Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Catch-up » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:43 pm

I agree, I think all of those odd scenes with Vetinari are Charlie. And I definitely got the impression by the end of the book that Stoker was Vetinari.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Slantaholic » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:14 am

Yes, by the end Vetinari told Moist that he was Stoker Blake, but I don't think that those odd scenes are Charlie!

I mean there's no way that he'd get away day after day with such appalling behaviour. He'd be fired if that was the entire range of his acting ability. It's definitely Havelock Vetinari, who's not feeling mentally well. He needs a better holiday than the threat of bandits thee next time he goes to visit Lady Margolotta. As it is, he doesn't go again until Moist and Simnel have built an entire armoured train FOR HIM and fortunately the Low Queen needed it as well.

Why - does Vetinari decide to work as a type of engineer (well, a furnace stoker) when he prefers manipulating people over cogwheels - he doesn't appear to be having the type of fun that he, and we, come to expect when he sends Vimes off to arrest people! I don't think he's having much fun killing grags, and nor does Moist von Lipwig enjoy killing people.

I found it a very immoral book in the killing aspect, when in previous Moist novels, Vetinari tries to teach Moist about politics and get him away alive and without stealing from the city. In Raising Steam, he's encouraged to loot corpses by Terry Pratchett's strange prejudice about goblins!
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:25 pm

Slantaholic wrote: It's definitely Havelock Vetinari, who's not feeling mentally well. He needs a better holiday than the threat of bandits thee next time he goes to visit Lady Margolotta. As it is, he doesn't go again until Moist and Simnel have built an entire armoured train FOR HIM and fortunately the Low Queen needed it as well.


Vetinari has been actively attacked, not just threatened, quite a few times in the course of the series. There has been a bit of fan speculation that the Lord Vetinari Ward is not just a place to stash madmen who think they are him; it might be a safe place for him to relax. He is definitely under a strain.

Slantaholic wrote:Why - does Vetinari decide to work as a type of engineer (well, a furnace stoker) when he prefers manipulating people over cogwheels - he doesn't appear to be having the type of fun that he, and we, come to expect when he sends Vimes off to arrest people!

For the same reason that he wants an armored train, or even two, one to be a decoy. He is hiding.

Slantaholic wrote: I don't think he's having much fun killing grags, and nor does Moist von Lipwig enjoy killing people.

At this point, Moist is arguably more moral than Vetinari. Moist never enjoyed killing; he used to be proud of not having even been in a fight for the most part. His flaws were committing theft for excitement and not thinking about the consequences of his thefts. In the fighting scenes in RS, Moist is acting more or less as a soldier, and he is even given the excuse of being drugged with goblin potion.

I think Vetinari is as fascinated with the steam engine as Drumknott is. He also knows that the city will take care of itself for short periods of time. It has before, after all.
Vetinari managed to leave the city of Ankh-Morpork in the hands of whoever took over (and they probably left it to Drumknott for the day-to-day work), when he left the city for most of Jingo. He has been incapacitated by poison for some time in Feet of Clay, by being shot in Men At Arms, and by exhaustion and having been knocked out in The Truth. He's also getting older. He knows that Ankh-Morpork will run itself for a short time without him, and with Drumknott and a double, hardly anyone would even notice. Despite the amount of time we see people in his office, it's likely that he doesn't actually have a continual stream of visitors, and Drumknott has often been shown bringing out the appropriate file folder without being told. Drumknott is capable of telling Charlie what to say on most occasions, and if "Vetinari" behaves a bit oddly at times, who's going to have the nerve to say so in public?

Given that Vetinari really wants a good transportation system and is also angry with the grags already for their attempts to destroy Ankh-Morpork by literally undermining it, I'm not surprised that he is angry enough to be willing to fight them himself. He is a trained killer, after all.

Slantaholic wrote:I found it a very immoral book in the killing aspect, when in previous Moist novels, Vetinari tries to teach Moist about politics and get him away alive and without stealing from the city. In Raising Steam, he's encouraged to loot corpses by Terry Pratchett's strange prejudice about goblins!


I suspect that may have been partly plot-determined; in order to protect the engine from falling boulders, something like the protective sort of micromail was needed. To get enough, in secret and at a low price (nobody could afford that much at high-fashion prices), it had to be spoils of war. Within the story, the grags and delvers who were killed were not innocently camping in a tunnel; they were actively attacking and trying to kill the railway workers.

The goblins, as is usual, represent the downtrodden who are beginning to stand up and defend themselves. Given that they are not yet considered to have full rights by many of the people on the Disc, there are clashes.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Bouncy Castle » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:30 pm

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby mirandashell » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:49 pm

Vetinari has always been wlling to kill though, if it means the city is safe. That's his whole reason for whatever he does. Apart from the dislike of mime artists which seems to be personal.... Anyway, he's a tyrant. He makes whatever decisions he feels are necessary to protect the city. He's practical and clever and intelligent and farsighted and completely and utterly pragmatic.

He's one of my favourites.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Slantaholic » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:16 pm

mirandashell wrote:
Vetinari has always been wlling to kill though, if it means the city is safe.

i would think that any city, state or country would be unsafe if its ruler was upfront about 'willing to kill'. Unfortunately, Vetinari is a former assassin who legalised his old school and legalised their crimes. I'm not surprised 'Ankh-Morpork suicide' is a city-wide ongoing project.

Can you imagine voting someone in for mayor, then having them legalise theft, prostitution, and assassination? That's Vetinari. He must have made public speeches before 'delivering the verdict' and legalising it all.

(I know, I know. It's fantasy, and Terry Pratchett wrote it that way *parody*)
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:33 pm

Get your facts right, Vetinari wasn't elected, no patrician is elected, this is a tyranny although a largely benevolent one.

Terry Pratchett in Mort wrote:Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Molokov » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:12 pm

Actually, the Assassins' Guild has been one of the longest running and most respected Guilds in the city (see Night Watch, for example). The only Guild Vetinari made 'legal' which was previously 'illegal' was the Thieves' Guild (as noted in Guards! Guards!).
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:20 pm

Molokov wrote:Actually, the Assassins' Guild has been one of the longest running and most respected Guilds in the city (see Night Watch, for example). The only Guild Vetinari made 'legal' which was previously 'illegal' was the Thieves' Guild (as noted in Guards! Guards!).

Vetinari was in the assassins guild originally, so it may have been a bit of favoritism on his part to make it legal. :mrgreen:
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:57 pm

It was already legal when Vetinari was a student there.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:24 pm

I'll take your word for it Tony. :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.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:16 pm

The Guilds are very old

Terry Pratchett in Men at Arms wrote:“Now here,” said Carrot, “is the Beggars’ Guild. They’re the oldest of the Guilds. Not many people know that.”
“Is that so?”
“People think it’d be the Fools or the Assassins. Ask anyone. They’ll say “the oldest Guild in Ankh-Morpork is certainly the Fools’ Guild or the Assassins’ Guild”. But they aren’t. They’re quite recent. But there’s been a Beggars’ Guild for centuries.”


Terry Pratchett in Pyramids wrote:The gates of the Assassins’ Guild were never shut. This was said to be because Death was open for business all the time, but it was really because the hinges had rusted centuries before and no-one had got around to doing anything about it.)
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:13 pm

The Mad Collector wrote:The Guilds are very old

Terry Pratchett in Pyramids wrote:The gates of the Assassins’ Guild were never shut. This was said to be because Death was open for business all the time, but it was really because the hinges had rusted centuries before and no-one had got around to doing anything about it.)

They must have repaired them at some time, because at least once Carrot has to get the gates open.
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Re: Raising Steam *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Katblossom » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:44 pm

=tamar, that was a good review. I agree with your points on Vetinari - why should Drumknott have all the fun? That was an interesting little plot twist. The character of Drumknott was developed a little more during this book, he's usually such a minor figure and I liked the little scene at the end where Vetinari turns to him when he's shown the bicycle and says " You're going to want one of those aren't you?"
All in all I really enjoyed this book. I thought the politics around the dwarf fanaticism and it's sexual politics to be well written and interesting (liked the bit about if anyone preferred cocktails), in anyone else's hands it might have seemed too ridiculous and silly but they way it was told was actually moving. You cared about their situation and while it may allude to current events, he's not necessarily taking sides and it could be about any group of people at all.
A very fast paced book I found, in keeping with it's main subject matter. One of his better stories.
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Three questions

Postby timdownieuk » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:37 pm

I get the feeling that I've missed a book. In which book did Vimes acquire his "blackboard monitor" appellation and why?

What's the deal with the tattoo on his arm?

Just how *did* the train cross the bridge? What was the deal with the "solid mist"?

Apologies if these have been asked and answered already.

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