Mark Reads ‘The Last Continent’: Part 8

In the eighth part of The Last Continent, what in the goddamn hell is happening in this book. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

Trigger Warning: For discussion of ableism regarding mental illness.


The God

I’m very amused by the idea of a progressive, forward-thinking god who doesn’t want believers because he wants people to be enlightened and free-thinking. This same god is the one who created Mono Island. Why? Well, I haven’t quite figured that one out. From what I can tell, they are thrilled by the idea of evolution, but evolution based on need. Like, this bit seemed an important aside:

Even so, he allowed himself a little smirk of pride. Two hours between the one called Dean dying for a smoke and the bush evolving, growing and fruiting its first nicotine-laden crop. That was evolution in action.

We all know evolution doesn’t happen this way. Plants or creatures don’t adapt for other creatures like this. So why does this island work that way? Is everything here some sort of thought experiment? The god remarks at one point that they must still “exist” because they are their own sole believer. Believer in what, though? What is the whole point of Mono Island? Why create that one plant that violently polinates itself? For what? Oh god, to speed up evolution, maybe???



I don’t even know what to say. Like… okay, this is the Discworld. There’s Offler, and there are other animal-headed gods, right? Maybe some more animal weirdness in Genua, right? So I guess it’s not out of the realm of possibility that on XXXX, there are places with fully-formed anthropomorphic animals, right? Right?

I was so lost and bewildered by this sequence. I initially wanted to believe that Rincewind was drunk the entire time, but that’s not true. He went into that pub sober, got fucked up on Fourecks beer rather quickly, and then got nearly killed by a wombat. Not the actual creature, but one of those weird people-animals things. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO CALL THEM. Plus, Scrappy outright confirms all this after saving Rincewind from harm. So… that happened. I did not read it wrong. There is a “town” in Fourecks full of creatures exactly as Rincewind saw them.

I mean?????? I’m surprised because I didn’t expect, but it does make a certain sense, at least if you consider how isolated Fourecks is. There’s that whole bit about what boats look like, and to me, that suggested just how long Fourecks had been cut off from the rest of the world. I am willing to bet that none of these people have ever seen what the rest of the Disc calls a “boat.” So why should it be any other way? Same goes for their beer. This is just their way of life, and Rincewind is the outsider.

Well, the outsider destined to save it all. Scrappy is not going to leave him alone, though I’m guessing that he needs Rincewind to go to Bugarup anyway. Oh god, what’s there? WHAT OTHER WEIRDNESS SHALL WE ENCOUNTER?

The Bursar

I’ll admit that the final scene in this part made me tentatively interested in the Bursar as a character. For a long time, now, he’s been the butt of a joke and nothing more. He doesn’t affect the plot in any significant way, and I do worry he won’t here, either. He’s the “crazy” wizard, and that’s that. However, Pratchett gives us a bit more insight into the Bursar’s usual silence, confirming that Mustrum Ridcully is responsible for the Bursar closing himself off to the the world. It’s kind of sad, actually. He reacted to Ridcully’s forceful persona by becoming introverted… sort of? I say that because he’s not portrayed as an introvert in the text. Pratchett relies on descriptions and behaviors that paint him as “deranged” and “mad,” and the other characters treat him that way, too.

I guess I just felt a lot for a character who so desperately wished that Ridcully was not in his life anymore so he could be… what? Normal? Not afraid? I WANT THE BURSAR TO BE VINDICATED, SOMEONE GET ON THAT.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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