The Last Continent–Terry Pratchett

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I vastly prefer the entries in the Discworld series that focus on the witches, but I’m reading the entire series because 1) they’re generally hilarious and 2) I’m a completionist by nature.

In this book, a handful of wizards find a window to another location and wander out of it, only to find themselves stranded there with a shape changing orangutan and their housekeeper. Eventually they realize that they’re not just in a different location, they’ve traveled back in time thousands of years.

We see them trying to get off the island and get back to their own time, an endeavor that includes a meeting with an atheist deity, which…sure. Ok.

On the other side of the book we have perpetual favorite Rincewind, who is stranded on the Discworld version of Australia. A talking kangaroo keeps following him and trying to help him save the world, which they know he can do because he did it in the past. The entire thing is honestly a bit confusing, even if you’re familiar with the randomness of the Discworld books.

The best part about this book, and indeed, the best part about ALL the Discworld books, is the random zaniness of the humor. It’s absurdity at its most absurd, and mostly what Pratchett does is gently mock aspects of our own world. In this case, he’s mocking the time-travel trope and all things Australian.

This is a big series with many different sub-series that are only really tied together because they take place in the same universe. You can think of it like the Marvel universe, with different series following the various superheroes.

I am reading these in the order of publication because that’s how I started the series and that’s how I roll. But it’s far more advisable to read them in their own order, much as you would read, say, all the Spider-Man comics at once. To that end, various people have come up with different reading orders but the generally accepted version has been summarized in a chart here. Don’t do what I’m doing unless you like to take huge gaps in following the characters in each sub-series.

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