Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Terry Pratchett - Raising Steam

Terry Pratchett has written so many good novels over the years that it is easy to hold him to incredible high standards. Unfortunately his latest novel, while entertaining, is not on a par with earlier works. In places it felt like Pratchett was simply writing by numbers, and filling in the blanks with his earlier creations and characters.

For me to Raising Steam just didn't have the underlying air of magic and mystery that other Discworld novels have. It really just felt like an amusing book about the invention of the railways, rather than an extension of other story lines and character arcs.

The jokes felt tired (the Hygienic Railway!) and the characters seemed cardboard cut outs rather than their normally rounded wholes. Unusually with a new Pratchett, I found myself uninterested and bored.

Rather unfairly I feel, some reviewers want to blame this on Pratchett's illness. But I've felt that the Discworld books of the last five or ten years have failed to match the brilliance of earlier ones in the series. Perhaps Discworld has just reached its natural end. I'll be honest though. I'll still keep buying them. Even when Pratchett's not very good, he still has moments of absolute brilliance.

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