Raising Steam is the 40th book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.
I waited a long time before starting this book because I heard from several sources that it wasn’t very good and I didn’t want to ruin what has been an awesome 39 book series. I finally bit the bullet and I’m really glad I did because I really enjoyed it. Maybe some literary types can argue some difference between the earlier books and this one, but as far as I can see it’s the same Discworld stuff I’ve enjoyed all along.
Steam trains have come to Discword and most of the world has fallen under their spell. I used to love toy trains as a kid, so I could relate to this.
I Shall Wear Midnight is the most recent book in the Discworld series. It’s a continuation of the Tiffany Aching story line and like the other Young Adult books, doesn’t have such a densely packed story line. It was enjoyable, but didn’t rock my world.
During my recent trips I read the last two books in the Discworld series…
Wintersmith – The Wintersmith (the God of winter, sort-of) falls in love with Tiffany Aching, a young witch. If Tiffany handles it badly the discworld cold be thrown into a permanent winter. The 4th in the young adults series. I got half way through this and left the book on a plane, so I had to buy a new copy to finish it.
Making Money – Moist von Lipwig, a former conman, tries to revitalize the Ankh Morpork banking system.
I’ve been reading these books since November 2007. That’s about 19 months, which works out at roughly 1 book every 2 weeks. There is a new book out later in the year, but I’ll wait for the paperback.
So now what? I don’t really know what to read next. Any suggestions welcome…
The first 50 pages of Thud! were a real struggle for me. I love the Sam Vimes character so I was expecting this book to click instantly and it just didn’t. It starts off quite serious and there seems to be a distinct lack of humour. So I switched my mindset from expecting humour to just reading a detective story and then started to find it much more amusing. It does seem significanly more serious and it just feels different to many of the Discworld books I’ve read, but maybe it was just me. Even so, it was pretty cool.
The recent traveling as given me a chance to read some more Discworld books.
A Hat Full of Sky – Another mission for the new witch Tiffany Aching. A nice story, but like the other Young Adult Discworld books, it lacks a little edge.
Going Postal – Against his will, a conman called Moist von Lipwig becomes Ankh-Morpork’s latest postmaster. So does he make a go of it, use it to continue his life of crime, or make a run for it? I’m always hesitant when a new character is introduced, but this one works really well.
The recent travelling means I’ve been able to do some more Discworld reading:
The Truth: Ankh-Morpork gets its first newspaper. It’s all downhill from there on…
Thief of Time: The perfect clock is built, time stops and the world as we know it ends. Susan, Death’s Granddaughter, and the History Monks come to the rescue.
The Last Hero: Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde decide to give the Gods what-for! Could this mean the end of Discworld?
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents: A talking cat, talking rats and a stupid looking kid pretending to be the Pied Piper. Life is never quite as simple as a fairy tale.
Next stop, book 29. The journey continues…
Rock and Roll is born on Discworld in Soul Music and Rincewind frees the Counterweight Continent in Interesting Times.
Although both books are pretty good, by the standards of previous offerings I felt they were a little flat. Maybe some of that is down to the manner in which I read them. Most of the previous books were read in comparatively few sittings. Maybe 50-100 pages at a time. These two books were read in chunks of about 10-20 pages at a time. I guess you lose some of the momentum when you are constantly starting and stopping.
My quest to read the Discworld series continues:
Lords and Ladies – This book starts where Witches Abroad finished. This time the witches have to prevent elves returning to the Discworld. Love, marriage, death and elves. What more could you want.
Men at Arms – I keep reading these books and saying, “This one is my favorite!”, only to read the next and have it become my new favorite, but Mean at Arms is a classic!
It’s a while since I mentioned any books, so I thought I’d get myself up to date…
Reaper Man – Death takes a holiday and chaos ensues. Death is my favorite character in the Discworld series, so I really enjoyed this one.
Witches Abroad – Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick have to go “abroad” do some “fairy god-mothering” to make sure a few fairy tales don’t end they way they should. These three characters work really well together as they are all so different. The funny thing is 4th fro last sentence is, “There’s a billion places like home. But only one of ‘em’s where you live.”, which seemed really appropriate as I was reading it whilst feeling totally at home in Vienna.
Small Gods – What happens when people worship the politics and process of their religion rather than their God? Answer… Their God becomes a one eyed tortoise who can only be heard by the last person who actually truly believes in him. A very funny book with more than a hint of truth in parts.
That’s 13 books done and I’m still only 1/3 of the way through…
Today marks the end of my first full week of “normal” life for quite some time!
I’ve managed to:
- Swim every day.
- Get to all my Karate lessons.
- Do Yoga with my Yoga-buddies, as well do my regular stint of teaching.
- Get to the gym.
- Stretch a couple of times a day.
- Do a bit of writing for the website. I’m concentrating on the OCP 11g new features stuff, but I still don’t think I’m going to be ready in time for the exam going live.
- Do a bit of reading.
Things are starting to feel something like normal again. My routine has been all over the place since November. First I was in OpenWorld. Then I had a cold for a couple of weeks. Then my dad died. Then it was the Christmas and New Year holiday. I must admit I feel a lot more settled and positive now I’ve got back into my usual rut.
I finished reading Moving Pictures last night. As I said before, it’s been hard to connect with this book. I’m already starting to remember little bits of it fondly, but the overall experience was that it was a hard slog. I can’t explain why.
I opened up the next book, Reaper Man, and the first 40 pages flew by before I noticed how late it was.
Life goes on…