Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A young man invents the steam engine and the train and railroad soon follow. Lord Vetinari feels the winds of change blowing and puts Moist von Lipwig in charge of the burgeoning railway industry. But not everyone likes the idea of progress...
Here we are, the 40th Discworld book. Even after 40 books, I forget how clever Terry Pratchett is the time between volumes. I wasn't sold on this at first. The grag subplot felt disjointed and it seemed like old Pratch might have been going off the rails. Then the rhythm caught and soon it was full steam ahead.
Moist and Vetinari were in fine form. I was also pleased to see Vimes, Harry King, Lao-Tze, Mustrum Ridcully, and other old favorites make appearances. The fascination with the Iron Girder and the rest of the trains was completely understandable since I'm part of the large segment of the male population that is oddly fascinated with trains.
The goblins acclimating to life in Ankh-Morpork was another nice touch. The usual Discworld social commentary is present, as is the usual making me grin like a jackass. I even enjoyed the dwarfish subplot as I drew near the end, although it still seemed a little off.
It's not the best Discworld book out there but even on his worst day, Terry Pratchett always manages to keep me entertained. Four out of five stars.
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