Penfold wrote:I enjoyed it as well and found the first hundred pages or so reminiscent of his earlier works (that may be to do with the amount of footnotes and references to old characters and places, of course). I did think some of his satirical messages to be unusually heavy-handed though, in a 'hits you in the face and batters it over your head' type of way, rather than with the usual subtlety that I associate with his work.
I think you've hit the nail on the head there Penfold. The subtlety is gone - most plot points and foreshadowing and moralising are now blunt and hitting you over the head with a large hammer (to continue the metaphor).
Terry's stories are great, and always have been. I think the plot lines and story in all of his books to be amazing, including Snuff, Dodger and Raising Steam.
But for those three, there seems to be a distinct change in style to those that came before. The prose is far more wandering and ambling, with descriptions of events and scenes changing in the middle of a paragraph as you follow a character's internal monologue. At the start of the monologue you're in one place, and by the end of the long paragraph full of run-on stream-of-thought sentences, it's several hours later and many things have happened which were only vaguely mentioned in passing. A lot of the lovely little scenes full of snappy dialogue are missing. I did spot a few of those in Raising Steam and felt all nostalgic about them, but they were scattered and far between.
I suppose considering the time period over which Raising Steam takes place (much of a year), the narrative move-the-story-along sections are more necessary than in earlier stories which took place over the course of a few days, but I still miss the lively character interactions we used to get.
I also felt that we didn't /truly/ get inside Moist's head in Raising Steam, even though he was the point of view character for most of the book. Terry seems to be describing what Moist is thinking and feeling in a detached way, rather than us living the story through Moist's thoughts and feelings.
I don't know, it just seemed... different, and not truly Discworld.
I did still enjoy the storyline, the action, and the various jokes and footnotes - quite a few chuckles were had - but it's (in my opinion) a good point at which to leave Discworld to rest.
I don't have a similar problem with The Long Earth and The Long War, mainly because they are completely different animals, and Stephen Baxter's influence is quite strong on the writing style there. Those books can be slow, meandering stories because they're more about exploring an idea to its fullest extent than telling a story with a beginning, middle and end.