Publisher: ROC (The Penguin Group), 1985
Book Blurb: Discworld – perched on the backs of four cosmically gargantuan elephants (who themselves are traveling through the intergalactic void atop a giant sea turtle) – is a place where anything can happen.
And it does when Twoflower, a naive insurance salesman turned tourist, makes the mistake of selling fire insurance to an arson-prone innkeeper. One burning town later, Twoflower and his amazing, sentient Luggage – which follows him everywhere on its hundreds of little feet – find themselves rescued by the inept wizard Rincewind, who is only too happy to turn tour guide as long as the gold flows free. And off this mismatched threesome go on an incredible adventure in the wildest realms of fantasy!
My Opinion: I have been meaning to read The Colour of Magic for so long. It always seemed like my kind of book. However, my library doesn’t have it, and I was trying to curb my new book buying. But, when the annual book sale rolled around, I couldn’t resist picking it up used for a fantastic price.
I am glad I did.
The Colour of Magic has been compared to The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and I can see why. Both Pratchett and Adams share this way of writing that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The prose itself is extremely well written, if deceptively dense for such a little book. The humor is exceptional, light-hearted and fitting the setting perfectly. I found it to be almost an exact replica of the style found in The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. That said, it is definitely the kind of writing I had to be in the right mood for.
The story is meandering, with bursts of action here and there. The Colour of Magic never felt like it was dragging, though there were periods where I wondered what the point was, and I can’t really say I ever got completely sucked into the story.
Rincewind and Twoflower are delightful characters. They have flaws, they are unconventional… just really enjoyable to read about.
It is a short book, so this is a short review.
Bottom Line: Quirky fantasy parody, not unlike The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is to the science fiction genre. Delightfully written, but sometimes wanders a little too much.