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The Last Continent

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Corgi Books

Published : 1988

Copyright : Terry and Lyn Pratchett 1988

ISBN-10 : HB 0-385-40989-3
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-385-40989-6

Publisher's Write-Up

This is the Discworld’s last continent, a completely separate creation.

It’s hot. It’s dry... very dry There was this thing once called The Wet, which no one now believes in. Practically everything that’s not poisonous is venomous. But it’s the best bloody place in the world, all right?

And it’ll die in a few days except...

Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Champion sheep shearer, horse rider, road warrior, beer drinker, bush ranger and someone who’ll even eat a Meat Pie Floater when he’s sober? A man in a hat, whose Luggage follows him on little legs, who’s about to change history by preventing a swagman stealing a jumbuck by a billabong?

Yes... all this place has between itself and wind-blown doom is Rincewind, the inept wizard who can’t even spell wizard. He’s the only hero left.

Still... no worries, eh?

The Last Continent is the twenty-second in Terry Pratchett’s phenomenally successful Discworld series.

Terry Pratchett would like it to be known that The Last Continent is not a book about Australia. It’s just vaguely Australian.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (010901) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
Cue every joke and cliché that you have ever heard about Australia and it's in here. The story is about the librarian having a magical cold virus, which is making him do some very strange things, all while covered in red fur, but he needs a cure, nevertheless. The wizards decide to try to help him, but a magical spell to cure him needs the use of his proper name. And here is the weird bit, no one knows his real name, since the beginning of the series when he was turned into an ape, he has only been the Librarian, hence the problem.

The solution seems to be that the wizards need to find someone who knows the name of the librarian, and therefore they need to get Rincewind. Rincewind, however is wandering around in the middle of nowhere. The wizards try to find him by looking for the "Egregarious professor of cruel and unusual geography", who may be able to find him.

Unfortunately they can't find the professor, but in his room they do find a window that opens onto a lovely tropical beach. Of course, they decide that a sit in the sun is just what the Librarian needs, and out they all go. Unfortunately when Mrs Whitlow comes to bring their sustenance, she accidentally closes the window and it vanishes, marooning them there.

The wizards try to explore the island, finding some very strange things, like a cigarette tree and another plant, which produces a chocolate coconut. The wizards eventually meet the creator of the island and realise that they are at the beginning of time, and the creator is struggling to make everything unique, so Ponder introduces the concept of sex to him, with some assistance in the technical department from Mrs Whitlow. (Some of the wizards find this quite distressing.)

In the meantime, Rincewind is surviving in the dry lands of EcksEcksEcksEcks, with some assistance from a not quite normal kangaroo. He finds himself becoming part of the lore of the country, as an outlaw in the mould of Ned Kelly. The strange thing is that there are images being created of people with pointy hats in old pictures, which were not there a few minutes ago. All very strange, I do think.

All of the clichés are there, the things that Australians eat and drink provide some interesting moments, as does the national past-time of sheep shearing. Rincewind just can't stay out of trouble, and people think that he is completely off his trolley when he talks about the weather, because they think that it is an old wives tale that water can fall from the sky. After all, water is heavy, so how does it get into the sky in the first place?

I do enjoy the strange way that TP looks at the world, in a kind of sideways glance he can make you question things that you have never really thought about. I liked the idea of the creator and the idea that someone had to invent sex from first principles was funny, but no more ludicrous than the alternative, that everything has to be completely unique.
Chrissi (1st September 2001)

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