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PRATCHETT, TERRY – DISCWORLD – THE LAST CONTINENT. 1998 Victor Gollancz. 

 

Not so much of a plot but a major gag fest of jokes about all aspects of Australian – English cultural International relations. Rincewind, the most cowardly wizard in all fantasy novels, has found himself and his walking Luggage trunk transported to the mysterious land of Ecksecksecksecks (A name derived from the Aussie advertisements for a dreadful lager called Castlemaine XXXX - Four X); He is there as the Land is coming into existence at the dawn of time. In the present day, to which Rincewind actually belongs, the wizards of the Unseen University (a secret place that most people actually know full well exists), in the city of Ankh-Morpork, accidentally lock themselves and a servant lady in a dimensional portal that leads them to Ecksecksecksecks as it is now, which is being rocked by the effects of a collision between raw untapped magic, the time displacement, and the effects of their own interference. The wizards in the two time zones find that the Last Continent (not Lost Continent) is literally the last place the Gods created.  It has become a receptacle for anything that couldn’t quite be made to fit in logically with any other part of the creation process; hence its exotic creatures like Kangaroos, Koalas, etc. There is a problem in that Ecksecksecksecks isn’t quite finished. The gods have left the work incomplete. It is a place of such extreme magic that virtually anything anyone imagines instantly happens. Marooned in the outback, where they should effectively starve, the Unseen University wizards find food easily. Jam Sandwiches, lamb chops, and pies are found just by turning over a rock or two.  This is a great dig at the popular TV show Bush Tucker man, about a man who finds grub (or rather grubs) by looking in the right places in the apparently empty wilderness. His food is insects and lichen. Theirs is whatever they want to eat. Gradually, the ancient and modern aspects of what is the same magic are drawn together. Rincewind learns that creation comes through art, as Ecksecksecksecks, the last part of the Discworld is literally drawn and painted to its completion. (In effect a dig at the artwork of Australian artist, Rolf Harris and his catch-phrase ‘Can you tell what it is yet?’ line now seems inevitable, and Pratchett delivers it with relish. This is a shamelessly silly and fun Discworld story, or string of them, with the Wizards meeting men who are distorted mirror images of themselves in every way, before being transported back to Ankh Morpork ready for their next outrageous adventure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld

 

© Copyright. Arthur Chappell

 

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