The Colour of Magic Epub ñ The Colour MOBI :Þ

The Colour of Magic Epub ñ The Colour MOBI :Þ

The Colour of Magic [Reading] ➷ The Colour of Magic Author Terry Pratchett – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegu Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl HiaasenThe Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the nowlegendary land of Discworld This is where it all beginswith the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.


10 thoughts on “The Colour of Magic

  1. Mark Lawrence Mark Lawrence says:

    I haven't reviewed this because I read it so long ago that all I can remember is I loved it.

    I'll take our very old and battered copy (bought in 1987) to the hospice this weekend when I go with Celyn and see if I can't refresh my memory.

    RIP, Sir Terry.

    'DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING,' said Death, 'JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.'


    So - to the review!

    I've just read this in slightly over 24 hours ... which is extraordinary for me. I normally take a month to read a book.

    It is, to be fair, both a very readable and a very short book (65,000 words - a short fantasy these days is ~100,000 words).

    I was surprised to find how much of this I remembered, especially as I last read it 28 years ago!

    It's a very funny book with some GREAT one-liners. I particularly liked one that said about men falling foul of the thieves' guild (I paraphrase) '... men who wouldn't be going home again ... unless they happened to live near the river and their corpses floated by on the way to the sea.

    And this from the character Twoflower was poignant:

    When I think that I might die without seeing a hundredth of all there is to see it makes me feel, he paused, then added, well, humble, I suppose. And very angry, of course.


    Anyway - incompetent and cowardly failed wizard Rincewind falls in with Twoflower, the naive tourist with an impossibly optimistic attitude, oodles of gold, and an indestructible, vicious and implacable treasure chest on legs to defend him.

    Hilarity ensues as Twoflower tries to see everything, Rincewind tries not to die, and the gods play games with them. We get a great tour of the Discworld, its geography, magics, and inhabitants, all of which are so fantastically imaginative and amusing that even geography becomes a joy.

    This isn't Terry Pratchett's best book but it's full of all the great stuff that gathers together into its peak a few books into the series. It's certainly an excellent book though. Pratchett has an incredibly rare talent for compressing humour into one-liners that are witty, incisive, and yet never feel mean - it's not jokes that you feel are directed _at_ anyone, just mined from the stuff of life.

    I had a great time revisiting this book and if you've not tried it - now's the time!



    Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes


    ......


  2. David - proud Gleeman in Branwen& David - proud Gleeman in Branwen& says:

    Reading The Color of Magic is akin to eating an entire bowl of ice cream just a little too fast...sure, it may cause your head to hurt at times, but the sweet rewards make it all worth it!

    Filled with ambitious wizards and ruthless assassins, the city of Ankh-Morpork has survived many dangers in the past, but now it faces an even more destructive force...TOURISM!!! When a rich but bored outsider named Twoflower decides to explore the city in search for adventure, it soon becomes an adventure for everyone around him, too! Twoflower's well-meaning but careless ways earn him the attention of pirates, dragonriders, and various supernatural entities, all looking to rid Twoflower of his treasure...not to mention his life! Soon failed wizard Rincewind reluctantly becomes Twoflower's guide, and as Twoflower explores more and more of Discworld looking for the adventure of a lifetime, Rincewind tries desperately to make sure his lifetime lasts for more than five minutes!

    This was me for about 80% of this book...
    homerlaugh

    Annnnnd here I am for the other 20%....
    homerconfused

    What I loved most about this book was definitely the humor. Some authors can only come up with a great laugh-out-loud moment once or twice in a book, but Pratchett is able to pull one off in just about every page! There are oodles of witty dialogue all throughout the novel, as well as some great slapstick moments. In addition, Pratchett gives us some excellent satire, too. I got a big kick out of how familiar some of Twoflower's ideas were, like when he convinces a bar owner to place a bet on whether or not the bar will be damaged...Twoflower calls this process inn-sewer-ants! By having the other characters mock the outrageous concepts Twoflower introduces them to, it did a magnificent job painting an amusing picture of some of the absurdities of everyday life. The Color of Magic isn't just a humorous book, it actually manages to pull off several different kinds of humor!

    Also, I was amazed with the extent of Pratchett's imagination! While some elements of this book are your standard fantasy archetypes, Pratchett really ups the ante by giving us some brilliantly creative concepts as well. With translucent dragons, trolls made out of water, a sentient piece of luggage that manages to display so much personality without ever saying a word, and an upside-down swordfight that has to be seen, errr, read to be believed, Pratchett never runs out of new ideas to entertain his audience with.

    Alas, while I enjoyed this book very much, I did have a couple of issues with it. For one thing, I felt like Pratchett tried to cram way too much into a book that's barely over 200 pages. So many characters and creatures come and go, it quickly becomes difficult to keep track of what's going on! I have some friends who didn't enjoy the Game of Thrones book as they found it confusing, but at least George R.R. Martin takes a good amount of time to establish all the characters, whereas this book can sometimes feel like trying to watch a NASCAR race where all the cars are speeding in a different direction! Also, some of Pratchett's ideas were a little too out-there for me...I knew this was going to be a problem right away, when Pratchett begins the book by revealing that Discworld is a planet that is carried on the backs of four elephants who are all standing on the shell of a giant turtle that is floating through space...
    discworld
    This is an awful lot to throw at me on page one, Mr. Pratchett!

    Also, while The Color of Magic works beautifully as a comedy, I'm afraid the actual story doesn't quite hit the mark. The book is divided into four parts, and each part feels like a separate book. Almost anyone introduced in one section is absent in the other three, so we're left wondering what happened to many different characters. While the events of Rincewind's and Twoflower's journey are fun to watch, there's very little true progression or closure. This storytelling technique was especially baffling in the fourth segment, where Pratchett keeps referring to an adventure that we never got to see, as it occurred inbetween the third and fourth sections. This disjointed method of storytelling prevented the book from becoming anything more than just a comedy of errors, as amusing as those errors may have been.

    So, while I felt this book would have been better if it were a bit longer and some of the concepts had been more fleshed out, I still had a lot of fun reading this hysterically funny adventure. I've been told that the first couple of books in the Discworld series pale in comparison to the later ones. Considering how entertaining The Color of Magic was, if this truly is one of the weaker entries, I can't wait to read more of the Discworld series!


  3. Mario the lone bookwolf Mario the lone bookwolf says:

    The Rincewind starts blowing up his ego in the first installment of the epic Discworld.

    The establishment of one of the sub series of the Discworld, around Rincewind, sorcerers, and the Unseen University, deals with insurances, Hrun the barbarian, role playing games, living furniture, different fantasy stereotypes and their exaggerations, a tourist and the industry around sightseeing, space travel, and introduces some elemental parts of the Discworld.

    How the strange humanities, fringe sciences, real magic, and all the increments in university life should be interpreted is a subjective question of taste. The academics can be seen as unworldly, snobby weirdos, absent minded geniuses, or, instead of plot elements, as profound criticism of too much general research in fields without any real benefit in stark contrast to the useful natural sciences. Although magicians combine both.

    Rincewind is a special person, one can see him as a tragic hero, manipulative and coward wannabe cynic, or someone with hidden potential, and he is used by Pratchett to contrast and reinforce the competence of other characters, especially the witches, who have everything he is unable or unwilling to achieve, competence, empathy, very strong powers, etc.

    Hrun the barbarian, I laughed tears each time I encountered him in a novel, as he is the ultimate persiflage and exaggeration of any masculine warrior traits macho myth.

    The elements dealing with insurances and how quickly creative ideas can turn a useful scheme in a destructive self-enforcing circle are more serious, something Pratchett did with many economic, political, and ideological topics. In this case, it are just the end consumers who misunderstand a key element, but in other installments, Pratchett owns the whole production chain of bad ideas from mastermind to smallest consumer.

    The tourism industry and how it changes both the minds of the visitors and the people living in a country, all the co- dependences, and how culture, tradition, and art is instrumentalized to get more fancy bling bling is in the mix too. (view spoiler)[ Twoflower as the personification of naive, extreme wealth, is courted by anyone from small thief to close to almighty beings, all adoring and worshipping the mammon they could get by deceiving or, better, killing him. (hide spoiler)]


  4. Brad Brad says:

    Before picking it up, I'd heard that The Colour of Magic was funny. Now that can mean just about anything because, let's face it, comedy is the most subjective of arts.

    Funny is a deeply personal thing. The funny peculiar and the funny ha-ha might not be the same from person to person or even to the same person depending on their mood or their place in life. So knowing something is funny ahead of reading it really doesn't tell me much.

    I'd read Terry Pratchett's & Neil Gaiman's Good Omens quite a while ago, so I expected at least a hint of satire and politically conscious wit, but I had no idea which of the authors to blame for the smart laughs in Good Omens, and my recollections really shed no illumination on what was to come. So I read The Colour of Magic with as open a mind as I could and hoped for some laughs.

    I didn't laugh much and that surprised me. I smiled an awful lot, though. But I didn't laugh. No out loud snickers; no full-out belly laughs; no snorts; no giggles.

    But I did smile.

    Pratchett's kooky tale (really four tales to make one) of Rincewind, the one-great-spell, wizarding failure, Twoflower, the in-sewer-ants adjuster/tourist, and his Luggage was smart more often than it was stupid, consciously political, satirically silly, more than willing to take the piss out of Fantasy as a genre, but mostly it was exceedingly absurd. And all of this was what made The Colour of Magic good to very good.

    Even so, its audience is necessarily limited. I know why I liked The Colour of Magic, and while I imagine there are other reasons to like the story, I think it is probably a fairly inaccessible tale unless you are a reader who falls into a niche of accessibility. This is not a book that can be widely read or widely liked.

    So why did I like it? I liked it because I fall into a niche wherein I was able to access memories of drunken, drug-addled, teenage D&D marathons (which were extremely rare since we preferred our gaming sober), where we gave up being serious and descended into near madness.

    Those nights are reflected in everything that happens in The Colour of Magic. Obligatory bar fights of fantastic impossibility, Monty Hall swords and treasures, idiotic last second rescues, gods dicing, heroes thinking with the dirk in their pants, dimensional slips and deus ex machinas at every turn make The Colour of Magic a collage of gaming stupidity, and it was nice to take a nostalgic trip back to my adolescence. In fact, Pratchett captures exactly the sort of gaming experience that led our halfling priest of Xyice, God of Mischief, to wish for a foot long penis then fall unconscious from blood loss when he achieved his first erection. So I liked this book...a lot, actually.

    But it wasn't the best story I've ever read, and I can't imagine I could sit down and read the entire Discworld cycle without a break. It's fun. It's light. Pratchett writes better than I expected, but I bet there are many folks out there who hate this book. You have my sympathy.

    So yes...I was disappointed that I didn't laugh more; I was disappointed that the story wasn't more subtle; I hated the turtle carrying the disc; I wanted The Colour of Magic to be more biting than silly, more critical than absurd, more intelligent than clever. But it was a fun ride that entertained me while I did the dishes, and I couldn't help liking Rincewind, so I will probably go on, and I will likely become a fan of Pratchett's Discworld books...in spite of themselves.


  5. Lyn Lyn says:

    And so it begins …

    Sir Terry Pratchett’s wildly imaginative Discworld series begins with the 1983 publication of The Color of Magic.

    I have been reading science fiction and fantasy for a long time and somehow I managed to not read any of his works until I came in late to the party. A friend suggested I try one, I’d like it and so I read the fourth in the series, Mort and I thought so much that I decided I would climb the hill and enjoy every step.

    Begin with a heaping portion of British humor (humour), mix in a share of Douglas Adams, sprinkle liberally with Monty Python, throw in a fantastic amount of fantasy from the Piers Anthony brand of fiction and top with a wink and a nod and you have Terry Pratchett Discworld embarkation. The Potent Voyager has set sail and much mirth and irreverence is certainly to follow.

    2019 - These are SO MUCH FUN!!!!

    description


  6. Lindsey Rey Lindsey Rey says:

    I will officially be reading the entire Discworld series!


  7. Markus Markus says:

    This must be the exception that proves the rule. For years I’ve been adamantly advocating reading series in publication order, whether a coherent story or a set of standalones. In Discworld, that simply doesn’t seem to be the best solution. Everyone seems to suggest that a new reader should not start with the first book, so this must be partially my fault for doing it anyway.

    The Colour of Magic is at best a mediocre introduction to what is supposedly the best humourous fantasy series ever written, by the legendary Terry Pratchett. Granted, the wild descriptions of the cosmology and topography of the Disc are indeed interesting, the writing is good and there are a few funny lines. However, I expected a lot more going on. While the total lack of a coherent plot is understandable in a series based on humour, the lack of humour is really not.

    That does not mean I didn’t enjoy the book. This rating may be a bit harsh, but it does seem to mean that I found the book to be “okay”. I am not discouraged from reading more books in the series, and I both hope and choose to believe that they are of a much higher quality than this first one. For the style is there. It’s only the substance that’s missing.

    That said, the race between two and three stars was pretty much a tie. Being a generally evil person, I opted for the lower option.

    I often see Pratchett compared to Douglas Adams, and just as often hailed as “the Douglas Adams of fantasy”. And so far, he unfortunately does not come close. You may be a legend, Sir Terry, but it takes a lot more to be a Douglas Adams.


  8. Jamie Jamie says:

    I'm pretty sure people have told me about Pratchett and his Diskworld series before, usually working in the phrase He's the Douglas Adams of fantasy into the description. But the problem was that I always felt that I had had enough of Adams after the third Hithiker's Guide to the Galaxy book, and whenever I scanned Pratchett's section in the bookstore I was immediately put off by not knowing where to start reading among the approximately five hundred thousand Diskworld books. I'm glad I finally took the time to find out that these two books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, jointly comprise the first tale in the series, and that they were definitely worth reading.

    The Diskworld books are essentially satire of the high fantasy genre, or at least that's the foundation upon which everything else is built. This pair of books follows the misadventures of Rincewind, a utterly inept and thoroughly cowardly wizard, and Twoflowers, a clueless traveler who happens to be in possession of both endless optimism and a magical suitcase that's always wandering off and messily devouring people who get in its way. Things go from bad to worse for the two as divine powers both deliver them into and yank them out of all kinds of fantastic perils.

    As someone who grew up reading plenty of this kind of thing and playing a lot of Dungeons& Dragons, I'm familiar enough with the genre and trappings that Pratchett lampoons. Yes, there's the Conan parody, there's the Dragonriders of Pern tribute, there's the in-joke about Leiber's Fafhrd and Gray Mouser. But that's easy. The thing that made me almost immediately fall in love with these books is the author's dry wit and his ability to derive humor not only from the absurdity of the story (and believe me, it gets plenty absurd) but also from just good old fashioned turns of phrase, wry commentary, and jokes. The guy just has an amazing ability to stuff five or six jokes into a single sentence, most of them making masterful use of that trusty standby of British humor, irony. It's really smart and really funny, and the fact that it builds on the inherent silliness of the high fantasy genre is just icing.

    I should also note how imaginative Pratchett is, which is a useful quality given his subject matter. He bounces his heroes from one (generally horrible and dangerous) situation to another at a frantic pace, and his ability to come up with new material and new situations amazes me. And while many of them are obvious parodies of fantasy staples, just as many seem to be wholly new creations. As one small (and obligatory) example, the Diskworld itself is a flat coin of a world that rides atop four enormous elephants, who themselves ride on the back of a colossal turtle with two continent-sized flippers that it uses to swim slowly through the cold reaches of space.

    But at the same time, if I have one complaint about these first two books, it's that they're almost maniacal in their plotting. While it's nice to see Pratchett's considerable imagination and humor on display as we go from situation to situation, the first book reads like an extended doodle with little plot and a whole gods playing games with mortals subtext that's entirely dropped in the next book. There's also one Conan the Barbarian parody that's abruptly dropped in favor of another Conan the Barbarian parody who Pratchett apparently liked better. It's not until the latter part of the second book does an overall plot come into play, but honestly I was enjoying myself so much I really didn't mind. Expect to see lots more Discworld books reviewed here in the future.


  9. Adrian Adrian says:

    Oh what fun, review to follow 😊😉

    So here is my review. I first read this I'm guessing some time around 1990, and then went on to read the sequels as they were released,until sometime around the millennium, when for various reasons I moved house and lost around 5000 books 😱
    Anyway I haven't read another Terry Pratchett Discworld novel since then. So when I was bought the first twenty in the series earlier this year I did a little mini dance (similar to the Floss ha ha) and looked forward to when I could start. Well that time is now and so I've started on the series.

    In my opinion this book is really Sir Terry getting into his stride and is not as good as a lot of the later entries in the series. Having said that it features Rincewind and the luggage as well as a few appearance from DEATH so it has a lot of redeeming features. The adventure is a little disjointed but still huge amount of fun, and it did (as per usual) have me laughing out loud as I sat in bed reading it. Yes I did thoroughly enjoy it, but I know it gets better , a lot better, so it just scraped 4 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Now I was trying to save reading the next book until 2019 as I have others I must finish first, but the problem is (as any Discworld lover will tell you), is that once you start you have to carry on, oh what a quandary.


  10. J.G. Keely J.G. Keely says:

    This series is much beloved of my friends, both here on Goodreads and out in the wilds of meatspace--he's even been referred to as Fantasy's answer to one of my favorite authors: the superlatively funny and insightful Douglas Adams. As such, I was excited to start the series at the beginning, hoping the wit and wisdom would overcome the warts of this early outing. Unfortunately,the jokes drew more groans than guffaws, reminding me of Mark Twain's comments on the book of friend and fellow American treasure Ambrose Bierce:

    There is humor in 'Dod Grile', but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive.

    Pratchett has none of the wry, oddball musings of Adams, and seems to me to be less the Fantasy version of that author and more the British version of endlessly 'punny' writer Piers Anthony (though thankfully without the unsettling implications of pedophilia). After finding this one unpalatable, a friend suggested I try one of his later books, so I started Moving Pictures, but while it was more competently crafted, I found it no more amusing. I guess you can't trust your friends.

    I've since been told to try another of his books--most often Night Watch and Small Gods are mentioned, but I find it impossible to work up any enthusiasm for another outing with Pratchett--perhaps one day, I'll get there.

    My Fantasy Book Suggestions


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “The Colour of Magic

  1. Mark Lawrence Mark Lawrence says:

    I haven't reviewed this because I read it so long ago that all I can remember is I loved it.

    I'll take our very old and battered copy (bought in 1987) to the hospice this weekend when I go with Celyn and see if I can't refresh my memory.

    RIP, Sir Terry.

    'DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING,' said Death, 'JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.'


    So - to the review!

    I've just read this in slightly over 24 hours ... which is extraordinary for me. I normally take a month to read a book.

    It is, to be fair, both a very readable and a very short book (65,000 words - a short fantasy these days is ~100,000 words).

    I was surprised to find how much of this I remembered, especially as I last read it 28 years ago!

    It's a very funny book with some GREAT one-liners. I particularly liked one that said about men falling foul of the thieves' guild (I paraphrase) '... men who wouldn't be going home again ... unless they happened to live near the river and their corpses floated by on the way to the sea.

    And this from the character Twoflower was poignant:

    When I think that I might die without seeing a hundredth of all there is to see it makes me feel, he paused, then added, well, humble, I suppose. And very angry, of course.


    Anyway - incompetent and cowardly failed wizard Rincewind falls in with Twoflower, the naive tourist with an impossibly optimistic attitude, oodles of gold, and an indestructible, vicious and implacable treasure chest on legs to defend him.

    Hilarity ensues as Twoflower tries to see everything, Rincewind tries not to die, and the gods play games with them. We get a great tour of the Discworld, its geography, magics, and inhabitants, all of which are so fantastically imaginative and amusing that even geography becomes a joy.

    This isn't Terry Pratchett's best book but it's full of all the great stuff that gathers together into its peak a few books into the series. It's certainly an excellent book though. Pratchett has an incredibly rare talent for compressing humour into one-liners that are witty, incisive, and yet never feel mean - it's not jokes that you feel are directed _at_ anyone, just mined from the stuff of life.

    I had a great time revisiting this book and if you've not tried it - now's the time!



    Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes


    ......

  2. David - proud Gleeman in Branwen& David - proud Gleeman in Branwen& says:

    Reading The Color of Magic is akin to eating an entire bowl of ice cream just a little too fast...sure, it may cause your head to hurt at times, but the sweet rewards make it all worth it!

    Filled with ambitious wizards and ruthless assassins, the city of Ankh-Morpork has survived many dangers in the past, but now it faces an even more destructive force...TOURISM!!! When a rich but bored outsider named Twoflower decides to explore the city in search for adventure, it soon becomes an adventure for everyone around him, too! Twoflower's well-meaning but careless ways earn him the attention of pirates, dragonriders, and various supernatural entities, all looking to rid Twoflower of his treasure...not to mention his life! Soon failed wizard Rincewind reluctantly becomes Twoflower's guide, and as Twoflower explores more and more of Discworld looking for the adventure of a lifetime, Rincewind tries desperately to make sure his lifetime lasts for more than five minutes!

    This was me for about 80% of this book...
    homerlaugh

    Annnnnd here I am for the other 20%....
    homerconfused

    What I loved most about this book was definitely the humor. Some authors can only come up with a great laugh-out-loud moment once or twice in a book, but Pratchett is able to pull one off in just about every page! There are oodles of witty dialogue all throughout the novel, as well as some great slapstick moments. In addition, Pratchett gives us some excellent satire, too. I got a big kick out of how familiar some of Twoflower's ideas were, like when he convinces a bar owner to place a bet on whether or not the bar will be damaged...Twoflower calls this process inn-sewer-ants! By having the other characters mock the outrageous concepts Twoflower introduces them to, it did a magnificent job painting an amusing picture of some of the absurdities of everyday life. The Color of Magic isn't just a humorous book, it actually manages to pull off several different kinds of humor!

    Also, I was amazed with the extent of Pratchett's imagination! While some elements of this book are your standard fantasy archetypes, Pratchett really ups the ante by giving us some brilliantly creative concepts as well. With translucent dragons, trolls made out of water, a sentient piece of luggage that manages to display so much personality without ever saying a word, and an upside-down swordfight that has to be seen, errr, read to be believed, Pratchett never runs out of new ideas to entertain his audience with.

    Alas, while I enjoyed this book very much, I did have a couple of issues with it. For one thing, I felt like Pratchett tried to cram way too much into a book that's barely over 200 pages. So many characters and creatures come and go, it quickly becomes difficult to keep track of what's going on! I have some friends who didn't enjoy the Game of Thrones book as they found it confusing, but at least George R.R. Martin takes a good amount of time to establish all the characters, whereas this book can sometimes feel like trying to watch a NASCAR race where all the cars are speeding in a different direction! Also, some of Pratchett's ideas were a little too out-there for me...I knew this was going to be a problem right away, when Pratchett begins the book by revealing that Discworld is a planet that is carried on the backs of four elephants who are all standing on the shell of a giant turtle that is floating through space...
    discworld
    This is an awful lot to throw at me on page one, Mr. Pratchett!

    Also, while The Color of Magic works beautifully as a comedy, I'm afraid the actual story doesn't quite hit the mark. The book is divided into four parts, and each part feels like a separate book. Almost anyone introduced in one section is absent in the other three, so we're left wondering what happened to many different characters. While the events of Rincewind's and Twoflower's journey are fun to watch, there's very little true progression or closure. This storytelling technique was especially baffling in the fourth segment, where Pratchett keeps referring to an adventure that we never got to see, as it occurred inbetween the third and fourth sections. This disjointed method of storytelling prevented the book from becoming anything more than just a comedy of errors, as amusing as those errors may have been.

    So, while I felt this book would have been better if it were a bit longer and some of the concepts had been more fleshed out, I still had a lot of fun reading this hysterically funny adventure. I've been told that the first couple of books in the Discworld series pale in comparison to the later ones. Considering how entertaining The Color of Magic was, if this truly is one of the weaker entries, I can't wait to read more of the Discworld series!

  3. Mario the lone bookwolf Mario the lone bookwolf says:

    The Rincewind starts blowing up his ego in the first installment of the epic Discworld.

    The establishment of one of the sub series of the Discworld, around Rincewind, sorcerers, and the Unseen University, deals with insurances, Hrun the barbarian, role playing games, living furniture, different fantasy stereotypes and their exaggerations, a tourist and the industry around sightseeing, space travel, and introduces some elemental parts of the Discworld.

    How the strange humanities, fringe sciences, real magic, and all the increments in university life should be interpreted is a subjective question of taste. The academics can be seen as unworldly, snobby weirdos, absent minded geniuses, or, instead of plot elements, as profound criticism of too much general research in fields without any real benefit in stark contrast to the useful natural sciences. Although magicians combine both.

    Rincewind is a special person, one can see him as a tragic hero, manipulative and coward wannabe cynic, or someone with hidden potential, and he is used by Pratchett to contrast and reinforce the competence of other characters, especially the witches, who have everything he is unable or unwilling to achieve, competence, empathy, very strong powers, etc.

    Hrun the barbarian, I laughed tears each time I encountered him in a novel, as he is the ultimate persiflage and exaggeration of any masculine warrior traits macho myth.

    The elements dealing with insurances and how quickly creative ideas can turn a useful scheme in a destructive self-enforcing circle are more serious, something Pratchett did with many economic, political, and ideological topics. In this case, it are just the end consumers who misunderstand a key element, but in other installments, Pratchett owns the whole production chain of bad ideas from mastermind to smallest consumer.

    The tourism industry and how it changes both the minds of the visitors and the people living in a country, all the co- dependences, and how culture, tradition, and art is instrumentalized to get more fancy bling bling is in the mix too. (view spoiler)[ Twoflower as the personification of naive, extreme wealth, is courted by anyone from small thief to close to almighty beings, all adoring and worshipping the mammon they could get by deceiving or, better, killing him. (hide spoiler)]

  4. Brad Brad says:

    Before picking it up, I'd heard that The Colour of Magic was funny. Now that can mean just about anything because, let's face it, comedy is the most subjective of arts.

    Funny is a deeply personal thing. The funny peculiar and the funny ha-ha might not be the same from person to person or even to the same person depending on their mood or their place in life. So knowing something is funny ahead of reading it really doesn't tell me much.

    I'd read Terry Pratchett's & Neil Gaiman's Good Omens quite a while ago, so I expected at least a hint of satire and politically conscious wit, but I had no idea which of the authors to blame for the smart laughs in Good Omens, and my recollections really shed no illumination on what was to come. So I read The Colour of Magic with as open a mind as I could and hoped for some laughs.

    I didn't laugh much and that surprised me. I smiled an awful lot, though. But I didn't laugh. No out loud snickers; no full-out belly laughs; no snorts; no giggles.

    But I did smile.

    Pratchett's kooky tale (really four tales to make one) of Rincewind, the one-great-spell, wizarding failure, Twoflower, the in-sewer-ants adjuster/tourist, and his Luggage was smart more often than it was stupid, consciously political, satirically silly, more than willing to take the piss out of Fantasy as a genre, but mostly it was exceedingly absurd. And all of this was what made The Colour of Magic good to very good.

    Even so, its audience is necessarily limited. I know why I liked The Colour of Magic, and while I imagine there are other reasons to like the story, I think it is probably a fairly inaccessible tale unless you are a reader who falls into a niche of accessibility. This is not a book that can be widely read or widely liked.

    So why did I like it? I liked it because I fall into a niche wherein I was able to access memories of drunken, drug-addled, teenage D&D marathons (which were extremely rare since we preferred our gaming sober), where we gave up being serious and descended into near madness.

    Those nights are reflected in everything that happens in The Colour of Magic. Obligatory bar fights of fantastic impossibility, Monty Hall swords and treasures, idiotic last second rescues, gods dicing, heroes thinking with the dirk in their pants, dimensional slips and deus ex machinas at every turn make The Colour of Magic a collage of gaming stupidity, and it was nice to take a nostalgic trip back to my adolescence. In fact, Pratchett captures exactly the sort of gaming experience that led our halfling priest of Xyice, God of Mischief, to wish for a foot long penis then fall unconscious from blood loss when he achieved his first erection. So I liked this book...a lot, actually.

    But it wasn't the best story I've ever read, and I can't imagine I could sit down and read the entire Discworld cycle without a break. It's fun. It's light. Pratchett writes better than I expected, but I bet there are many folks out there who hate this book. You have my sympathy.

    So yes...I was disappointed that I didn't laugh more; I was disappointed that the story wasn't more subtle; I hated the turtle carrying the disc; I wanted The Colour of Magic to be more biting than silly, more critical than absurd, more intelligent than clever. But it was a fun ride that entertained me while I did the dishes, and I couldn't help liking Rincewind, so I will probably go on, and I will likely become a fan of Pratchett's Discworld books...in spite of themselves.

  5. Lyn Lyn says:

    And so it begins …

    Sir Terry Pratchett’s wildly imaginative Discworld series begins with the 1983 publication of The Color of Magic.

    I have been reading science fiction and fantasy for a long time and somehow I managed to not read any of his works until I came in late to the party. A friend suggested I try one, I’d like it and so I read the fourth in the series, Mort and I thought so much that I decided I would climb the hill and enjoy every step.

    Begin with a heaping portion of British humor (humour), mix in a share of Douglas Adams, sprinkle liberally with Monty Python, throw in a fantastic amount of fantasy from the Piers Anthony brand of fiction and top with a wink and a nod and you have Terry Pratchett Discworld embarkation. The Potent Voyager has set sail and much mirth and irreverence is certainly to follow.

    2019 - These are SO MUCH FUN!!!!

    description

  6. Lindsey Rey Lindsey Rey says:

    I will officially be reading the entire Discworld series!

  7. Markus Markus says:

    This must be the exception that proves the rule. For years I’ve been adamantly advocating reading series in publication order, whether a coherent story or a set of standalones. In Discworld, that simply doesn’t seem to be the best solution. Everyone seems to suggest that a new reader should not start with the first book, so this must be partially my fault for doing it anyway.

    The Colour of Magic is at best a mediocre introduction to what is supposedly the best humourous fantasy series ever written, by the legendary Terry Pratchett. Granted, the wild descriptions of the cosmology and topography of the Disc are indeed interesting, the writing is good and there are a few funny lines. However, I expected a lot more going on. While the total lack of a coherent plot is understandable in a series based on humour, the lack of humour is really not.

    That does not mean I didn’t enjoy the book. This rating may be a bit harsh, but it does seem to mean that I found the book to be “okay”. I am not discouraged from reading more books in the series, and I both hope and choose to believe that they are of a much higher quality than this first one. For the style is there. It’s only the substance that’s missing.

    That said, the race between two and three stars was pretty much a tie. Being a generally evil person, I opted for the lower option.

    I often see Pratchett compared to Douglas Adams, and just as often hailed as “the Douglas Adams of fantasy”. And so far, he unfortunately does not come close. You may be a legend, Sir Terry, but it takes a lot more to be a Douglas Adams.

  8. Jamie Jamie says:

    I'm pretty sure people have told me about Pratchett and his Diskworld series before, usually working in the phrase He's the Douglas Adams of fantasy into the description. But the problem was that I always felt that I had had enough of Adams after the third Hithiker's Guide to the Galaxy book, and whenever I scanned Pratchett's section in the bookstore I was immediately put off by not knowing where to start reading among the approximately five hundred thousand Diskworld books. I'm glad I finally took the time to find out that these two books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, jointly comprise the first tale in the series, and that they were definitely worth reading.

    The Diskworld books are essentially satire of the high fantasy genre, or at least that's the foundation upon which everything else is built. This pair of books follows the misadventures of Rincewind, a utterly inept and thoroughly cowardly wizard, and Twoflowers, a clueless traveler who happens to be in possession of both endless optimism and a magical suitcase that's always wandering off and messily devouring people who get in its way. Things go from bad to worse for the two as divine powers both deliver them into and yank them out of all kinds of fantastic perils.

    As someone who grew up reading plenty of this kind of thing and playing a lot of Dungeons& Dragons, I'm familiar enough with the genre and trappings that Pratchett lampoons. Yes, there's the Conan parody, there's the Dragonriders of Pern tribute, there's the in-joke about Leiber's Fafhrd and Gray Mouser. But that's easy. The thing that made me almost immediately fall in love with these books is the author's dry wit and his ability to derive humor not only from the absurdity of the story (and believe me, it gets plenty absurd) but also from just good old fashioned turns of phrase, wry commentary, and jokes. The guy just has an amazing ability to stuff five or six jokes into a single sentence, most of them making masterful use of that trusty standby of British humor, irony. It's really smart and really funny, and the fact that it builds on the inherent silliness of the high fantasy genre is just icing.

    I should also note how imaginative Pratchett is, which is a useful quality given his subject matter. He bounces his heroes from one (generally horrible and dangerous) situation to another at a frantic pace, and his ability to come up with new material and new situations amazes me. And while many of them are obvious parodies of fantasy staples, just as many seem to be wholly new creations. As one small (and obligatory) example, the Diskworld itself is a flat coin of a world that rides atop four enormous elephants, who themselves ride on the back of a colossal turtle with two continent-sized flippers that it uses to swim slowly through the cold reaches of space.

    But at the same time, if I have one complaint about these first two books, it's that they're almost maniacal in their plotting. While it's nice to see Pratchett's considerable imagination and humor on display as we go from situation to situation, the first book reads like an extended doodle with little plot and a whole gods playing games with mortals subtext that's entirely dropped in the next book. There's also one Conan the Barbarian parody that's abruptly dropped in favor of another Conan the Barbarian parody who Pratchett apparently liked better. It's not until the latter part of the second book does an overall plot come into play, but honestly I was enjoying myself so much I really didn't mind. Expect to see lots more Discworld books reviewed here in the future.

  9. Adrian Adrian says:

    Oh what fun, review to follow 😊😉

    So here is my review. I first read this I'm guessing some time around 1990, and then went on to read the sequels as they were released,until sometime around the millennium, when for various reasons I moved house and lost around 5000 books 😱
    Anyway I haven't read another Terry Pratchett Discworld novel since then. So when I was bought the first twenty in the series earlier this year I did a little mini dance (similar to the Floss ha ha) and looked forward to when I could start. Well that time is now and so I've started on the series.

    In my opinion this book is really Sir Terry getting into his stride and is not as good as a lot of the later entries in the series. Having said that it features Rincewind and the luggage as well as a few appearance from DEATH so it has a lot of redeeming features. The adventure is a little disjointed but still huge amount of fun, and it did (as per usual) have me laughing out loud as I sat in bed reading it. Yes I did thoroughly enjoy it, but I know it gets better , a lot better, so it just scraped 4 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Now I was trying to save reading the next book until 2019 as I have others I must finish first, but the problem is (as any Discworld lover will tell you), is that once you start you have to carry on, oh what a quandary.

  10. J.G. Keely J.G. Keely says:

    This series is much beloved of my friends, both here on Goodreads and out in the wilds of meatspace--he's even been referred to as Fantasy's answer to one of my favorite authors: the superlatively funny and insightful Douglas Adams. As such, I was excited to start the series at the beginning, hoping the wit and wisdom would overcome the warts of this early outing. Unfortunately,the jokes drew more groans than guffaws, reminding me of Mark Twain's comments on the book of friend and fellow American treasure Ambrose Bierce:

    There is humor in 'Dod Grile', but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive.

    Pratchett has none of the wry, oddball musings of Adams, and seems to me to be less the Fantasy version of that author and more the British version of endlessly 'punny' writer Piers Anthony (though thankfully without the unsettling implications of pedophilia). After finding this one unpalatable, a friend suggested I try one of his later books, so I started Moving Pictures, but while it was more competently crafted, I found it no more amusing. I guess you can't trust your friends.

    I've since been told to try another of his books--most often Night Watch and Small Gods are mentioned, but I find it impossible to work up any enthusiasm for another outing with Pratchett--perhaps one day, I'll get there.

    My Fantasy Book Suggestions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *