RED 33: The Last Hero – Terry Pratchett

The Last Hero is the next in my on-going quest to catch up on the Discworld books.

Just like in the legend on our world, fire on the Disc was stolen from the Gods. Cohen the Barbarian, the eponymous hero of the title, has decided it’s time to take it back. Unfortunately this leads to the very real possibility that the Disc will be doomed and so a team from Ankh-Morpork attempt to stop this from happening by launching a spacecraft to loop around the Disc and land on Cori Celesti the home of the Gods.

So essentially what you get is a series of jokes about heroes and getting old (which we’ve seen before but ok) and a pretty decent Apollo 13 parody.

The Last Hero is subtitled “A Discworld Fable“. I’m not quite sure what makes it a fable. Perhaps the publishers were just looking for something to describe it with due to its different format. Which is that it’s a large 176-page book with lots of illustrations and full page pictures. However it’s not a graphic novel and the text is complete in itself. The pictures, as nice as they are and they are very well done, are illustrations only. You could read just the text and not miss out on anything. Also it’s a Discworld story in exactly the same way that any of the others are. It just happens to be shorter. So a novella yes, fable well maybe.

I mention this only because I struggled with the form-factor a little. I’d’ve preferred an ebook or a regular sized paper-back. So the irritation of handling a ‘big book’ for what was an ok-ish but short Discworld story detracted from the overall experience.

I am hoping that the Discworld books, or my enjoyment of them, picks up again. Reading Rivers of London reminds of what it used to be like to read a light, fantasy-themed book with lots of humour and good characters. However for the umpteenth time I must note that I don’t know that it’s Pratchett’s writing that has changed or just that I’m too familiar with it. That said I did enjoy this, just not as much as I’d hoped.

6/10 – a shorter story that could have happily lived in a smaller book imho.

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1 Response to RED 33: The Last Hero – Terry Pratchett

  1. =Tamar says:

    You might want to use a table to hold the book and spend some time looking at the pictures again, and thinking about them. They do add details to the story that are not in the text. For instance, what happened to the rubies, why there was mention of the unidentified human bones they passed by, what was painted on the ceiling, and how Leonard did it.

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