Friday Faceoff – Falling Off the Rails…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week’s theme is train tracks, so I have chosen Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett. Thank goodness this crop of covers are better than the shower produced for Equal Rites.


raisingsteamThis is the hardback cover of the book produced by Doubleday in November 2013. It’s the cover of the book I possess. I love the colours and the sense of madcap mayhem that tends to abound in all the Discworld novels and is effectively depicted in this cover. This is my favourite.


raisingsteam1This hardback version published by Doubleday in March 2014 is also enjoyable, though I don’t think it packs the punch of the previous one. But you definitely get a sense of the comedy and that it is set within a particular time, albeit with a strong Fantasy slant…


raisingsteam2This offering, published by Corgi in October 2014, is back to the sense of mayhem and joyous feeling of PROGRESS that comes out clearly in the book. I really like this one.


raisingsteam3This German cover, published in November 2014 by Manhatten, is far more sedate and there is little indication that the story is humorous or full of the satirical joie de vivre that was Pratchett’s speciality in the Discworld universe.



I was amazed at how much an identical cover design can be changed by different colour tones last week and this French cover is another example. Published in November 2014 by L’Atalante, this cover gives quite a different feel to the brighter Corgi version.

Which is your favourite, or the one you dislike the most?

20 responses »

  1. I haven’t read the books either. Please give me some info about the series and where to start. Is it anything like Douglas Adams (I see the reference to humor)? I loved all of his books as an undergraduate back in the late sixties.

    • Humour is always very personal, but I’ve always found him funny. Yes, his writing is also satirical, like Adams, though he relies less on punning and more on situational humour with a keen appreciation of the ridiculous. My advice would be to start right at the beginning – The Colour of Magic – there are also runs of books in among the canon if you are particularly drawn to the witches, or the Watch. Do let me know how you get on – I have so many happy memories of giggling through this series…

    • That’ll be Equal Rites… My favourite is Small Gods, closely followed by Hogfather – I love the sharp philosophy and wisdom of SM, whereas Hogfather is just riotously funny… Raising Steam is a Discworld spin on the industrial revolution.

  2. The first one fits the best the feel that I associate with Terry Pratchet his books. A bit of chaos and mayhem. That cover just fits, the others just seem a bit too normal? Although the third one is nice too.

  3. I love the first three: they convey the writer’s style. The German one is the worst, in my opinion, it takes away the unique feel of Partchett’s books. I don’t like the French cover much as it takes a great one (in terms of colors and mood) and turns it into something duller.

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