Saturday, January 24, 2015

"That's where you mostly get geography, outside"

The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett
No worries
When I'm looking for reading inspiration, I often turn to BuzzFeed listicles. A new one I recently discovered is 51 Books That Prove Reading Can Change Your Life. It's a list compiled of books that have helped members of the BuzzFeed Community through hard times, and somehow Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent (1998) had a magnetic pull on me. The description promised 'a dose of escapism and a true laugh', which is exactly my sort of thing. 

In case you didn't click the link, 51 Books... also contains The Catcher In The Rye, everything by John Green, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, the entire Harry Potter Series, Stephen King's On Writing, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and It's Kind Of A Funny Story (the last three of which I haven't yet read but are sitting on my bookshelf as we speak).

The skinny

Rincewind, a failed student at the Unseen University for wizards in Ankh-Morpork, is magically transported to the Ecksecksecksecks due to a miscalculation. He there meets the magical kangaroo Scrappy, who informs Rincewind that it is his fate to bring back the rain, which he had caused to disappear eons ago. As our protagonist attempts to run away from his destiny, he in fact runs toward his, making some unfortunate stopovers in between. A ragtag crew of senior wizards, meanwhile, is trying to find a cure for the Librarian's magical malady, which causes him to transform into nearby objects whenver he sneezes. On their quest, they find a magical window leading to a tropical island thousands of years in the past.

The review

Even though The Last Continent in many ways reminded me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, which I love, I felt like I was missing something. The humor, satire and whim were all there, and I very much appreciated how Pratchett poked fun at Australian culture, but somehow I found it very difficult and frustrating to get through this book. There wasn't really a satisfying plot to get into, the pacing was completely off, and most of the time I was wondering what the hell was even going on. If The Last Continent is representative of the entire Discworld fantasy series, I think I'll pass. If not, please let me know in the comments!

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