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Raising Steam (Discworld Book 40) [Kindle Edition]

Terry Pratchett
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (499 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.95
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $14.96 (56%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The new Discworld novel, the 40th in the series, sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town.

Change is afoot in Ankh-Morpork. Discworld's first steam engine has arrived, and once again Moist von Lipwig finds himself with a new and challenging job.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 2007, just years before he was granted a knighthood for services to literature, Terry Pratchett announced he had been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Although his illness has limited his ability to use a keyboard, it hasn’t stopped him from using dictating software to create yet another installment, number 39, in his internationally popular Discworld series. Here the invention of a steam-powered locomotive by an ingenious young artificer named Dick Simnel creates a stir among the citizens of Discworld’s prominent metropolis, Ankh-Morpork, as well as disrupting the affairs of assorted dwarfs, trolls, and goblins in the surrounding countryside. To keep Simnel’s invention properly reigned in, Lord Vetinari dispatches Moist von Lipwig, his trusted minister of almost everything, including the Royal Bank, to fund and supervise the construction of a railway. Leavened with Pratchett’s usual puns, philosophical quips, and Discworld in-jokes, the story offers an amusing allegory of Earthly technology’s many seductions and give series fans at least one more visit with their favorite characters. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A 200,000 initial print run, extensive advertising and media appearances, and frenzied online and social media coverage will carry forward the latest in Pratchett’s mega-selling series (more than 80 million copies sold). --Carl Hays


 “Spectacular. . . . A tremendous synthesis of everything that makes Pratchett one of the world’s most delightful writers.”
    —Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“Consistently funny, wise and clever. . . . Filled with characters who leap off the page and metaphors that make you laugh out loud.”
“Salted among all the treacle miners and nascent trainspotters are some serious ideas about technology and the irrevocable changes it brings. . . . [Pratchett] seems to be having fun. . . . And forty books in, why not?”
    —The Washington Post

“Delightful. . . . How many writers are more fun to spend time with? . . . Pratchett melds politics, finance and the occasional dark turn with his fantasy and humor, and as ever his footnotes are not to be missed.”
    —The Seattle Times

“A Dickensian mirror of contemporary western society. . . . Raising Steam is the latest transformation of a remarkable fictional world that has evolved and grown with its creator—and it shows how . . . the Discworld has taken on a life of its own.”

“From the first, the novels demonstrated Pratchett's eye for telling detail and the absurdities of the human condition. . . . He remains one of the most consistently funny writers around; a master of the stealth simile, the time-delay pun and the deflationary three-part list. . . . I could tell which of my fellow tube passengers had downloaded it to their e-readers by the bouts of spontaneous laughter.”
    —Ben Aaronovitch, The Guardian (London)

“Terry Pratchett’s creation is still going strong after thirty years. . . . Like Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories. . . . It is at the level of the sentence that Pratchett wins his fans.”
    —The Times (London)

“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.”
    —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brimming with Pratchett’s trademark wit, a yarn with a serious point made with style and elegance.”
    —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

  • File Size: 3026 KB
  • Print Length: 381 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0857522272
  • Publisher: Doubleday (March 18, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,069 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terry Pratchett did not write this. April 10, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewers who made this claim, I'll state my bona fides. I've read all the Discworld books. I've read half of them at least six times each. I've read most of Pratchett's other stuff.

And like the other people who made this claim, I never imagined I would ever write a bad review for a Terry Pratchett book.

But I've come to the conclusion that someone else wrote this book. As soon as this thought struck me (around page 80) I found myself reading on and wondering how I could ever have believed this was Pratchett's voice at all. No, someone else has taken over the shop. His daughter is the most likely suspect, since he said he was handing the Discworld on to her. (By the way, a note for the copyright page detectives: The books have been copyrighted in the names of both Terry and Lyn Pratchett for years... long before his illness. And Lyn is his wife, not his daughter.)

Assuming that whoever wrote Raising Steam goes on writing, I want to offer him/her a few tips:

- You need to know two things about Vetinari. He's always in control of any situation, and we are never shown what he's thinking. Never.

- All right, you need to know a third thing about him. We are constantly told he's ruthless, but he's not. He's got way more ruth than most people.

- Oh, and a fourth thing. He's the king of understatement. When Vetinari threatens you, he raises an eyebrow. He may or may not make some comment along the lines of "Indeed?" He does not give detailed, repeated, re-repeated descriptions of what he's going to do to you.

- The members of the City Watch call Vimes "Mister Vimes".

- The dwarves do not represent Muslims.

- Dwarves refer to female dwarves as "he".

- Death is a good guy.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing to the Max April 26, 2014
If this is your first venture into the Discworld of Terry Pratchett, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. Start with "§The Color of Magic", "The Light Fantastic", "Going Postal" or almost anything else. If I had started with this one, I would not now own every single Discworld book written by Sir Terry. Not only do I own them all, I have read each one at least 10 times, since I discovered Sir Terry 3 years ago. (Yes, I know - hard to believe, but I do love them.) Presents of choice are Pratchett books for my family and friends.

The characters are seriously flawed - pale and very blurred imitations of the real characters - cardboard characters as other reviewers have stated.
: Samuel Vimes - acerbic, dour, cynical Mister Vimes, laughs with "so twisty he can slide through a corkscrew sideways" Moist Von Lipwig. WHAT? (And if the author had called him "Commander Vimes" just once more, I would have been screaming at the top of my lungs.)
: Mustrum Ridcully, Arch Chancellor of Unseen University, never had more than a knowing twinkle in his eye. Now he indulges in laughing.
: Adora Belle Dearheart has turned into a non-smoking (from over 100 cigarettes a day) June Cleaver, "puffing" Moist¡¦s pillow and serving him a healthy (?) breakfast in bed. This is the woman whose brother called her "Killer" and Moist calls "Spike".
: Lady Margolotta who speaks with absolutely no accent, has has had no problem pronouncing a"W" previously. In this book, not only can't she pronounce a "W", she seems to use only sentences that have a forest of those letters in them.
: Lord Vetinari: oh lordy. Where to start? Intelligent, taciturn, secretive Vetinari has turned into a verbose, jolly good fellow who laughs with the inestimable Drumknott, his secretary. I could cry.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm. Not quite sure what to make of it. January 20, 2014
By Tally
Format:Kindle Edition
Trying to write this review was difficult as it took a while to figure out how to best approach the criticism. It's well-established that Pratchett is suffering from Alzheimer's and as a consequence the caliber of his writing has noticeably diminished. Raising Steam is no exception. It simply does not have the wit, charm or humor of Pratchett's earlier Discworld book (the last "real" Pratchett book was probably Unseen Academicals). Those who claim that Pratchett's back on form, well, go and reread Soul Music or Hogfather or The Truth. They're two different writers now.

But I can't really fault Pratchett for the decline in his writing standards due to his health, nor is it fair at all. In fact I'd even say that it's impressive he's still able to put out a fairly decent story. So I gave the book three stars.

But I will comment on the following:

Goblins: I am not a fan of the goblins. I found them annoying little characters who add little to the story other than their cumbersomely long names. When Pratchett introduced the other sapient creatures of the Discworld - dwarves, vampires, trolls and the living dead, he introduced them with all their cliches and stereotypes and thoroughly poked holes through all of them and still gave them their due flaws, which made these characters so real to the point that I almost expected to run into a dwarf or troll when I stepped outside after reading a Pratchett novel. But the goblins have been given a hands-off treatment in a fairly politically correct manner that makes it difficult to warm up to them. Compared to the trolls and dwarves of earlier books, the goblins remain limited two dimensional characters that add little to the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
I enjoyed reading this book, it's not my favourite Terry Pratchett book, but it's still a very enjoyable ride.
Published 11 hours ago by Tom Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Terry has still got it!
I'm so happy to see that Pratchett is still going strong. Like a fine wine, his writing just gets better with age. Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Jesse
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Story - if you aren't hard core Disc World
I have the book, but listened to the story first from Audible. The narrator is, of course, wonderful as you know exactly which character is speaking, plus the timing, inflection... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I adore Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels!
Published 3 days ago by Beverly Merrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Vimes's exasperation (and his ability to thwart the bad guys) is at...
Five Stars for Pratchett, and Stephen Brigg's Narration. Many of the usual suspects show up throughout the book; Vimes's exasperation (and his ability to thwart the bad guys) is... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Rosemary H. Knower
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As always,outstanding from Pratchett
Published 5 days ago by jaseydalts
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great fast Service!
Published 7 days ago by Johnny Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars In true a Terry fashion there is an underdog fighting ...
In true a Terry fashion there is an underdog fighting against the whole world...and you don't know who is winning...even when the reading is done.
Published 7 days ago by Charlene
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another good one
Another great entry into the series
Published 8 days ago by EFrog
4.0 out of 5 stars Another entertaining story from disc world!
So happy to get my hands on another Terry Pratchett novel - he writes such delicious prose and I am hooked - a young person got me interested in the series and even though I'm a... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

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Topic From this Discussion
I Can't wait
From what I understand, the Discworld books have changed publishers. It's possible that the new publisher doesn't quite have their act together as well as the previous one. Either way, I'll be ordering a copy from Amazon UK.
Oct 29, 2013 by Chris Swanson |  See all 6 posts
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