Raising Steam: Discworld, Book 40 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Audible Audiobooks, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
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....
Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.
- One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
- Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
- Exclusive member-only deals.
- No commitment - cancel anytime.
- Audible is £7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See audible.co.uk/ft for eligibility.
|Listening Length||12 hours and 20 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.co.uk Release Date||07 November 2013|
|Publisher||Random House Audiobooks|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 2,151 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
72 in Classic Literature
168 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
285 in Contemporary Fantasy (Books)
Top reviews from United Kingdom
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Wow, was I ever disappointed! Dialogue is stilted and out of character, the narrative is confused, and the main Discworld players go absurdly off point with little (and not so little) asides. There's a glimmer of a good Discworld novel in there somewhere, but only a really die hard fan could enjoy this. It is very much NOT representative of Pratchett's writing style.
Random characters from other series appear to give their two pennies' worth. Lu Tze pops up briefly to have a word with Mustrum Ridcully, on the lines of 'Isn't it a bit early in history for railways', 'No, if railways have happened, then it's time for railways'. Then nothing is heard from them again.
The 'gang' encounter a tribe of gnomes (remember Buggy Squires and the Nac Mac Feegle?), who emerge fearfully from their holes after one of the many 'battle scenes', and randomly offer the information that they make shoes. 'Did you say you make shoes?' asks Moist. 'My railway workers need big boots.' The gnomes agree to make hobnail boots in return for being left alone. Not very gnome-like. And that's it. Totally random.
Vetinari, usually so inscrutable, lays bare his worries, motivations and internal struggles to anyone who will listen. Some tyrant...
Make no mistake, this is very badly planned, written, and edited. All writers rely heavily on their editor, who is a very important part of producing the final product. But in this case there are 3 possibilities.
1) Terry Pratchett wrote this but it was uncharacteristically rubbish, and his editor didn't point it out for some reason.
2) It is the work of a ghost writer, possibly from Pratchett's skeleton notes, and Pratchett's editor thought it was the best a third party could do.
3) Pratchett's editor tried to put something together from Pratchett's notes, was reluctant to leave anything out, and therefore it wasn't properly edited.
Look, it's not terrible. In terms of story, it's the next logical move for Moist von Lipwig. It's an interesting move towards the future for Discworld, the history of which has basically been story of human endeavour from the dark ages up to industrialisation, crammed into about 30 Discworld years or so. If Sir Terry hadn't been so ill it would probably have been very different, and we would all be looking forward to the next 3 books. As it stands, it's not worthy of the man, being badly written and badly edited.
Fans, used to Terry Pratchett's usually crisp style, will struggle but like it in the end. And I'm sure it will spawn a whole load of fan fiction, which will probably be fun.
Basically, as a fan, I'm only a bit miffed at paying the Kindle price. I would consider the paperback price a waste of money.
As a standalone book, I would give this 1 or 2 stars. I gave 3 because it at least is Discworld. Just not as you know it...
He was always, until the end, a sharp & witty writer; witty both in the sense of being humorous & of being intelligent, barbedly so at times. As an author, he was an elegant assassin with a dancing pen. Not in Snuff or here. The prose, the plot, the humour are all lumbering, cumbersome, ponderous, never mind that instead of sharp comment, his themes in both books are overt & clumsy moralising, essentially along the lines of "Why can't we ignore each others' differences & just get along?" He went from being an assassin to being a troll, crudely whacking you over the head with a club.
It's moot as to who actually wrote these last two books. The ideas are undoubtedly his, but the style is so radically different; hopelessly, horribly laboured, over-written, over-explained; that you can't help but wonder whether the actual words were his, or those of his 'assistant'. The point is moot because, obviously, he approved them both, but it's difficult to imagine he would have released works like this in his prime. With these two final books, he was, I am sad to say, very much at the nadir, not the peak, of his powers.
Raising Steam is marginally the better of the two, but it remains still a 4/10 book that suffers badly by comparison with the rest of his work. There are idiotic impossibilities & implausibilities, apparent continuity errors e.g. what we're briefly told about Adora Belle's infancy doesn't sit well with what we've previously been told about the history of the clacks in Going Postal. There are constant random insertions (never mind the overuse of footnotes that add nothing to the story & next to nothing to the humour) that have little or nothing to do with the plot & everything to do with the moralising (a human & a dwarf getting married, a troll & dwarf meet, apparently decide to leave their spouses & go off together, etc; and there's the utterly, utterly dreadful "Railway Children" interlude - if you know the film or the book, you'll recognise it immediately & it's impossible to understand why Sir Terry allowed such an appallingly poor piece of prose to be published). It's clumsy & disjointed.
The humour, as with Snuff, relies far too much on lame wordplay & weak puns. The worst example is "loggysticks". We're told that Dick Simnel has invented the concept of logistics. It's a feeble pun anyway, but once the realisation strikes you that everyone who uses it will have heard "logistics" spoken & likely will never have seen it written down, it fails utterly to be funny, especially since it is repeated several times. Poor use of language, I am afraid, is a constant theme. One of the most marked departures from previous work is the dreadful verbosity of characters, particularly familiar ones such as Vetinari. Everyone had their individuality, and part of that individuality was how they spoke. Now, there's a 'well', a sir, a my lad, a my friend, a repetition of this ilk in pretty much every single damn bit of dialogue, and everyone over-explains & lectures in everything. Take the name away & every character sounds the same.
But then characters are another issue - they're such dreadfully one-dimensional caricatures. Take the major new introduction. Dick Simnel. Dick is the son of Ned Simnel who featured briefly in Reaper Man. Who spoke perfectly normally, as did everyone in his part of the world. But Dick is a caricature. Dick is a railway engineer ''Oo invented t'railway" & therefore is a bluff, blunt, "Ee bah gum" Yaaarkshuure man (& although he never uses the whole phrase, he does "Ee" & "by gum" separately several times). And that, really, tells you all you need to know about him, which says a great deal about the book.
Inevitably, if you are a Discworld fan (& if you are not, then why you are reading this!), you will have to read this. There's still enough of the old Terry in this that it isn't a waste of time. But don't expect too much of it.
Rhetoric aside, this appears to be the work of a ghost writer who has a character guide, a basic story but unfortunately no imagination. The "exciting" action scenes were so dull they were over before I realised they were supposed to be an action scene. One book left to finish my collection and I don't know whether I can bear it...