“Raising Steam” by Terry Pratchett | Book Review

Book Review | Rating – 3/5 | Genre – Fantasy

I’ve been a fan of Terry Pratchett for many years now, having bought and read many of his books over the years. Recently I’ve not been picking his books up as much, not through distaste, but merely because there are so many books that are around to read that I didn’t want to pigeon hole myself with one author and Terry’s books can be rather large and lengthy to read. However, while I’ve been packing up my books, readying them for my recent move, I came across another of Pratchett’s books that I own but hadn’t read yet. Thats what brought me to the now, here is my review…


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 . . . (check it out here)


What did I think?

My first initial thought was, “lord this is a very chunky book”. Of all the books I’ve read in my life, this was probably the first where I was slightly overwhelmed by how large the book actually was. That aside, I enjoyed the book to a certain extent. Once again I was captured by Terry Pratchett’s wonderful writing, delving once again into the wonderful discworld, this time following the invention of the locomotive train as the new fangled invention starts to spread around the world.

It was only as I started to cross the halfway point that I really started to feel the weight of the book that I was reading. It wasn’t long until I wondered whether the end of the story would ever come, my thoughts even floating to things that were nothing to do with the story. This was rather unfortunate as I was generally enjoying the overall story. If only the ending came sooner as it tied up the story nicely.

Reasons to read Raising Steam…

  • Wonderfully written: As with most of Terry Pratchett’s work, I was drawn in by his amazing writing, enjoying the more poetic and friendly narration of another part of the phenomenal world that is discworld.
  • Witty and realistic characters: Although the books have created one of the more modern literary fantasy worlds, it is still very easy to see how these characters can fit so perfectly in our real world. It is Terry’s witty humour that enables us to relate to the characters and plots that he creates, seeing the social commentary more clearly.

At the end of the day…

This was probably one of my least favourite of Terry Pratchett’s books. It had everything that I would enjoy from a discworld novel; his witty sense of humour, weaved around interesting and realistic characters. However, I just wasn’t taken with the story of the invention of the train in this fantasy world.

When it came down to it, the writing and characters made the story fairly enjoyable. It was easy enough to understand to see how it paralleled the real-world. However, the story was just far too long for me to thoroughly enjoy the book. By the end of the book I was just hoping the ending would come quickly, so much so that my mind started to wander to other things.

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