The Last Hero Discussion *Spoilers*

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The Last Hero Discussion *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:21 am

**Warning**

This thread is for discussing The Last Hero in some depth. If you haven’t read the book then read on at your own risk – or, better still, go and read the book and join in the fun.

For those of us that are going to join in the discussion, here are a few guidelines:

Please feel free to make comparisons to other Discworld books, making sure you identify the book and the passage you are referring to. Others may not be as familiar with the book you are referencing, so think before you post.

Sometimes we’ll need to agree to disagree – only Terry knows for sure what he was thinking when he wrote the books and individuals members may have widely different interpretations – so try to keep the discussion friendly.

We may be discussing a book that you don’t much care for – don’t be put off joining in the discussion. If you didn’t care for the book, then that in itself is a good topic for discussion.

Please note: there is no time limit to this discussion. Please feel free to add to it at any time - especially if you've just read the book.

And finally:

Please endeavour to keep the discussion on topic. If necessary I will step in and steer it back to the original topic – so no digressions please!

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The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett with Paul Kidby
Originally published 2001

Image

Image


Introduction

When Cohen the Barbarian and The Silver Hoarde decide to return fire to the gods, a desperate plan is launched to stop them. For without the gods and the magic generated by Cori Celesti the Disc will be destroyed.

Enter the rag-tag team of heroes that include a policeman, a cowardly wizard, an ape librarian and the Disc’s greatest inventor. Can they stop the Last Hero?

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This book is somewhat different to the others we have discussed. For a start it’s a good deal shorter and there are a whole lot of Paul Kidby’s wonderful illustrations. But there isn’t the obvious depth of some of the recent books.

I think that in some ways this book is saying goodbye to a lot of the old Disc we’ve seen in earlier books and making way the rest of the series. So it’s interesting from that point alone.

But what did you think? And which are your favourite pictures




Want to write the introduction for the next discussion (Mort)? PM me and let me know if you’d like to – first come first served. :wink:
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Postby The Mad Collector » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:50 am

This was the book that not only marked a change in the characters we expected up until then in the books, but it was also the first of the 'lets see if we can rip off the people who buy my books' editions.

There was the expensive deluxe edition of 2,000 copies issued along with the hardback and then when the paperback came out they added more pictures so that if you want a complete set of Pratchett books you had to get that as well.

I enjoyed the book but as it was the first of the limited editions I also see it as a lowpoint in Discworld publishing and the start of the disregard the publishers (and to an extent Terry as he must have authorised this change) have for the people buying the books where we are just seen as sources of cash rather than keen readers of Terrys works.
Last edited by The Mad Collector on Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:12 am

Well said that Mad man. I personally think the biggest rip-off was Where's my Cow?". :lol:
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:14 am

I got my paperback copy for £1.99. :lol:

I must admit that I did feel a bit cheated after forking out for the hardback, that the paperback had more pictures. But I wasn't going to pay full price to get a copy and only bought it in the last few weeks as remaindered stock.
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Postby The Mad Collector » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:31 am

The paperback was annoying but it was the limited edition that really showed the contempt the publishers have for the fans. I didn't mind too much at the time as I thought it was a one off because it was an unusual book. Since then most of the books have had a limited edition in one form or another at around £40 each. These, at least at the start, were signed, but now you don't even get that, so basically they charge an extra £20 for some cardboard :roll:

I'm just waiting for when they decide to release the 'deluxe' edition a day earlier so that becomes the true first edition because they will have to start doing that soon as the limited editions aren't selling. The limited edition of Unseen Academicals is still available on Waterstones website and has now been cut to £20. Hopefully this marks the end of the deluxe edition after 10 years of them, I really hope so.
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:58 am

The Mad Collector wrote:I'm just waiting for when they decide to release the 'deluxe' edition a day earlier so that becomes the true first edition because they will have to start doing that soon as the limited editions aren't selling.

But as long as they have proofs, the deluxe editions will never be the "true" first editions. 8)
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:32 am

Was there ever a 'proof' version of this book releasedin the same way as the other proofs? :?
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Postby The Mad Collector » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:49 am

Not as such, in common with the graphic novel editions there was a 16 page colour sampler in the UK but in the US there was a version with the full text but no pictures, this also has a note from Terry explaining the lack of illustrations. So no proofs of the full thing.

Pooh, do you have both proofs? I know you don't collect the ARC editions as they are so common :roll: but there was only 425 copies printed of the US proof.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:58 am

Getting back to the book. Do you think the story could stand alone without the illustrations?

When Terry collaborated with Josh Kirby on Eric with illustrations, producing a text only version of the book wasn't really a problem. Is that the case here?
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:02 am

Tonyblack wrote:Was there ever a 'proof' version of this book releasedin the same way as the other proofs? :?

There was a pre-publication sampler which I've got. :D
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Postby pip » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:04 am

It quite possibly would have been too short to stand alone.
Theres deffinitely less text than Eric.
Its quite hard to visualise it without the Illustrations anyway. The artwork is done so well it leaves a lasting impression.
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Postby The Mad Collector » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:10 am

Tricky. In this case the illustrations are integral to the story. The diagrams of the suits and other similar pictures especially of Leonards notes are part of the text* so losing those would seriously detract from the book. This is probably why no attempt has been made to produce an un-illustrated edition along the lines of Eric.


* The equivalent of footnotes
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Postby pip » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:24 am

Do love the dragon diagrams :D
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Postby raisindot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:58 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Getting back to the book. Do you think the story could stand alone without the illustrations?

When Terry collaborated with Josh Kirby on Eric with illustrations, producing a text only version of the book wasn't really a problem. Is that the case here?


I think it's one of the weakest DW books, precisely because it really seems like it written to fill a blatantly commercial enterprise. More like a "DW Superfriends" super-special than anything else. I don't think it would have worked without the illustrations at all.
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Postby DaveC » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:13 pm

I hate saying this but I found it a trial to read, even though it is really short. i loved the illustrations alot and think it could have worked as a more traditional graphic novel. It suits the pulpy feel of most of the books, especially begining of Guards Guards. If they'd done it this way then the special ones that Pooh and Mad would want would be the ones that didnt have speech bubbles all over them!
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