cover image Raising Steam: A Discworld Novel

Raising Steam: A Discworld Novel

Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs. Random House Audio, 10 CDs, 12.5 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-8041-6453-5

Briggs, narrator of audio editions of over 30 titles in Pratchett's long-running Discworld series, set in a bizarre fictional world, once again puts forth a vivacious performance in this recording of the 40th installment. As this audiobook demonstrates, selecting Briggs to give voice to Pratchett's characters was not just the obvious choice but the right one. A young man's determination to succeed at harnessing the four elements%E2%80%94earth, air, fire, and water%E2%80%94where his father catastrophically failed produces the Discworld's first steam engine, a device that can finally solve the pressing question of how to get fish from coastal Quirm to the distant inland city-state Anhk-Morpork. Building a railway between the two will require balancing the needs of an idealistic engineer, a demanding investor, conniving aristocrats, desperate goblins, and political extremists. Briggs gives each character his or her own distinctive voice and uses accents to illuminate Discworld society. A Doubleday hardcover. (Mar.)