Title: The Colour of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Colin Smythe
Release Date: November 24, 1983
Genre(s): Fantasy, Humour
Page Count: 288 (paperback)
The Colour of Magic marks the start of our Discworld Readathon!
There are two things I learned from reading this book:
1) I can see why people say that the first couple of books in the series can be skipped.
2) I liked the film adaption (part one, at least) better than the book.
Yes, go ahead and pelt me with all your rotten vegetables, but at least the movie had the charm of Sean Astin and a powerhouse cast of Jeremy Irons, Tim Curry, and Christopher Lee.
The Colour of Magic follows Twoflower, a first-time tourist to Ankh-Morpork, the largest city in Discworld, and Rincewind, an incompetent wizard tasked with guiding him. They bounce from one misadventure to another like a pair of disaster magnets, jokes are had, and Pratchett pokes fun at old fantasy tropes.
And…that’s about it.
The story is like an erratically stitched-up tapestry of fantasy adventures, which I wouldn’t have minded if I could connect with the two main characters, but I really, really couldn’t. Rincewind and Twoflower start out as a happy-go-lucky tourist and a jaded wizard and they end as a happy-go-lucky tourist and a jaded wizard, and I knew just as much about the two of them by the end as I did in the beginning–as in, not much. To top it off, their interactions felt weirdly sparse and lacking in depth. I mean, they occupy the same physical space for much of the story, but they always just seem to talk around each other.
But here’s the thing: there’s something oddly comforting about how underwhelming this book is. It shows that even legends like Terry Pratchett have to start from somewhere. They all have their rough foundation from which they have to improve on, because people aren’t born from the womb oozing genius talent–it’s a product of a lot of hard work and a willingness to learn.
Things are only going to get better and better from here. And I can’t wait to see that trajectory of growth.
P.S. Oh, and the idea of a disc-shaped planet that sits on top of four elephants that sit on top of a turtle? Brilliant.
I’m forgoing my usual rating system for the readathon and giving this book two and a half elephants riding turtles out of five.
Check out what all the other participants had to say about The Colour of Magic!
Nina @ The Cozy Pages
Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads
Didi @ Didi Oviatt
Alicia @ Miss Honeybugs Reads & Crafts
Nicole @ The BookWorm Dinketh
Emma @ The Stride of my Step