The Color of Magic

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The first edition hard cover.

The Color of Magic, spelled The Colour of Magic in the UK, is a comedic novel by Terry Pratchett and the first book in the Discworld series, published in 1983.

I first picked this book up because my girlfriend at the time bought it. She was a huge fan of Good Omens and wanted to read more books by Pratchett. I didn't have a chance to read much of it, and, finding the first couple pages dull, didn't read any further. Later, I had a co-worker who was a huge Pratchett fan and had read every one of the Discworld books continued to rave about him. Years later, I decided to give the book another chance and read it. It was pretty good.

Status

I do not own this book, but have listened to an audio book recording.

Review

Good

  • Overall, the book is really funny. There are a lot of small jokes, ironic jokes, plays on tropes, etc. I chortled many times. Pratchett makes some hilarious descriptions.
  • Basing the world on real-life myths is a staple of fiction, but using the most ridiculous myths, like that the earth is supported by four giant elephants riding a huge turtle, was genius!
  • The way Pratchett bases magic on scientific principles is pretty cool.
  • The description of the Temple of Bel-Shamharoth, talking about all objects based around nine minus one and the square root of 64 was funny.
  • Death is a hilarious character.

Bad

  • The book becomes rather hard to follow in the later portion when the characters are jumping between dimensions and the time line gets jumbled up.
  • If sapient pearwood is nearly extinct, entirely magic proof, and extremely valuable, how does a middle-class wizard like Twoflower have a trunk made out of it?
  • I didn't care much for the ending which leaves a lot of loose ends.

Ugly

  • Nothing

Cover Art

Links