Book Review · reading

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

I finished Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett last week. This is the first time I read Color of Magic. I understand there is a movie; I have not seen it.

Blurb from GoodReads:

Terry Pratchett’s profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…


Okay, I have to admit the idea of a world transported on the back giant turtle strikes me slightly ridiculous. In fact, large parts of the book strike me as ridiculous. But it works. It all holds together and not in a ridiculous way. That’s amazing.

The idea of the naïve tourist is a good way to explore this world. He’s an insurance analyst. The very idea of insurance seems a foreign concept to other character, the inept wizard. The inept wizard is a cynical type, one who is forced by his leader and circumstance to actually keep his promise to be a good tour good for the tourist.

In the tourist’s travels, while explaining the idea of insurance to people, one person commits insurance fraud. The book never said so, but I suspect the person never gets his money.

I loved the idea of the invisible dragons, dragons that are only real if you are in the dragon area and if the dragon’s owner believes in them. It’s like riding an invisible airplane, while carrying an invisible gun. Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, it sounds wonderful to me.

The Luggage is pretty damn interesting, too. I mean, the idea of Luggage, with a capital L, that bites and is infinitely large – well, it would never be lost, never be stolen, and you could carry whatever you liked!

Also, the net around the edge of the world that catches anyone who falls over. Good idea. Too bad it is not fool-proof.

I love it. I love it a lot more than I thought I would, considering how utterly silly the idea sounds.

The book ends when the inept wizard falls over the edge of the world. This is a cliffhanger, and I don’t think I approve. But, luckily, the second book is already out.


18 thoughts on “The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

  1. The discworld novels are all ridiculously good. They get better too as he got more practice writing and writing in the world. As you get further in the series you see that he uses this crazy world to make cutting social commentary. I have an entire shelf of Discworld novels. Some of my favourites (and most can be read as stand alone’s) are Monstrous Regiment, Thief of Time and Going Postal.

  2. This is my all time favorite series, and I’ve read every single of the over 40 books in the series (many of them several times). You’ve just started an epic journey with this book 😀

  3. I LOVE the discworld novels and have done for over twenty years 🙂 (crap, that makes me sound old but I’m not). Glad you enjoyed it and I hope you give more of them a try. My favourites are any with the witches (Esme Weatherwax and Gytha Ogg) They’re bloody brilliant 😀

  4. Silly, ridiculous stuff that shouldn’t work but does? Wildly imaginative ideas and settings? Yup, sounds like Terry Pratchett! I haven’t read these, but not it definitely sounds like I should!

  5. I really want to read this. I can’t believe I’ve never read a Terry Pratchett novel. I love Neil Gaiman and I know they both have very unique but brilliant minds. I definitely need to read this. It’s already in my to-buy list, I think it just needs to be higher 🙂

  6. Pratchett is one of my all time favorites. He does for fantasy what Douglas Adams did for science fiction. One of my favorites from the discworld is Reaperman. Imagine, Death takes a holiday. Any of the books where the wizards from unseen university are involved are fun times.

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