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on April 15, 2002
In "The Last Hero", Terry Pratchett takes the reader to the Discworld... a place where anything can happen and most of it does. A world where million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. A planet that is flat and carried around on the back of a turtle. Oh yeah, and that is where he takes you in all the Discworld novels. Read one of the others first.
"The Last Hero" is the story of Cohen the Barbarian and his quest to "Return what the First Hero stole'" It has just about every major character that has appeared in any Diskworld novel to date. To those of you who are familiar with the novels, picture Carrot, Rincewind, the Librarian and Leonard of Quirm in the same place, shudder, then put your mouse down.
I thought that this book was a rather entertaining "Candy Bar for the Mind" but it was not it did not contain the high wit or the highly contagous writing that I have come to expect from Terry. The biggest problem with this book is that Pratchett set the bar too high with his previous work. I gave this book 4 stars for the simple reason that I love the art by Paul Kidby and Terry will always be my fave.
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on April 15, 2002
In "The Last Hero", Terry Pratchett takes the reader to the Discworld... a place where anything can happen and most of it does. A world where million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. A planet that is flat and carried around on the back of a turtle. Oh yeah, and that is where he takes you in all the Discworld novels. Read one of the others first.
"The Last Hero" is the story of Cohen the Barbarian and his quest to "Return what the First Hero stole'" It has just about every major character that has appeared in any Diskworld novel to date. To those of you who are familiar with the novels, picture Carrot, Rincewind, the Librarian and Leonard of Quirm in the same place, shudder, then put your mouse down.
I thought that this book was a rather entertaining "Candy Bar for the Mind" but it was not it did not contain the high wit or the highly contagous writing that I have come to expect from Terry. The biggest problem with this book is that Pratchett set the bar too high with his previous work. I gave this book 4 stars for the simple reason that I love the art by Paul Kidby and Terry will always be my fave.
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on April 15, 2002
In "The Last Hero", Terry Pratchett takes the reader to the Discworld... a place where anything can happen and most of it does. A world where million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. A planet that is flat and carried around on the back of a turtle. Oh yeah, and that is where he takes you in all the Discworld novels. Read one of the others first.
"The Last Hero" is the story of Cohen the Barbarian and his quest to "Return what the First Hero stole'" It has just about every major character that has appeared in any Diskworld novel to date. To those of you who are familiar with the novels, picture Carrot, Rincewind, the Librarian and Leonard of Quirm in the same place, shudder, then put your mouse down.
I thought that this book was a rather entertaining "Candy Bar for the Mind" but it was not it did not contain the high wit or the highly contagous writing that I have come to expect from Terry. The biggest problem with this book is that Pratchett set the bar too high with his previous work. I gave this book 4 stars for the simple reason that I love the art by Paul Kidby and Terry will always be my fave.
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on April 15, 2002
In "The Last Hero", Terry Pratchett takes the reader to the Discworld... a place where anything can happen and most of it does. A world where million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. A planet that is flat and carried around on the back of a turtle. Oh yeah, and that is where he takes you in all the Discworld novels. Read one of the others first.
"The Last Hero" is the story of Cohen the Barbarian and his quest to "Return what the First Hero stole'" It has just about every major character that has appeared in any Diskworld novel to date. To those of you who are familiar with the novels, picture Carrot, Rincewind, the Librarian and Leonard of Quirm in the same place, shudder, then put your mouse down.
I thought that this book was a rather entertaining "Candy Bar for the Mind" but it was not it did not contain the high wit or the highly contagous writing that I have come to expect from Terry. The biggest problem with this book is that Pratchett set the bar too high with his previous work. I gave this book 4 stars for the simple reason that I love the art by Paul Kidby and Terry will always be my fave.
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on March 4, 2002
It's not Pratchett at his best, or even at his averagest... In places, it's almost not Pratchett at all. The story limps along like a wounded dinosaur, sometimes struggling to remind the reader what's going on. I admit to dozing off several times - unlike other Terry Pratchett stuff, which usually has me howling on the floor.
In recompense, Paul Kidby's illustrations are superb and they alone make this book worth buying. As one reviewer pointed out, there's a rapport between Discworld readers and the characters and, even allowing for a less-well-told story, that rapport is guarded by the visual descriptions.
Grat pictures... pity about the plot.
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on February 1, 2002
This is a departure from the usual packaging of the Discworld books, a copiously and colorfully illustrated hardback that tells the tale of Cohen the Barbarian and his geriatric horde attempting to return fire to the gods (read "blow them up"). Meanwhile, the Patrician has enlisted the wizards of the Unseen University and Leonard of Quirm to try to stop them. Hilarity ensues, of course.
The text is much briefer than usual, but moments remain, particularly around Leonard of Quirm, the brilliant but eccentric inventor who doesn't see the world quite the way anyone else does, and the much put-upon Rincewind, who is among the crew of the bizarre ship sent after the barbarians. Even my wife, who doesn't much like Rincewind, enjoyed his proposed motto, which can be translated from the Latin as "We who are about to die don't want to." So it's an enjoyable if not first-rate outing, and the illustrations are delightful.
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on December 27, 2001
This is the pseudo-Latin motto of the brave space adventurers of Pratchett and Kidby's The Last Hero. If you're surprised to find that it translates to "We Who Are About To Die Don't Want To", this must be your first trip to the Discworld.
In many ways this is the most epic of all Discworld adventures. The travels of Cohen the Barbarian (and cohorts) and Rincewind the coward (and companions) take us to Dunmanifestin (home of the gods), over the edge of the Rimfall (where we discover there are actually people living on the SIDE of the Discworld -- I sense a future tale being set up) into the void, over the shell of the mighty spacefaring turtle A'Tuin and through the legs of the giant world-carrying elephants, and to the surface of the moon itself. And happily, the Librarian is along for the ride (though, sadly, the Luggage makes only a cameo appearance).
And the illustrations of Paul Kidby give the tale an extra dimension of wonder; each gorgeous, hilarious, perfectly-rendered painting builds upon the words and makes the story deeper and richer. The artwork is not simply slapped in between chapters, but rather is integral to the advancement of the story. The sketches from Leonard's notebook are vital to the story, and the renderings of Death cradling a kitten, and of Ponder Stibbons wearing his "Actually I AM a Rocket Wizard" T-shirt are priceless in their own ways. Kidby's art is a great asset, and I am already hungry for another collaboration between him and Pratchett.
My only complaint is that the story itself feels a bit choppy. The situations and the character moments are among Pratchett's best -- especially Rincewind's resignation to his participation in the dangerous adventure, and his regrettable familiarity with space travel, Cohen and his Silver Horde, and many other hazardous elements he has spent his cowardly life trying, but miserably failing, to AVOID -- but the actual flow of the story feels, at times, forced and awkward, as if Pratchett were trying to work around the artwork and not quite succeeding. It's not a bad story by any stretch of the imagination, but it's less cohesive than some of his other works and could have used another go-through by an editor. But still, a slightly less than his best effort from Pratchett is miles ahead of the best works from most anyone else.
In short, The Last Hero is an absolutely essential addition to the library of any Discworld fan, as well as the library of any fan of humor, fantasy, adventure, just plain good writing, or wonderful art.
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on December 1, 2001
The illustrations are good, but occasionally a little distracting and unecessary. The story is true Discworld, with satire and references. When you remove all the illustrations, the book would only be about 70 pages (a novelette?) I liked the story, but I hope this isn't the future of Terry Pratchett's output. I'd rather wait 18 months for a novel that 9 months for an illustrated short story.
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on November 14, 2001
If you're new to the Discworld, then "The Last Hero" is not the place to start. Sure you can read and still enjoy it but you'll enjoy it even more if you already have some background knowledge of this wonderful fantasy world (like why is the Librarian an ape and how come the best lawyer in Ankh is a zombie?)
For those of us who have joined the roller coaster ride that is the Discworld novels, this coffee book production is must have if only for the great Kidby artwork. In fact, I think the book was more Paul Kidby's than Terry's. The all-too-short story, it seems to me, played second fiddle to the visualisation of well known characters like Rincewind, Carrot and Cohen.
Saying that though, the tale isnt half bad. Old Cohen the Barbarian, last seen in "Interesting Times", goes on a final big quest. He and his compatriots, the Silver Horde, may not survive the quest. Thats not the problem. The problem is Cohen's quest may cause the end of all life on the Disc. Enter Rincewind....
After growing up reading Disc books with cover art by Josh Kirby, its quite strange (but not much) to see a different version of well known characters. Rincewind as drawn by Kidby is younger and Carrot more handsome. The Librarian is...dare I say it?...cute and Ponder Stibbons looks like Harry Potter.

But the most beautiful of all are the splash pages throughout the book. Great A'Tuin, City of Ankh-Morpork, the sea water dropping off the edge of the Disc, the Silver Horde with Cohen leading the charge....Simply eye candy par excellence!
Also, check out the 'Mona Lisa' in page 30. Better than the original HAHAHAHA!!
Finally, this is also the first Discworld novel that share the same cover in both UK and US. Usually, the US covers are just dead boring. How come they cant use the Josh Kirby covers for the American editions?? Too much red tape??
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on November 12, 2001
This is Pratchett's best work since 'Interesting Times'. This one includes an all star cast of: Rincewind, Cohen the Barbarian, Captain Carrot and a host of supporting characters including,of course, Death. The art by Paul Kidby is truly wonderful. I can't imagine reading this without the great artwork. The art complements the story perfectly. It's Beautiful!
The reason I gave 'The Last Hero' four and not five stars is because it is woefully short. You can read this in a day. I suggest that you savor the art while reading this so that it lasts longer. Other than the length, the book is near perfect.
A collector's item for all Discworld fans!
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