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Raising Steam (Discworld) Hardcover – March 18, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,633 ratings
Book 40 of 41 in the Discworld Series

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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

Review

“Consistently funny, wise and clever. . . . Rewarding to both longtime readers and novices, filled with characters who leap off the page and metaphors that make you laugh out loud. . . . Pratchett's appeal isn't just his roller-coaster plots but the depth of his ideas.”
     —Sam Thielman, Newsday
 
“Salted among all the treacle miners and nascent trainspotters are some serious ideas about technology and the irrevocable changes it brings. . . . While exploring questions about the unintended consequences of technology, Pratchett also blasts fundamentalists who resist all progress. But mostly he seems to be having fun with words in the very British strain of absurdist humor that he has made his own. And 40 books in, why not?”
     —Sara Sklaroff, The Washington Post

“A delightful fantasy send-up of politics, economics and finance, as the Discworld gets a railway and complications ensue. . . . A lovely homage to the courage at the core of technological advance. . . . Pratchett melds politics, finance and the occasional dark turn with his fantasy and humor, and as ever his footnotes are not to be missed. . . . How many writers are more fun to spend time with?”
     —Ken Armstrong, The Seattle Times
 
“A spectacular novel, and a gift from a beloved writer to his millions of fans. . . . A tremendous synthesis of everything that makes Pratchett one of the world’s most delightful writers.”
    —Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“What began with a farcical satire of pseudomedieval fantasy has become 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, in the way of many things invested with devotion on the Disc itself, the Discworld has taken on a life of its own.” 
     —Karin L. Kross, Tor.com

“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

"Terry Pratchett’s creation is still going strong after 30 years. . . . Most aficionados, however, will be on the look-out for in-jokes and references from previous novels—of which there is no shortage. Discworld’s success, like that of Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories, has never been driven by the plots. . . . It is at the level of the sentence that Pratchett wins his fans.”
    —Andrew McKie, The Times (London)

“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. . . . 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
 
“Leavened with Pratchett’s usual puns, philosophical quips, and Discworld in-jokes, the story offers an amusing allegory of Earthly technology’s many seductions.” 
     —Booklist 


Praise for Terry Pratchett

“Terry Pratchett may still be pegged as a comic novelist, but . . . he’s a lot more. In his range of invented characters, his adroit storytelling, and his clear-eyed acceptance of humankind’s foibles, he reminds me of no one in English literature as much as Geoffrey Chaucer. No kidding.”
    —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

“Given his prolificacy and breezy style, it’s easy to underestimate Pratchett. . . .  He’s far more than a talented jokesmith, though. His books are almost always better than they have to be.”
    —Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle

“Nonstop wit. . . . Pratchett is a master of juggling multiple plotlines and multiplying punchlines.”
    —Ken Barnes, USA Today

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
2,633 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2015
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Top international reviews

Marius
3.0 out of 5 stars Scrapes 3 stars, but only just... (attention - spoilers!)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 3, 2017
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Manno
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. As slow as a snail race without the excitement of a wager and other drunken participants.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2018
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Mike Watkinson
2.0 out of 5 stars The end of the line; a sad decline
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2019
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Greg Mclane
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and exciting not classic Pratchett but very close
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2017
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JohnB
5.0 out of 5 stars Luckily I have more in the series to read - particularly enjoyed this one throughout.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 22, 2019
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F. M. Havicon
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing rather than funny, nothing new.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2015
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Mr. S. G. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars How Discworld became (nearly) modern
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2019
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Christopher Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fine Story From TP
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2017
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Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2014
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Pat Edinburgh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but arrived damaged .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2020
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Joadka
4.0 out of 5 stars Moist Lipwick is a genius.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2019
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M. Brookes
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but still a decent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 9, 2014
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travelswithadiplomat
4.0 out of 5 stars A philosophical novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 13, 2014
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James
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Just Not the Same...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2019
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jacw2000
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2016
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