”The Colour of Magic” is the first book in the Discworld series, which has dozens of books and several series within itself. It gives us an introduction to the Discworld – carried through space on the back of the Great A’Tuin, a giant turtle – as well as certin recurring characters: The wizard Rincewind, who knows only one spell and mustn’t use it, but who is nonetheless a wizard, Death (yes, the Death) and a personal favourite of mine – the Luggage. Follow the world’s first tourist Twoflower as he somehow survives all manner of adventure with Rincewind as (a somewhat inept) guide, and as the Luggage comes to the rescue more than once…
I’m struggling to write this review because I have mixed feelings about the book. There are certain parts I love – such as the Luggage, Death (more on him in the Death series within the Discworld series), puns like the Circumfence (a fence which runs along the edge of the circular discworld) and the sea troll made up entirely of ocean – but I didn’t find myself drawn in to the story and eager to know what comes next. Pratchett’s writing is satire drawn to the point of absurdity, and that is always something I struggle with – or rather, it sometimes crosses a line where I find it more tiresome than fun – and perhaps there was a bit more crossing of that line in this work than in other Pratchett books I’ve read. At any rate, this is not my favourite discworld novel among the ones I’ve read so far – but I have it on good authourity Pratchett gets better and better as the series progresses.
Recommended: Yes – as an introduction to Discworld and for its imaginative imagery, it is definitely worth reading. However, if you are like me you’ll enjoy other discworld books more – may I suggest starting with ”Equal Rites”, the first Witches book, or better yet the stand-alone ”The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents”.
Reminds me of: Well, surprise surprise – other Pratchett books. Also certain similarities with Douglas Adams (not that I am any expert on him).
Favourite quote: ”sitting on a pitted and moss-grown milestone, a black and raggedy figure. His was the air of one who is unjustly put upon, who is dreaded and feared, yet who is the only friend of the poor and the best doctor for the mortally wounded. Death”
”apparently composed of water and very little else. It was as if ocean had decided to create life without going through all that tedious business of evolution, and had simply formed a part of itself into a biped and sent it walking squishily up the beach”
P.S. I thought I might as well subtly promote The English Bookshop (that’s their bookmark) – it is the best bookshop I have ever seen, and without it my bookshelves would be a good many excellent books shorter.