It's hot. It's dry...very dry. There was this thing once called The Wet, which no one 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.
Still...no worries, eh?
Also, Terry Pratchett would like it to be known that The Last Continent is not a book about Australia. It's just vaguely Australian.
©1998 Terry Pratchett and Lynn Pratchett; (P)1999 ISIS Publishing Ltd
"Pratchett is the funniest parodist working in the field today, period." (The New York Review of Science Fiction)
"Terry Pratchett is simply the best humorous writer of the 20th century. Wodehouse, Waugh, Sharpe, etc. all have their merits, sometimes considerable, but Pratchett really is a cut above the rest." (Oxford Times)
Either you get it, or you don't. For those who "get" Terry Pratchett and his madcap enchantment of Discworld, this book is another delight.
Rincewind, the hapless galactic runaway, finds himself unintentionally stranded in the weird land of XXXX (pseudo-Australia).
He also runs through a string of acccidental heroics wherever his sandals set down in this sun-scorched continent. Pratchett goes to great lengths to poke fun at everything Australian (especially the names) and wonderfully entertains us in the process. Meanwhile, the
"real" wizards back at home are desperately seeking Rincewind to help them cure the Librarian. Good story, good laughs, time well wasted.
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
A very entertaining read, especially after seeing the video of Rincewind getting zapped to Sydney. (youtube Run Rincewind Run!)
The story is very parochial, the plot is a very regularly defined problem; lack of The Wet. At the same time many parts of the novel are extremely original laterally creative spin-offs on modern logical theory, like the Island.
Even for Terry Pratchett, there are some wonderful 'Easter Eggs' in this book which make it a humorous gem of a read on cultural development and evolutionary theory, even if every few paragraphs someone says 'no worries,' which is not a phrase I would use in a country where sea cockroaches grow to the size of a toddler, and the snakes and giant spiders are vying for future species supremacy. I do not think it means, what you think it means Australia. Unless it's a 'Dancing in the light of your burning bridges (--with snakes on)' affectation.
I was delighted that Rincewind was finally rewarded with a return to UU and boredom. The sound quality was good and I enjoyed the gently probing into the cause and effect of creation. I shall forever be alert to the dangers of pineapples, prawns and letting wizards draw animals into being. The laying down of all the 'ground work' can be a little tedious but is essential for understanding when the pace starts galloping.
Mr. Planer NAILED the Australian accents. Yes, this novel is a long poke at Australia, but so what? I laugh and laugh everytime I listen to the novel. (I seldom read the books because the narrators are so talented.) And the story has more going on than gently teasing Australia. I have seldom had more fun in the company of Ridcully and his senior wizards.
This is Pratchett at the top of his form. Who else could weave together Australia, evolution, time travel, and Dreamtime into a coherent whole? Included are subplots resembling "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", "Mad Max", and the horse from "The Man from Snowy River". And that is not the half of it. Pratchett is a deft hand at plotting, well seasoned with humor.
Don't miss the dinosaur that evolves into a chicken in time to be eaten. Or the cigarette plant, or the small god that requires a chat about the birds and the bees. Or the invention of brown sauce and beer, or meat pies in mushy peas, or ... There are so many priceless vignettes that will amaze and entertain.
Hopefully these teasers will wet your whistle for XXXX, the Last Continent. I listen to Pratchett when I need to be shown the better side of mankind, where people are funny, mostly well meaning, and wildly inprobbable events turn out ok.
The narrator's top shelf performance raises the this average three star story to four.
Let's be clear. No one starts a Sir Terry yarn expecting 'Sense & Sensibility'. Like P.G.Wodehouse (sp?) he was the light entertainment author of his generation. I've read or listened to perhaps a dozen of his tales.
Haven't yet listened to others
Wonderful performance by Nigel Planer of Terry Pratchett's Australian adventure. I am sure I only caught 40% of the references, but the dramatization brought them to life.
Ah,the smell after rain and the adventures of mad men, wonderful enough to want to watch. Good on ya
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