Raising Steam (A Discworld novel)

Raising Steamby Terry Pratchett

always look forward to reading Terry Pratett’s books so was delighted to get a copy of “Raising Steam” at Christmas. 

Despite battling with Alzheimer’s, Terry Pratchett still manages to deliver the goods, albeit in a slightly more subtle and less in-your-face way than his earlier books.

Over the past couple of years the content and style of the Discworld novels has matured. The comedy is still there, but it has mellowed. Terry’s wonderful way of twisting words is still very much in evidence, but the plot has become more involved and the parallels with modern life even more pronounced.

In this, the 40th in the Discworld series, we see some of our favourite characters come face to face with the power, and the wonder, of steam locomotion. This is real magic, not the kind cast by wizards, but made real by ingenuity and passion. 

Dick Simnel is a simple young man from the Sto Plains whos passion for cosines and his slide-rule help him to tame the power of steam and invent the locomotive. The possibilities seem endless and even attract the attention of Lord Vetinari, Patrician of the city state of Ankh-Morpork. But not everyone is as enthusiastic about the advent of the steam age, and Mr Simnel soon finds himself, and his train, at the centre of a battle between traditional values and the drive for progress.

Also finding themselves at the centre of this conflict are Moist von Lipwig, recently appointed master of the Royal Mont, and Commander Vimes of the City Watch. Add to this the ongoing fight for goblin freedom and attempt to overthrow the Low King of the Dwarfs, who incidentally has a little secret of their own, and you can see that it won’t be as smooth a ride as everyone expects.
With his usual wit and ingenious use of language, Terry Pratchett has done it again!

I have read some harsh criticism of Terry’s recent books. Certainly, if you make a direct comparison between “Raising Steam” and one of his earlier works, such as “The Colour of Magic”, the difference is very pronounced. But it is a series and the characters have moved on as much as I have.

I still look forward to every new Discworld story and will continue to do so for as long as they keep coming. My only advice to anyone who has not read any Terry Pratchett is that they start at the beginning and take the same journey I have. There are some wonderful adventures along the way and it’s a journey I would recommend to anyone.

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