The Colour of Magic (Rincewind/The wizards, #1) (Discworld, #1)

by Terry Pratchett

3.25 of 5 stars 26 ratings • 5 reviews • 43 shelved
Book cover for The Colour of Magic

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The Colour of Magic (Rincewind/The wizards, #1) (Discworld, #1)

by Terry Pratchett

3.25 of 5 stars 26 ratings • 5 reviews • 43 shelved
Since the publication of this title in 1983, Pratchett's Discworld series now has many best-selling titles in print, every one of which has received rapturous reviews. "The plot is so ridiculous and so much fun that it shouldn't be revealed in a serious
  • ISBN13 9780861403240
  • Publish Date 1 November 1989 (first published 1 January 1900)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country GB
  • Imprint Colin Smythe Ltd
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 207
  • Language English


Avatar for moraa

moraa 3 of 5 stars

I’ve seen excitement, and I’ve seen boredom. And boredom was best.

3.5 stars

The Colour of Magic is a book that did what it came to do and I am not going to begrudge it that. However, I feel I must disclaim at this point that I listened to the final third of the book while cleaning out my closet. This will be relevant soon.

What I liked:
-the writing style

Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorizing the other occupants and kicking over the furniture.

I know, yum!

-the level of sheer absurdism

You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs.

-the fact that the entire goal of this book (on the surface at least) is to find out the sex of a turtle: you’ve got to love a simple premise

-the character names and contrasting personalities
*Twoflower can never be bothered
*Rincewind is always fucking bothered
*The result is a huge bunch of laughs, frowns and cringing (from you. they’re quite comfortable with their absurd tendencies)

Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant 'idiot'

*also, Hrun, the perfect allegory of macho-ness

-plot: there’s not much of it but the story moves forward nonetheless (character-driven and well done at that)

Okay, so your next question might be: why just three bloody stars then?!
I asked myself that too and here’s my answer:

What I disliked:

Listen, this series (and its author) are very revered and I mean very revered.

Discworld has paved the way for fantasy – absurdist or not – since its publication. That doesn’t mean I’ll hesitate to critique it though, which is the point of this section of my review.

I only enjoyed the last third of the novel because I had the audiobook on while cleaning out my closet. And I can tell you for a fact that I felt renewed. The absurdism had me on my knees, to the point that my closet took a backseat just so I could calm down from my incessant laughter/frowning/cringing (see my point on ‘characters’ above).

My conclusion: I enjoyed this immensely, and I might even come back and change my rating, I just didn’t like it enough to sit down and read it and that’s that.

(a moment of thanks to the audiobook gods)

And yes, of course I would recommend it! Just prepare to have a few screws rattled in your mind and a few laughs yanked out of you.

(and don't ask me how it works to like a book enough to heap praise on it and recommend it and still not want to carve out to time to read the actual words when I can do it well enough for other books, I DON'T KNOW HOW IT WORKS EITHER)

Avatar for kiracanread

kiracanread 2 of 5 stars
I'd never read any of Terry Pratchett's works before, and based on this one I wouldn't bother to pick up another. I don't believe that this is a bad book, I just really didn't gel with the writing or feel really engaged with the story. It just really wasn't for me.

Avatar for murderbydeath

MurderByDeath 3.5 of 5 stars
I never know how to review the discworld books.  They're sort of impossible to describe to anyone who hasn't already read them, and likewise, they're hard (for me) to review.     Generally, having read a few of the later discworld books in a couple of the sub-series, I found this one to be the weakest in terms of personal enjoyment.  I'm happy to have The Luggage finally explained, or at least properly introduced, and there were a few great jokes, but the story... meh.   And is it just me, or is Death distinctly less personable in his earliest incarnation?  I also missed the footnotes that add so much to later discworld books.

Avatar for clq

clq 4 of 5 stars
I've arrived at the gates of Discworld, and so far it looks like a pretty inviting place.
The Colour of Magic has a very promising start. It is, of course, funny. Not entirely effortlessly so, the jokes seem a little forced at times, but not that often. Just consistently enough for it to be slightly jarring at times.
Under all the jokes there is also a story, and it begins very well. Strangely enough it seemed like the story just stopped after a while, and the rest of the book felt like a bunch of situations just thrown together more or less arbitrarily. In a way the story itself gives an indication to why this might be, but that didn't stop it from feeling rather disjointed. It was never very hard to follow what was going on, but convincing myself not to keep grasping for a sense of context became a real challenge. Maybe I need to read more of the Pratchett books to get that context.
I do hope Discworld gets better, and I'm sure it does. The universe is very promising, and the style of writing alone is enough to induce constant smiling with occasional spells of chuckling. I did like this book, but I'm also a little disappointed for my main takeaway from The Colour of Magic to be "the next book might be very good!"

Avatar for ibeforem

ibeforem 3 of 5 stars
I’ve known about this series for a long time, and since we have almost all of them on mp3, I figured I should give them a shot.

It’s what I would consider quintessential Pratchett. Fantasy, with more than a touch of satire. I liked it, though it took me a little while to get into it. The pace of Twoflower and Rincewind’s adventure finally picked up about halfway through. Part of the blame goes to the audio production — pauses in the book weren’t delineated very well. I’ll continue the series, but with some time between each book.