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