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The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable
by Terry Pratchett | Science Fiction & Fantasy
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 3/13/2003
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by doctorslime): to be read


15 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, March 13, 2003

9 out of 10

This is a lovely addition to the Discworld series - a large-format book full of wonderful illustrations by Paul Kidby, and a story which involves (and even circles) the entire Disc as well as bringing together many of the most popular characters from the series. The plot: a rumor's going around that Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde [of geriatric heroes] is planning to return to the gods the fire that was stolen in the beginning, as a splashy way of winding up their careers. But the way they've chosen to do this looks like it's going to destroy the Disc, so a motley crew is assembled to intercept them: Rincewind the wizard, Leonard of Quirm, and Captain Carrot of the Watch. They are backed up by the wizards of Unseen University, with the Patrician getting involved as well, with guest spots by The Luggage and an assortment of swamp dragons.

The story's a nice riff on creation myths, heroic sagas, and all those special-effects movies in which the hastily-thrown-together space crew gets one crack at saving the galaxy. And the pictures really are great; there's a shot of "Disc-rise" that's simply mind-blowing... [The detail-oriented might enjoy taking a closer look at the little "Bayeux tapestry"-style border illustrations on the opening pages.]

One of my favorite bits - which, as a typical Pratchett digression, doesn't have much to do with the rest of the story at all - is this little segment in which Death ponders a certain tenet of quantum mechanics (See illustration here ):

"In the study of his dark house on the edge of Time, Death looked at the wooden box.
PERHAPS I SHALL TRY ONE MORE TIME, he said.
He reached down and lifted up a small kitten, patted it on the head, lowered it gently into the box, and closed the lid.
THE CAT DIES WHEN THE AIR RUNS OUT?
'I suppose it might, sir,' said Albert, his manservant. 'But I don't reckon that's the point. If I understand it right, you don't know if the cat's dead or alive until you look at it.'
THINGS WILL HAVE COME TO A PRETTY PASS, ALBERT, IF I DID NOT KNOW WHETHER A THING WAS DEAD OR ALIVE WITHOUT HAVING TO GO AND LOOK.
'Er... the way the theory goes, sir, it's the *act* of lookin' that determines if it's alive or not.'
Death looked hurt. ARE YOU SUGGESTING I WILL KILL THE CAT JUST BY LOOKING AT IT?
'It's not quite like that, sir.'
I MEAN, IT'S NOT AS IF I MAKE FACES OR ANYTHING.
'To be honest with you, sir, I don't think even the wizards understand the uncertainty business,' said Albert. 'We didn't truck with that class of stuff in my day. If you weren't certain, you were dead.'
....
[Death] opened the box and took out the kitten. It stared at him with the normal mad amazement of kittens everywhere.
I DON'T HOLD WITH CRUELTY TO CATS, said Death, putting it gently on the floor.
'I think the whole cat in the box idea is one of them metaphors,' said Albert.
AH. A LIE."

[For another viewpoint on Schroedinger's Cat, see: The Straight Dope


Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, April 05, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Bookray so far:

OK, here's the mailing order - I tried to order it geographically since the book's on the large/heavy side and this might help minimize the postage. If JPandJo can make it to the Boston meetup tomorrow than the book starts there, otherwise Zmrzlina will get it first. [And anybody else who shows up can get a peek at it. {grin}]

JPandJo (Boston, MA)
Zmrzlina (Boston, MA)
Daidy (Utica, MI)
Amberlee17 (Sunnyvale, CA)
sgscarcliff (San Francisco, CA)

I'll ask people to journal the book when they get it, and again once they've read it and are ready to pass it along. When you receive the book, PM the next person on the list for their mailing address so you'll be all set to send it out. Hope you all enjoy it! 


Journal Entry 3 by GirlieGoalie from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, April 08, 2003

This book has not been rated.

I got this at the Meet up. I can't wait to start readding it. 


Journal Entry 4 by GirlieGoalie from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, April 15, 2003

8 out of 10

So this is my first experience with Pratchett and I must say i loved the book. The pictures were great and the story fun.

 


Journal Entry 5 by GirlieGoalie from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, April 20, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Passed off to Zmrzlina at Borders in Braintree. 


Journal Entry 6 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, April 20, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Got this today and will probably devour it tonight since I am home from work early (for a Sunday) then send it off on Wednesday, my mailing day, which reminds me of a song but only the "my ______ day" and I can't remember what goes in the blank and this will probably drive me nuts all evening trying to think of the song.

I've had one too many expressos today :-)

Thank you GoryDetails for setting this ring up! 


Journal Entry 7 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Monday, April 21, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Very much enjoying this, especially the artwork. The oragutang doesn't look like I imagine him, but not sure why. Too gleeful?

I'll post more before I send this off to daidy. The tracking number is 02805213907081259857 but won't show anything until Thursday night since I won't be mailing until then. 


Journal Entry 8 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, April 24, 2003

10 out of 10

Oh my goodness. I just love Pratchett. I haven't finished this but I am sending it off today because I've already printed the postage and it is dated. I can finish it up at work. I know we have a copy in stock.

One reason I love Pratchett. You fall into the scene. Like here:

Picture a bunch of aging pillage and terror types (but no rape, they are more into ravishing) sitting around the campfire discussing getting old. This is the Silver Horde. One talks about having it all, being an Emporer no less, and how having all that money and nothing but toys to spend it on "sucks the life right out of you, civilisation." The response is wonderfully Prachett:

'It killed Old Vincent the Ripper,' said Boy Willie. 'He choked to death on a concubine.'

There was no sound but the hiss of snow in the fire and a number of people thinking fast.

'I think you mean cucumber,' said the bard.

'That's right, cucumber.' said Boy Willie. 'I've never been good at them long words.'

'Very important difference in a salad situation,' said Cohen [the Barbarian].


Thinking fast, yes that what I am always doing when reading Pratchett and knowing there is a play on words or something and trying to come up with the play before I read it. There I was, sitting with the Horde, thinking fast.

P.S. Just before I hit the submit key, I noticed a spelling error...I had used BLOKEQUOTE instead of blockquote for the excerpt! Blokequote?? A specifically British tag for anything said by an Andy Capp type?  


Journal Entry 9 by daidy from Kansas City, Missouri USA on Thursday, May 01, 2003

This book has not been rated.

First reaction - oooh pretty! I'm dropping the other 3 books I'm reading right now to start on this one right away.

Ok, so I'm only up to page 18 so far, but I'm quite entertained by the footnote describing the size of heaven. Did the bit "a cube 12,000 furlongs on a side" make anyone else think of the Borg cube from Star Trek?

I think, when I'm old, I want to be like Vena the Raven-Haired. (Unless something in the rest of the book changes my mind.)

Heheh - Bibulouse: god of wine and things on sticks

I'm debating ordering the "Death with Kitten" t-shirt.

Okay, I caved in and ordered it. 


Journal Entry 10 by daidy from Kansas City, Missouri USA on Saturday, May 03, 2003

10 out of 10

Mailed to Amberlee17 today. Oof. This book must be gaining weight. I re-used the envelope Zmrzlina used to send it to me. It got to me with 2 lbs worth of postage on it but when I went to the PO today it was over 2 lbs. It's possible that I put too much tape on it and that made it weigh more, but I'm going to claim that it's been sneaking around my apartment when I'm sleeping and eating our snacks. Yeah...that's where all that candy and potato chips and that sort of thing went...the book ate it. If anyone reading this book sits down with say, a package of cookies, and you're munching happily along only to notice that you've eaten half the package, don't worry. It's not your fault half the package is gone because the book ate most of them. Maybe it will keep growing and by the time it gets back to GoryDetails she'll be able to put a leash on it and take it for a walk, if the book will put up with that sort of thing. I think the book has been getting ideas from the Librarian.

update 5/9
I decided to get my own copy 


Journal Entry 11 by AmberLee17 from Stockton, California USA on Tuesday, May 13, 2003

This book has not been rated.

It arrived yesterday and looks like a real joy to read. Thanks for the opportunity. 


Journal Entry 12 by AmberLee17 from Stockton, California USA on Tuesday, June 24, 2003

9 out of 10

Oh my, I didn't log this when I read it. It was sent off today to Sgscarcliff.

Wonderful artwork added so much to this romp through (and over, and under, and around) Discworld. Thought-provoking, funny, sad, and most emotions in between. I hadn't experienced Leonardo of Quirm before or the dragons in quite such a light... 


Journal Entry 13 by wingsgscarcliffwing on Thursday, June 26, 2003

This book has not been rated.

I just received this and look forward to reading. I will start it next week. and will post then 


Journal Entry 14 by wingsgscarcliffwing on Saturday, October 11, 2003

7 out of 10

Just finished the book. I will have to read more of Terry Pratchett. The book is now going of to Miss-R and her boyfriend.

Thanks for the chance to read it 


Journal Entry 15 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Friday, October 24, 2003

This book has not been rated.

I'd forgotten I was doing this bookray, so twas a very nice surprise when it turned up yesterday! It looks really good-I've got a week off work so I've plenty of time to read it and pass it on... 


Journal Entry 16 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Sunday, November 16, 2003

7 out of 10

I quite enjoyed this, but I think it would have been more interesting as a full length novel. And there wasn't enough of Death!
Passed this onto my boyfriend. 


Journal Entry 17 by KeaneKeaney from -- somewhere in Essex --, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, March 14, 2004

8 out of 10

I thought it was very good, but didn't really like the size of the book, which sounds silly I know. The illustrations are good in places though.

Given it back to MissR so she can pass it on at a BookCrossing meetup. 


Journal Entry 18 by Miss-R at on Wednesday, April 14, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Released on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 at MEET UP in Cittie of York Pub - High Holborn EC1, England United Kingdom. 


Journal Entry 19 by Diomedes from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 05, 2004

7 out of 10

I have finished reading this (I know I should have written this before *embarressed look*). I will release it at the meet next week.

I had previously not read any Terry Pratchett (despite constant recommendations to do so). I found the writing easy and large amounts very funny but overall was disappointed by the whole derivative style, as a reader with a love of myths of all cultures I found their use as more than just a prop annoying.

Enjoyed the book ? Yes, I did. But there are too many other original works out there nd I don't think that I will be reading any more of the series. 


Journal Entry 20 by Diomedes at on Wednesday, May 05, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Release planned for Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at BookCrossing Meet in London -West End, England United Kingdom. 


Journal Entry 21 by Flambard from Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 10, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Picked up at the monthly London meet-up yesterday evening! 


Journal Entry 22 by Flambard from Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 09, 2005

8 out of 10

I giggled all the way through this one. The illustrations were superb (and well worth peering at through the script) - I particularly appreciated the version of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam where, instead of Adam leaning back and touching fingers with God, Cohen is leaning back and....er....showing a single vertical finger to Blind Io. I'm afraid I snorted my coffee when I saw that one! As for the Muse of Swearing and the God of Being Sick Again (complete with tomato on his head and carrot in his ear), well! Oh, and the Valkyrie (soprano and mezzo-soprano) being ambushed by Cohen and his gang in the snowdrift. Fantastic! Pratchett on top form! 


Journal Entry 23 by Flambard at on Sunday, April 17, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (4/17/2005 UTC) at

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Upstairs bookshelf at top of stairs 


Journal Entry 24 by wingHorshamStarbuckwing from Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Sunday, April 17, 2005

This book has not been rated.

OBCZ bookshelf 


Journal Entry 25 by Hawkette from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Monday, April 18, 2005

7 out of 10

I wondered down to the new OBCZ in Horsham, set up by flambard, and read this in my break from work, while in the Starbucks. Impressed by the signs and the set up of the OBCZ! Well done, flambard.

The book is another funny poke at life and it's mysteries from Pratchett. Great pictures, too.

I have left it on the shelf for someone else to enjoy now. 


Journal Entry 26 by bitstobuy from Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Saturday, April 23, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Another Pratchett from the BookCrossing zone - one for all the family to read! 


Journal Entry 27 by bitstobuy at on Thursday, April 28, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (4/28/2005 UTC) at

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

What more could you want, Terry Pratchett AND great illustrations. This is the most widely travelled book I have come across so far! 


Journal Entry 28 by JaneUK from Flitwick, Bedfordshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 29, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Caught this at the Horsham OBCZ. I've read it before, a few years ago, and am looking forward to reading it again! 


Journal Entry 29 by JaneUK from Flitwick, Bedfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 14, 2005

8 out of 10

Top stuff. I love Paul Kidby's Discworld illustrations (I have The Art Of Discworld and I like to sit and look at the pictures), and the story is good too. 


Journal Entry 30 by JaneUK from Flitwick, Bedfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 03, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Sending this to doctorslime in a trade. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 31 by doctorslime from Saginaw, Michigan USA on Thursday, June 01, 2006

8 out of 10

Slightly worse the wear for the long sea voyage.
thanks, for the extra protection, the cardboard took
most of the damage, instead of the book!

Wonderful pictures, and an enjoyable story to Boot!

Thanks Ever So Much!

Doctorslime
06/01/2006
Mid-Michigan, a stone's throw from the Great Lakes...
 


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