maandag 8 augustus 2016

Terry Pratchett: Raising Steam

Hi everyone

Raising Steam is the 40th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.
My copy has 475 pages and I got it at the Fnac.

“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 . . .”

At the time Pratchett wrote this, he was a dying man and it shows in this book. The story is about change, improvement, hope, progress, never giving up and believing in the future. It’s more out there too. His messages aren’t as veiled as they used to be. Not that I mind, it’s just a change I’ve been noticing in the last couple of books. It’s as if he wants to make sure we understand what he’s trying to say because he knows he won’t be able to do it much longer.

There were a few things I didn’t really like.
The story was too long and rather boring to be honest. It’s not as funny and witty as his previous books, it’s not as clearly worked out too because there are much more descriptive parts and meandering instead of characterbuilding or plot.
I felt like I was sitting on the outside and the book was narrated to me, not like I was part of it. It didn’t suck me in.
Vetinary felt off too. He wasn’t his usual self.

But I did enjoy it even though it took more effort then usual to read the book.
Pratchett's criticism and social commentary in this novel is wonderful and made me think about a lot of things in our world.
I loved it that so many of his most wonderful characters made an appearance in this book though some much loved characters (Captain Carrot) were strangely absent.
It was so much fun to read how so many people on Discworld got sold on the trains and how fascinated they became by them. This made me smile a lot.
I loved the goblins and how they really have their own place in society now. It’s heartwarming.
I liked the revelations the Lower King of the Dwarfs did at the end. Very nice touch.

Raising Steam is great, just not as great as his previous works.

Because it’s Discworld, I can’t give it less then

Happy reading!