[[quoteright:316:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LBITU_8996.jpg]]

->''They call me Spaz, which is kind of a mope name, but I don't mind, not anymore. I'm talking into an old voicewriter program that prints out my words because I was there when the Bully Bangers went to [[spoiler: wheel the Ryter for his sins]], and I saw what they saw, and I heard what they heard, and it kind of turned my brain around.''
-->--'''Spaz'''

"Nobody around here reads anymore. Why bother, when you can just use a mindprobe needle and shoot all the images and excitement into your brain? I've heard of books, but they were long before I was born, in the backtimes before the Big Shake, when everything supposedly was perfect, and everybody lived rich. Personally, I doubt the backtimes ever existed. It's like a story you tell to make yourself feel better. As if having a past makes the future somehow worth believing in. In real life, nobody comes to your rescue. Believe me, I know. But then I met Ryter, this old gummy who had a lot of crazy ideas. Together we tried to change the world..."

A 2000 young adult novel by by Rodman Philbrick who you might know as the author of FreakTheMighty.

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!! ''The Last Book in the Universe'' provides examples of:
* AfterTheEnd
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority
* AuthorAvatar: WordOfGod says Ryter is this.
* BadassBiker: The Vandals are a whole gang of this.
* BadassInCharge: The latch-bosses.
* [[spoiler:BittersweetEnding]]: [[spoiler: Ryter's dead and The Urb has fallen into chaos after being cut off from mindprobes, which are essentially drugs. On the other hand, Bean has been cured of her illness and Little Face has a new home with the Proovs in Eden.]]
* CheerfulChild: Little Face. How cute!
* CoolOldGuy: Ryter.
* CrapsackWorld: The Urb, where most of the story takes place. Everything's broken down and smog fills the air, making everything you see grey, and everyone lives in perpetual poverty. Gangs rule specific areas and their word is law.
** CrapsaccharineWorld: ...On the other side of the spectrum, you have Eden, within the Urb, which is exactly as the name implies.
* CursedWithAwesome: Spaz, due to his epilepsy, can't take the mind probes. This makes him more intelligent and less passive than most others.
* DisasterScavengers: Most in the Urb.
* DeathByChildbirth [[spoiler:According to Billy Bizmo, Spaz's father, this is how his mother died.]]
* DesignerBabies: Proovs, who are genetically Improved humans who live in Eden, cut off from the unwashed masses of the latches.
* {{Escapism}}: {{Deconstructed}} with Probes, which are basically fantasy worlds injected into your mind. You might never want to come out.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: Towards the end, Spaz states outright that he's not the hero of the story--it's actually [[spoiler:Ryter.]]
* ForbiddenZone: The minefield separating the latches from Eden.
* FromBadToWorse: [[spoiler: When Ryter and Spaz are forced to leave Eden, they find that the probes have all been deactivated, and the Urb has fallen into chaos.]]
* FutureSlang: Zoomed [[note]]crazy[[/note]]. Carboshake [[note]]energy drink[[/note]]. Gummy [[note]]elderly person[[/note]]. And many more.
* [[spoiler:[[GovernmentDrugEnforcement Eden Drug Enforcement]]]]: It is [[spoiler:Eden]] that supplies the probes, in an attempt to deaden the minds of the normals and make it easier to [[spoiler:wipe them out]].
* [[spoiler: HappilyAdopted: Little Face is secretly adopted by Lanaya's "contributors", or parents.]]
* HeartwarmingOrphan: The five-year-old Little Face.
* IllGirl: Spaz's adoptive sister, Bean, who is later revealed to have leukemia. [[spoiler:With the help of Eden's technology, she gets better.]]
* InstantExpert: Bean at chess.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Ryter and Spaz, eventually.
* KnifeNut: Lotti Getts, the boss of the Vandals.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Billy Bizmo to Spaz.]]
* MacGuffinGirl: Bean.
* TheManBehindTheCurtain: In one of the latches Spaz and Ryter pass through, the boss is [[spoiler:a shriveled brain-probe addict who no longer has the physical strength or mental presence to run his territory. His gang stays together by dogmatically following the rules he laid down in earlier times]].
* MeaningfulName: Spaz isn't just a name, it's a warning.
** Ryter. Also as a PunnyName and a StealthPun. [[note]]Say it out loud with a long "i" sound.[[/note]]
* PluckyGirl: Lanaya.
* RedBaron: Boss Lady. The Latch Queen. Nails. [[BlackWidow The White Widow.]] Lotti Getts, latch-boss of The Vandals.
* RebelliousPrincess: Literally Lanaya,
* ShoutOut: Many, from Yeats to Odysseus.
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: The climax is Lanaya's speech to the Masters and the Proovs at the end, [[spoiler:which doesn't work.]]
* TheBeautifulElite: Proovs.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: The Great Shake.
* TheMagnificent: Mongo.
* TheObiWan: Ryter.
* TheOjou: Lanaya, complete with a castle.
* ThirdPersonPerson: Billy. Unsettlingly.
* TitleDrop: Towards the end, referring to [[spoiler:Spaz]].
* {{Tsundere}}: Lanaya, a fairly straight example.
* OlderSidekick
* WhatADrag: [[spoiler:Poor Ryter...]]
* [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Why Did It Have to be Rats?]]: Spaz.

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