The Last Hero isn’t particularly substantial – it’s little more than a short story, bulked out with lots of illustrations. It’s also not particularly new, as it revisits a lot of themes and characters from earlier Discworld novels.
It is, however, very good.
For such a short tale, it’s surprisingly clear-cut in its division between comedy and tragedy. The early part of the book is mostly an excuse for jokes… and they’re very good jokes. They suffer a bit from the artificiality of the set-up and a certain disjointedness of scenes, but they don’t feel like Pratchett is just throwing gags at the page, as he sometimes does, or like lazy attempts at broad humour to fill the word count and bring the punters in. No, it really feels as though these jokes – and the plot they set up – have been carefully crafted. This may be the successor to Eric, in the sense of being an illustrated novel, but where that earlier experiment seemed casual, off-the-cuff, this one seems very much planned and intended. Sculpted. Continue reading