Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Molokov » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:41 am

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. :D


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.
Nullus Anxietas V - The Australian Discworld Convention
10-12 April 2015
Novotel Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
http://ausdwcon.org
User avatar
Molokov
Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:31 am
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:39 pm

No rest for the wicked though Molokov, next one is a Tiffany one and it's being written now with more Discworld to follow. :D :mrgreen:
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 14861
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Slantaholic » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:22 pm

Molokov wrote:
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).
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.
A lot of the lovely little scenes full of snappy dialogue are missing.


Thank you for raising several points. I didn't like the book either. It's not there with my least favs, like TCOM, E!, TLC, WoP, etc. - it's over there in the purple prose category with Snuff and ISWM.
User avatar
Slantaholic
Member
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:24 pm
Location: UK

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:18 am

Molokov wrote: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.


I haven't gone through it in great detail yet, but it seemed to me that in some places, sentences were kept in the main text that might have been intended to be footnotes. When I get the paperback some time in the next year or so, I may try marking what seem to be footnotes to see how much difference it makes.

Molokov wrote: 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.
[snip]
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.


You may be right. I think there may be something different about the sentence structure. Dictating the story can't be blamed since Moist's earlier adventures were also dictated and they had the occasional direct representation of Moist's thoughts, as though we were overhearing them telepathically. In RS, as you said, we seem to be being told about them more often.

Molokov wrote: 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.


I wonder whether it's that influence, or whether it has more to do with having a different editor. I did notice that RS had none of the casual typographical errors that I'd grown almost accustomed to seeing. Maybe the editor also removed the footnotes and Sir Terry didn't argue for most of them. He did say once that he had to choose his battles with editors so he could fight harder for the important word choices. (Try comparing a UK and US edition word-by-word sometime. I did it with The Truth; it was, um, most illuminating.)
=Tamar
Member
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby TheAnts » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:08 pm

Molokov wrote:
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).


That's it. It's got well down from the Large Hammer stage, but it reads as if it hasn't gone right down through the tiny hammer, sandpaper and fine polishing cloth stages.

I don't know when I first started noticing that some joins in the text weren't quite finished. I don't particularly associate this with Snuff, which I like, but maybe it's something you only notice on a first reading. It's much more marked in RS.

He's also got more didactic, particualry in I Shall Wear Midnight.
TheAnts
New member
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby TheAnts » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:11 pm

=Tamar wrote: (Try comparing a UK and US edition word-by-word sometime. I did it with The Truth; it was, um, most illuminating.)


Thank you for that tip, The Truth is very much about the local newspaper /family magazine style of UK publication, it would be interesting to see how any changes affected that feeling.
TheAnts
New member
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Slantaholic » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:38 pm

Can we have some TT quotes then? Is it one word changes, or are there different meanings between characters implied? Any paragraphs inserted (especially in the Slant, Pin and Tulip scenes)?
User avatar
Slantaholic
Member
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:24 pm
Location: UK

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:01 am

Slantaholic wrote:Can we have some TT quotes then? Is it one word changes, or are there different meanings between characters implied? Any paragraphs inserted (especially in the Slant, Pin and Tulip scenes)?


A little of everything, and more. Someone made what seemed like random changes to Otto's accent, changing which words were affected, to no apparent purpose except to prove they were changing something. One scene was more or less complete but elements were rearranged. One scene had a one-word line removed that changed a character.
I listed them once (on a different hard drive) - there were pages of changes.

A random Otto change:
UK h/c p.101: "Light in all its forms is mine passion....everybody smile!"
US h/c p.98: "Light in all itz forms is mine passion....everybody zmile!"

I mean, what was the point of those changes?

A more substantive, yet subtle, change: William is finishing his news letter with a note that in Ankh-Morpork anyone calling a dwarf "short stuff" would be killed.
UK h/c p.10: "He always liked to finish his letters on a happy note."
US h/c p.5: "He always liked to finish his letters on a happier note."

In the UK version, William genuinely thinks it is funny that a person from out of town who uses a pejorative term to a dwarf is killed.
In the US version, William thinks it's a slightly funnier story than the rest of his news, but not necessary much happier. William knows it's a rough joke, but he also knows his audience will appreciate it and it's the lightest thing he's managed to find to put in.

One that is quoted a lot:
UK h/c p.25: "My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!"
US h/c p.20: "My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who's been pinching my beer?"

Mr. Scrope is President of the:
UK h/c p.209: "Guild of Cobblers and Leatherworkers"
US h/d p.210: "Guild of Shoemakers and Leatherworkers"
First, a cobbler is a repairman, not a maker of new shoes. Second, Vimes a few sentences later says he never mentioned shoes. Mr. Scrope makes, or possibly repairs, "whips...and little jiggly things." Furthermore, Mr. Scrope's pretensions to the position of Patrician are ultimately shown to be a load of old cobblers, an implied joke that is lost by the change.

The scene that was noticeably revised described William's experience at Hugglestones.
UK h/c p.26: "...keenness was highly prized at Hugglestones, if only because actual achievement was so rare. The staff at Hugglestones believed that in sufficient quantities 'being keen' could take the place of lesser attributes like intelligence, foresight, and training."
Farther down the page:
"...only vaguely remember. Afterwards, his father"

US h/c p.21: "...keenness was highly prized at Hugglestones, if only because actual achievement was so rare."
Farther down the page:
"...only vaguely remember. Those who could recall William had a hazy picture of someone always arriving just too late at some huge and painful collision of bodies. A keen boy, they decided. The staff at Hugglestones prized keenness, believing that in sufficient quantities 'being keen' could take the place of lesser attributes like intelligence, foresight, and training. Afterwards, his father"

About Lord de Worde:
UK h/c p.285: "He doesn't really believe they can touch him, and if they do he'll just shout until they go away."
US h/c p.289: "He really believes they can't touch him, and that if they do he can just shout until they go away."
That changes the degree of likelihood that Lord de Worde is correct in his belief. In the UK version, they _will_ go away (expressed as true in William's experience). In the US version, Lord de Worde _believes_ they will go away. That allows for the possibility that Lord de Worde might be wrong in his belief.

On the same pages:
UK h/c p.285: "they never take their gloves off."
US h/c p.289: "they never take _their_ gloves off."
In the UK non-italicized version, they might be doing something themselves. In the US italicized version, there is a hint that although the men referred to don't take their own gloves off, they give orders that cause other men to take their gloves off, i.e., commit violence.

UK h/c p.287-288: "YOU MAY BE LEADING QUITE A DIFFERENT LIFE."
"Good."
Death patted Mr Tulip on the shoulder
US h/c p.291: "YOU MAY BE LEADING QUITE A DIFFERENT LIFE."
Death patted Mr Tulip on the shoulder

Do you see the difference? No acceptance ("Good.") from Mr Tulip.
No hint that he just considered that his behavior might be different (good).
The hint of redemption is lost.

=Tamar
=Tamar
Member
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:38 am

Interesting. :) I wonder if the change from Cobblers to Shoemakers was due to cobblers having a second meaning in the UK. Cobblers is Cockney Rhyming Slang = Cobbler's awl's = balls.

This tends to make the word "cobblers" have a somewhat comic meaning over here and one that has been exploited by comedians for years.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29002
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:44 pm

Great comparison work there Tamar, very interesting. Truly two countries divided by a common language :D
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10188
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:46 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Interesting. :) I wonder if the change from Cobblers to Shoemakers was due to cobblers having a second meaning in the UK. Cobblers is Cockney Rhyming Slang = Cobbler's awl's = balls.

This tends to make the word "cobblers" have a somewhat comic meaning over here and one that has been exploited by comedians for years.


I doubt it simply because the US editor almost certainly didn't know that, even if they'd read the phrase "a load of old cobbler's" - we don't have rhyming slang. In the US, "cobbler" brings to mind either someone mending shoes or a dish of baked fruit with a topping of sweetened crumbs. I suspect that the editor didn't recognize the word and changed it to something more familiar which not only lost the joke, it made Vimes's later statement pointless.
=Tamar
Member
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:47 pm

The Mad Collector wrote:Great comparison work there Tamar, very interesting. Truly two countries divided by a common language :D

Same language, different editor, and one with a tin ear for nuance.
=Tamar
Member
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Slantaholic » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:05 pm

Thank you for the long list, Tamar.
User avatar
Slantaholic
Member
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:24 pm
Location: UK

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:04 pm

=Tamar wrote:
The Mad Collector wrote:Great comparison work there Tamar, very interesting. Truly two countries divided by a common language :D

Same language, different editor, and one with a tin ear for nuance.


I've taught English in both countries, believe me it's not the same language :roll:
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10188
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Tiffany » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:16 pm

I enjoyed the book. I do like TP's witch books best though.
Best wishes,
Tiff
User avatar
Tiffany
Member
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:14 am
Location: Devon

PreviousNext

Return to Latest books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron