achievement to most authors, but to Pratchett, that's sadly down a couple of %.

Buy it, read it, enjoy it - it may be the last; sadly.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Raising Steam?

The whole Goblin sections

What does Stephen Briggs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Gives the voices a nuance rarely found in audiobooks - an amazing feat for someone reading Pratchett - he doesn't just put everything at 11 and played it for cheap laughs.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not a moment, but the first time I felt that maybe not all of the words were Pratchett's own.

Any additional comments?

You WILL listen to it again, and again so a bargain. Ausible is MY future to audiobooks.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jacobus on 16-11-13

It is like being bitten by a black ribbon vampire

I have pictured Sir Terry Prachett very much in the same stage of his career as Albert Uderzo after his previous two discworld novels. It seemed that some of the puns got better, but the storyline shoddier. It is with pleasure that I can announce that I am COMPLETELY WRONG!

Moist von Lipwig - the rascal from ‘Going Postal’ and ‘Making Money’ is back… with a HUF and a PUFF! In ‘Raising Steam’ Lord Vetinari - the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork - calls in the help of the scoundrel of scoundrels to work miracles thus ensuring that the new invention - the steam locomotive - becomes the new buzz around the Discworld.

For die-hard Discworld fans, the basic story is very much the same as that of “The Truth.” A new invention comes along, there is a threat to the invention, the obstacle is eliminated and everybody lives happily ever after with the invention changing the city or the Discworld. (With Überwald in the picture, you might say that it is “The Truth” but bitten by a black ribbon vampire.)

In this story you will meet the dear sir Harry King the king of pooh (without an ‘h’) leaving his toilet humour behind and becoming a Railway Baron. Obviously the blackboard monitor, commander of the watch, Sir Samuel Vimes has to use his talents for getting the criminals to talk. But the biggest difference is that this time Ankh-Morpork’s bureaucracy are not the enemy. It is throwing in its weight behind the steam kettle and getting its hands dirty.

In the end the Discworld has once again changed… but is it for the better?

What I like about this book is the way Terry Prachett’s uses the ‘lore’ of the Discworld to create a fun-filled adventure. He brings together a lot of Discworld strains. However, if you have never read (or listened to) any Discworld novels, you will still be able to enjoy it.

Stephen Briggs - as always - performs the story terrifically. (This is definitely more than just reciting a book aloud.) Once again he brings the Discworld and its people to life.

For those who love the Discworld, especially when Sir Terry Pratchett is at his best, this book is a return to the good old ways (but with a new jacket). It is so good I think it will make an excellent gift to someone dear to you. If you are a new comer to the Discworld you could start here and later enjoy the rest. It comes highly recommended.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darla A. Middlebrook on 21-02-14

Always a treat...

Visiting the Discworld and its denizens is always a treat. Stephen Briggs paint wonderful pictures with his voice by giving every character a unique dialect or accent. I enjoyed this rendition so much that I have listened to it at least 10 times.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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