I finished reading The Last Continent over the weekend and was wondering where Pratchett went wrong. The book is a lost cause in philosophy - complete with a God of Evolution, the continent EcksEcksEcksEcks and Mrs Whitlow. Then there's the obvious parodies of Mad Max and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
The book is a rambling mess in terms of plot. The faculty of the Unseen University is stuck on a small deserted island and then we see Rincewind saving the entire continent of XXXX. There are some funny moments in the book - but they are few and far too sparse. Evolution by itself isn't funny and neither is the God of Evolution, especially when the wizards try to explain Sex as a way of reproduction to him. The part about the epitome of creation being the Cockroach was indeed funny. But all of Rincewind's adventures are too obvious and saving him from danger,Deus Ex Machina, in a diety in the form of a Kangaroo. The vegemite (I had eaten some while in NZ and *yech*) and sheep stealing parts just do not belong in the story either. But there was one really profound joke in there :-
It is about time and space. The more geography you have, the less history you had.
Origin of the name EcksEcksEcksEcks for the continent.
If it had been called BEER, they'd have trouble spelling it after the third.
The book looks as though it was written while Pratchett was on vacation in Australia. I wouldn't really read it again unless I was on a desert island waiting for a boat.--
'I'll tell you this!' shouted Rincewind. 'I'd rather trust me than history!'