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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on September 7, 2015
Seems vaguely like Australia. Only funnier. Best Rincewind novel of all.
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on April 24, 2015
Possibly the best of the entire Discworld series. Hilarious!
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on November 9, 2014
Loved this book it's the continued adventure of Rincewind.
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on February 17, 2009
I just finished reading all of the Rinsewind novels and this was the only one that I didn't like. It was full of obscure Australian jokes that only an Australian would understand. The plot was often warped in order to make one of these jokes, so if you don't "get" the joke, all you have is a warped plot. I found an "annotation" file on the internet that explained these jokes, but jokes are much less funny if you have to have them explained (the annotation file is on the l-space web - do a search on "l-space web").

This book can be safely skipped, without missing any of the bigger picture that carries across novels.

I've rated this 2 stars, rather than 1, since it IS a Terry Pratchett novel after all, and even poor Terry Pratchett novels are better than the average.
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on May 18, 2002
Although lost in a foreign and different country, Rincewind still manages to get into the most trouble possible. The other wizards of the unseen university also get a lot more character development in this book, which is nice because so often in Terry Pratchett's books, they are mentionned and do quirky things, but the quirks are not explained. Rincewind again ends up being the unwitting hero of this book, with the help of others, and there is some funny parallelism between this new land and the usual discworld scenery.
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on April 23, 2002
The last continent was one of the best books I have ever seen. Rincewinds charicter has never been so fun as when he dug waterholes for the sheep of the last continant, or when he made soup out of beer, or talked to a local brewery mascot. I laughed till the amazing end.
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on April 18, 2002
The Last Continent is another Discworld book, a wonderful series of books by Terry Pratchett that takes place on a Disc, on the backs of four elephants that are standing on a cosmic turtle that's hurtling through space. This one features another adventure of the wizard who's not very good at wizardry, Rincewind. One thing he's good at, though, is getting into trouble, and boy does he in this one!
Rincewind is stranded in a dry, desolate place called XXXX (that's "ecks-ecks-ecks-ecks" to the locals). There is no rain. Instead, there is some water that you have to dig for. Unfortunately, that's starting to dry up too. Magic is going crazy on this continent, and Rincewind has been chosen to sort things out. Of course, as the kangaroo who gives him the job states, Rincewind already has sorted things out, so the kangaroo has no doubt that Rincewind will come around and accept the responsibility of sorting things out. Make sense? It doesn't to Rincewind either. He is forced to go on a journey around the continent (very obviously, it's supposed to be Australia, though supposedly Pratchett denies this) and falls into adventure after adventure. He's attacked by a drunken wombat, he discovers "Ecksians" can come up with new phrases (this actually seems to make Australian euphemisms make sense). He discovers an alternate group of wizards from another Unseen University, and accepts there help in his mission.
Speaking of the Unseen University, a number of faculty wizards end up on a desert island after stepping through a window in the study of one of another faculty member. Unfortunately, that window gets closed, leaving them trapped on this island, ages in the past, with no way to get back home. What would a normal wizard do in this situation? Of course! They panic. The resolution of all this, and how these two stories tie together, is really worth reading. I don't want to give away any more than I already have.
The Last Continent is a tremendously funny book. It's not as good as the City Watch books (another series of books taking place on Discworld), but it is well worth the time spent on it. Pratchett is a master at silly humour, and there's lots of it in this one. There's the aforementioned bit on euphemisms, there's one of the wizards trying to explain time paradoxes to a group of wizards that just don't get it. There's a scene taken from the movie The Road Warrior that is just priceless. The jokes never stop.
This book does tend to grow on you as well. When I first finished it, I rated it as a 4-star book. I thought it was really good, but not outstanding. However, after having had some time to reflect, it has really risen in my estimation. I'm thinking back to all of the funny bits and I find myself almost laughing out loud while remembering. It's the best of the Rincewind books that I've read (which, admittedly, leaves out any between The Light Fantastic and this one). This is definitely a 5-star book.
The characters are just wonderful. While Rincewind has his great moments, the other wizards steal the show. They just can't seem to understand much of anything, with the exception of one of them who keeps trying to explain things. Of course, sometimes his explanations make their misunderstanding even worse. The interplay between these characters, and between them and the university's housekeeper, is outstanding. The characters Rincewind runs into are great, too. There were no characters that I wished would just leave so I wouldn't have to read about them again. Pratchett keeps the sequences that Rincewind gets into short, so there's no real opportunity for them to get stale.
I can't say whether or not reading the previous Rincewind books is necessary. I personally didn't feel like I was missing anything by not having read them (with the possible exception of how Rincewind got to XXXX in the first place, though that didn't bother me too much). I picked it up cold and enjoyed it, so you shouldn't be afraid to either. Yet another must-read in the Pratchett collection.
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on February 1, 2002
This is the best of the last three books, I think (the other two being Carpe Jugulum and The Fifth Elephant). It's a bit more of a lightweight romp, focusing on the wizards at the Unseen University (who get stuck on a very strange island) and Rincewind (stuck on the Last Continent and saving it despite himself). It sparkles a lot more with page-by-page witticisms than the other books, and the plot, intertwining between Rincewind and the wizards, make it a real page-turner.
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on October 10, 2001
This great book unjustly got three stars! Okay, I will say that the parts with Rincewind are sometimes REALY boring. Still the parts with the faculty are side splitting! If you like
Terry Pratchett you'll want to get this book!
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on June 10, 2001
Well, I don't know why everyone's going on about this book not being so good--unless they simply prefer the more "serious" or not so pop-culture-reference-laden books of the Discworld series. Me, call me cheap, but, as nice as some philosophy can be, I like the ones that make me LAUGH. And the Last Continent did that. BIG-time!
In one plotline, we have Rincewind, who I liked from the moment I first read "The Colour of Magic" and have laughed myself silly at any book he's ever been in since. (Including the unpopular "Sourcery", which had me almost DYING with laughter, and even "Eric".) How can a character who's so _cowardly_ be so _likeable_? It defies logic on the surface of it, but, there you go! Terry Pratchett is the only author I've seen so far who can make the most pathetic losery _anti_-hero you can think of--and then genuinely make you cheer for him.
Anyway, Rincewind's plotline involves him not only wandering all over "FourEcks" and running into a parody version of just about _every single famous Australian thing known to man_, but also a whole ton of just plain side-splitting jokes and scenes. I LOVED the whole "Priscilla" thing! Assuming that Rincewind was another drag-queen, with his "dress" (wizard robe), oh, gods...! I was so in stitches. And the Luggage in high heels even!
The other plotline involves the wizards from Unseen University--but this time, they are OUT of the University! Big improvement! I guess I'm in the minority here, but when it comes to favourite "groups" of characters the wizards are TOPS for me, with the witches, Guards, "Death" family, etc. below them. I dunno. Maybe I just like eccentric whackazoid characters. (And HEX rules.) Anyway, this part of the book takes the wizards out of their usual cloistered surroundings for a welcome (for us; frightening to them) breath of real fresh air and sunshine--and weirdness! Highlights of this plotline include young Ponder Stibbons becoming a very strong character suddenly (he gets a sympathetic background and a hot temper among other things) and Mrs. Whitlow also being developed further. As for the God on the island offending heavily-religious people, listen: He's the GOD of EVOLUTION. Like, since evolution is something you can "believe" in, it must have a god behind it...well, on Discworld, anyway! He was making fun of atheists or secular humanists in a tongue-and-cheek way. Notice it was Ponder, the scientific wizard, who was _horrified_ to find out that such a god could exist (at first...then he thought it was cool...for a while.) Last but not least, I _liked_ the way the two plotlines tied together at the end. I just hope this isn't the end of Rincewind's "adventures", not just yet.
In short: BOTH plotlines are funny, have character development and HILARIOUSLY funny lines and scenarios. It _does_ make sense if you pay attention to it, and you don't have to be Australian to get the jokes--just alive and alert for the later part of the 20th century is all. If you want to laugh, get this book! If you didn't like it so much the first time...wait a while, then try it again. I wasn't so impressed the first time. This review is from my _second_ read.
And if you STILL don't like it, well, no worries!
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