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The Last Hero (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Hardcover – 18 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; First Edition edition (18 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057506885X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575068858
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 2 x 28.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he was the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Sir Terry Pratchett died on 12th March 2015

Photography © David Bird

Product Description

Amazon Review

A new Discworld story is always an event. Terry Pratchett's The Last Hero is unusually short, a 40,000-word "Discworld Fable" rather than a full novel, but is illustrated throughout in sumptuous colour by Paul Kidby.

The 160 pages cover the series' longest and most awesome (but still comic) journey yet, a mission to save all Discworld from a new threat. An old threat, actually. Aged warrior Cohen the Barbarian has decided to go out with a bang and take the gods with him. So, with the remnants of his geriatric Silver Horde, he's climbing to the divine retirement home Dunmanifestin with the Discworld equivalent of a nuke--a 50-pound keg of Agatean Thunder Clay. This will, for excellent magical reasons, destroy the world.

It's up to Leonard of Quirm, Discworld's da Vinci, to invent the technology that might just beat Cohen to his goal. His unlikely vessel is powered by dragons, crewed by himself and two popular regular characters, and secretly harbours a stowaway. Before long we hear the Discworld version of "Houston, we have a problem..."

Kidby rises splendidly to the challenge of painting both funny faces and cosmic vistas. As Pratchett puts it, The Last Hero "has an extra dimension: some parts of it are written in paint!" New characters include Evil Dark Lord Harry Dread, who started out with "just two lads and his Shed of Doom", and a god so tiresome that his worshippers are forbidden chocolate, ginger, mushrooms and garlic.

Pratchett's story alone is strong and effective, with several hair-raising frissons contrasting with high comedy; Kidby's paintings make it something very special. Don't miss this one. --David Langford


Once again, we will be sharing the November tour costs and promotion with Transworld and Random House Children's Books. Terry will be on tour from Saturday 2 Nov to Friday 8 Nov (full details on author events schedule). Saturday 2Nov FORBIDDEN PLANET at 1pmTuesday 5 Nov WHSMITH MANCHESTER at 4.30pmWednesday 6 Nov BORDERS LEEDS at 12.30pm HAMMICKS HARROGATE at 5pmThursday 7 Nov WATERSTONES BIRMINGHAM at 4.30pmFriday 8 Nov WATERSTONES COVENTRY at 12.30pm OTTA --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Cronin VINE VOICE on 6 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book makes a fantastic addition to anyone's collection of Discworld stories. First of all, it's described as a fable; in other words, it's short. But it is illustrated by the accomplished Paul Kidby who does magnificent work in bringing the Discworld and its motley characters to life.
Cohen the Barbarian and his now geriatric Silver Hoarde are determined to leave the world remembered as the heroes that they once were. To this end, they commissioned a ballad from a young bard and are off to blow up the mountain of the gods. Sounds simple eh?
However, to avoid them bringing about the end of the world, Lord Vetinari commissions the eccentric genius inventor Lenonardo da Quirm to build a craft to reach the mountain of the gods double-fast. (Kidby's illustrations include pages from Leonardo's notebooks, in the style of DaVinvci). Powered by dragons, who have been fed a very careful diet(!!), Rincewind, Captain Carrot, Leonardo and a stowaway Librarian head off into the void.
Hilariously funny, as all Pratchett's books are, there is also an underlying note to this tale, concerning the aged and their desire to be remembered for their deeds and not their decrepitude. This sombre thread is in line with the recent development of the Discworld novels, especially "Nightwatch".
With the appearance of a new character "Evil Lord Harry Dread", as a very evil and conniving Dark Lord indeed and his crew of the stupidest henchmen imaginable, you know you're going to enjoy this.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 April 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you're already a Pratchett fan then this book is hugely enjoyable. If you are new to the Discworld, then you should probably try another book first. The reason being that this is quite a bit shorter than other Pratchett works, but he uses characters from many of his 'sets' (ie; the City Watch, the Wizards etc..). Because of this, a lot of the character information and background is left out to get on with the story. This could leave a newcomer a little confused.
Also, Paul Kidby has done brilliantly with the illustrations. The attention to detail is marvelous and i agree with his interpretations of every charcter. Except one. Captain Carrot most certainly does not look like that.
Otherwise, the story easily matches Pratchett's other books, even if it is a little short.
A very funny read
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on 25 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
The end of the Discworld is near, as the geriatric Silver Horde, lead by Cohen the Barbarian, are on their way to Dunmanifestin with the firm intention of blowing up the Gods. They've even kidnapped a minstrel to write the story of their heroic lives. Someone has to stop them, and quickly!
So to save the world from total destruction, the Wizards of Unseen University and the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, Lord Vetinari, have no choice but to call Leonard da Quirm to the rescue. Soon the inventor, along with the very literal Captain Carrot of the City Watch and Rincewind the chicken-hearted WiZZard, embark on a perilous journey aboard the Kite, a bird-shaped flying device powered by Swamp Dragons. According to his calculations, if the Kite goes over the rim at great speed, it'll come back around and rocket right towards the hub, where lies Dunmanifestin, just in time to stop Cohen and his gang.
Even though The Last Hero might seems a little bit short, comparatively, of course it has the genuine, punful, Pratchett style that we've all come to love so much. The good side of it is that it's read in no time, eh! And Paul Kidby's lavish illustrations are just astounding. Would do a wonderful gift idea, wouldn't it?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
At the end of "Interesting Times", the last book to feature Cohen the Barbarian and the Silver Horde, the decrepit warriors had conquered the Agatean Empire. Unfortunately, and not very surprisingly, it seems they got a little bored. Remembering that a hero should die in battle, they have now decided to pick the right enemies and attack Dunmanifestin. To put it another way, a band of very old barbarians led by the world's greatest hero are going to invade the Discworld's Home of the Gods and blow it up. They've even brought along a bard to write the saga of their last, greatest and most glorious assault.
Unsurprisingly, word of this latest development has reached the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. This news has caused no little amount of panic, as the destruction of Dunmanifestin and the Gods will lead to the end of the world. So, as the Gods sit back, throw dice and have some fun, Lord Vetinari sends out a team to try and stop Cohen and his cohorts. Supported by the head wizards of the Unseen University - including the newly appointed Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic, Ponder Stibbons - Rincewind, Leonard of Quirm, Captain Carrot and a certain hairy stowaway take a trip few Ankh-Morporkians have ever taken.
While "The Last Hero" may be shorter than most of the Discworld novels, it's still well worth reading. The new “villain” Evil Harry Dread, The Evil Dark Lord, would be an asset to any future book and Paul Kidby's illustrations are a superb addition. While it may be better to have read a couple of the Discworld books previous to this –just to “know” the characters a little better - I'm not sure it would be any great disadvantage if you hadn't. Pratchett’s books are simply fantastic, and this matches anything he has written.
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