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The Last Continent Hardcover – January 1, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews
Book 22 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Terry Pratchett's 22nd Discworld novel, The Last Continent, is a lighthearted tour of the fantasy land of Fourecks, a very Australian sort of place, with brief courses in theoretical physics and evolution thrown in for good measure. Pratchett returns to his first Discworld protagonist, the inept and cowardly wizard Rincewind, who habitually runs into trouble as fast as he flees. Rincewind's arrival in Fourecks has distorted the space-time continuum, and he has to sort it out before the whole place dries up and blows away. The situation is complicated because the actual problem is located 30,000 years in the past--just where the Faculty of the Unseen University currently are. Pretty frightening, given "the true wizard's instinct to amble aimlessly into dangerous places," and then "stop and argue ... about exactly what kind of danger it [is]."

If you're baffled by all this, no worries, mate. You needn't have read Pratchett before--not even the five previous Discworld novels starring Rincewind (The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Sourcery, Eric, and Interesting Times)--to enjoy this latest romp. Nor to have visited Australia. When you finish, however, you'll likely want to rush out and do both. --Nona Vero

Review

"Consistently, inventively mad...wild and wonderful!" -- -- Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

"If I were making my list of Best Books of the Twentieth Century, Terry Pratchett's would be ost of them" -- -- Elizabeth Peters

"Superb popular entertainment" -- -- Washingtom Post Book World

"Unadulterated fun... witty, frequently hilarious.... Pratchett parodies everything in sight." -- -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Consistently, inventively mad...wild and wonderful!" -- -- Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

"Simply the best humorous writer of the twentieth century." -- -- Oxford Times

"Terry Pratchett is fast, funny and going places. Try him!" -- -- Piers Anthony

"The funniest parodist working in the field today, period." -- -- New York Review of Science Fiction

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPrism (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061050482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061050480
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It probably is strange to see how some people only give the book 2 stars and find it a big disappointment, while others say it is his best one yet... Terry writes far more than 1 book-a-year which sometimes shows in his work. If you are a die-hard Discworld fan, you can't help noticing that Pratchett is getting less original all the time. But he has to repeat things, because non-Discworld fans have to be able to read the books as well. It is pretty weird to assume everone knows about a world standing on the back of a turtle; these things need to be explained over and over again. BUT in this book Mr. Pratchett doesn't write about most of his 'clichees', but about an entire new continent (XXXX for the fans) and still people (Discworld-fans!!) complain. A bit australianish as the cover says, but still very nice to read.
Still no worries eh?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Against the stars a turtle passes...

And so begins another of Terry Pratchett's tales of the Unseen University, a place where wizards go to study, kill each other, and, in their spare time, eat a lot. This time Archchancellor Ridcully has a serious problem. The Librarian has come down with magician's flu and with every sneeze the University's favorite orangutan changed into something else. A carpet, a red-headed grimoire, aven a deck chair. To make matters worse, the books in the library are in revolt. Now the worst hangs in the offing, the only hope is to bring Rincewind, the Unseen University's most inept graduate back to pacify the library, which they try to cure the Librarian. Only no one is quite positive where Rincewind is. After all, only an hour ago, no one ever wanted to see him again.

Rumor has it that Rincewind was dumped on the continent of Fourecks, a place where most people consider rain an offensive legend, after his last misadventure. The magician's primary talent is surviving disasters only to find himself in worse trouble. With this information, the faculty of the Unseen University troops into the office of The Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography and, by virtue of peering through a window that shouldn't be there find themselves precisely where they shouldn't be - in Fourecks, but a few thousand years too soon.

While Rincewind tries to avoid murder, torture, and irritated citizens on modern Fourecks, which has run out of water, the Archchancellor and his companions discover themselves present for the continent's creation by a God who was, well..., a little bit too thorough. And the Librarian is still sneezing. And somewhere, the many-footed luggage struggles to find its master.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
'The Last Continent' takes it's place in the Discworld series as another hilarious political insight into different cultures. I found that this book was certainly one of the more clever additions to the series, since in every sentence a little jewel of social comment into Australian culture is buried. For all you Aussie Discworld fans, and I know there are a lot of you out there, if you could only read one book this year, make it this one. For all you non-Australian fans, and I know there are probably more of you out there, your opininon of this book can range from the fantastic, to the totally lame. One begins to wonder if this book was written especially for Pratchett's Aussie fans, for they're the only one's who will get all the hidden gags. So if you really want to enjoy this book to it's absoloute fullest (and let me tell you, it has great potential) brush up on your Australian folklore, dialouge, beer, traditions, animals, landscape, geography, politics, foods, opera singers, cities, plants, television, movies, ballads, buildings, sports, haunted breweries, gay festivals, myths, and natives. But if you're not up to it, just enjoy the wizard jokes put in it just for you, ok?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At last!

Finally a plausible explanation for so many mysterious phenomena we've all pondered with futility:

Have you ever wondered how God ever arrived at sex as a means of creatures reproducing themselves? The answer's here in this book.

Have you ever wondered what the duckbill platypus? Yeah. What the duckbill platypus? Well, the answer's not precisely here, but if you wondered why, instead, you'll be fulfilled.

Kangaroos? Why budgies say the thing about pretty boys?

What it is that's missing in Oz, and why?

You'll get it all here in this, the best, the most amusing book yet by Terry Pratchett.

Unfortunately, you mustn't read it until you've read all the other Rincewind sequence books.

Then you can reward yourself with a laugh on every page and a newly found metaphysical awareness.

A handshake and friendly, "Howdy!" with god.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's funny how the character that started the series remains my least favorite recurring figure in Pratchett's Discworld books. Rincewind is a one note character whose perpetual cowardice wears a bit more each time he appears. While "Running away, keeps him alive," it also is unbearably predictable. Another difficulty with this one is that the too obvious Australia references read like a Monty Python skit that has gone on for far too long. This one's a throwaway in the series, for every good laugh there's about 50 pages of plodding along. There is an interesting Pratchett take on evolution and creation that brighten things up temporarily, but this pleasure is buried amidst what is easily one of my least favorite books in the series. It's rare that Pratchett writes one with little to recommend it, but The Last Continent fits that description all too well.
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