The Last Continent

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9780061050480: The Last Continent

Something is seriously amiss at Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork's most prestigious (i.e., only) institution of higher learning.

A professor is missing--and not just any professor. The Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography. Also the University Librarian, who transmuted (you know how things change!) into an ape (a handy configuration for a librarian, don't you think?) so long ago that no one exactly remembers his name, least of all himself.

But fear not, the search is on! The Lecturer in Recent Runes and the Chair of Indefinite Studies, as well as the Dean and the Archchancellor, will follow the trail wherever it leads--even to the other side of Discworld, where the Last Continent, Fourecks, is under construction.

Imagine a magical land as bald as a baby's bottom, where there are no trees; where rain is but a myth; where there are precious few animals (and few of them precious). You have just imagined Fourecks (EcksEcksEcksEcks) where even the ordinary is strange (the four legged duck, for example,) as though evolution is being hurried up with the intention of sorting things out as soon as possible.

Experience the terror as the University's bold would-be rescuers encounter the cowardly Wizard Rincewind, a Mad Dwarf armed with a crossbow, Death, Death of Rats, and even a Creator or two.

Feel the passion as the bizarre denizens of the Last Continent learn what happens when rain falls out of the sky and rivers actually fill with water. (It utterly spoils regattas, for one thing.)

Thrill to the promise of next year's regatta, in remote, rustic Didjabringabeeralong. It'll be absolutely gujeroo.

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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

About the Author:

Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE, was the author of more than 70 books, including the internationally bestselling Discworld series of novels. His books have been adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal. In January 2009, Pratchett was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry, who lived in England, died in March 2015 at the age of 66.

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