Book: Terry Pratchett’s ‘Raising Steam’ – time for a replacement bus service?

I was a huge fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series a few years ago, the Witches were my favourite characters and I loved the humour.

The style has definitely changed over the years – the older books always felt like the characters and the story were the main part of the book, the newer ones seem to have a lot of description about settings and incidentals.

I am undecided if it is due to this change of style, but some of the more recent books haven’t felt as fresh and some of the plots have felt similar (for example I am pretty sure that ‘The Truth’, ‘Going Postal’ and ‘Making Money’ are the same darn book with a different cover), the newer characters have felt more disposable and I have been more aware of pop culture references which can badly date the books.

raising steam

Despite this I do still buy the books in hardback on release day and eagerly read them*; however with the newest book ‘Raising Stream’ I am struggling to get into it, really struggling.

Perhaps it is the presence of Moist von Lipwig who I haven’t really warmed to – the TV adaption of ‘Going Postal’ helped slightly but not much. He reminds me of William de Worde without the honesty or integrity.

Or perhaps it is because I have seen the WaterCress Line one time too many and steam trains are fun but something I associate with being very young (and having pigtails!).

Regardless, after three attempts in just over a week I am now 73 pages in. This leaves me around 300 to go and I am hopeful that I might be able to finish it this week – the angry dwarves seem interesting and I am curious if they get more like the stereotype of a certain flavour of religious fundamentalists as the book goes on.

lords and ladies pratchett

I wouldn’t normally write about a book that I’ve not yet finished, but as it is currently stopping me from reading anything else it might prompt me to finish it!

It is great that Prachett is still writing despite his medical inconvenience, but I am very much hoping that his changed style of writing doesn’t go anywhere near the Witches as I love my memories of those characters and the fact that I get miffed listening to the abridged audiobook versions as they miss lines out.

This book will be finished and I will probably enjoy it once I get into it, but it hasn’t been the easiest read and I am going to have to bury myself in ‘Lords and Ladies’ as soon as I’ve got to the end, just to find my happiest Pratchett place again.

*For the sake of honesty: I must admit that I didn’t buy ‘Monstrous Regiment’ when it came out in hardback, I read it in one sitting in a bookshop when I didn’t want to go back to the house share I was moving out of in under a week (odd story, odd people) and only fairly recently bought the hardback version in a charity shop.

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