Book Review: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Book Review: The Color of Magic by Terry PratchettThe Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2009-10-13
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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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...

Sometimes, I am so American, it just hurts. I realize this when I read books which have British humor, because I nod and smile, but don’t guffaw as much as when I read books by American authors (i.e. David Sedaris and Jen Lancaster).I admit, I find Monty Python and The Holy Grail side-splitting funny. However, half the time I just don’t get it (i.e. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Universe). I’m thinking The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett fits in with ‘British Humor I Just Don’t Get.’ I do understand that I am generalizing.

I did smile a bit while reading The Color of Magic, but no LOLs from me. The Color of Magic is the first of the Discworld series, and several afficionados of Discworld have said don’t start with The Color of Magic, but as this was on hand, I ignored that advice and start with this. Now, don’t be under the impression that I hated it or disliked it, because I didn’t. I will read more from this series, as I think there’s more to enjoy and I like humor with my fantasy every now and then.

Anyways, all sorts of crazy shit goes down in The Color of Magic. It’s like Murphy’s Law. The worst just keeps on happening. So, the star of the book is Rincewind, the most inept wizard of Ankh-Morpork. He only knows one spell, which is one of the great eight spells. Anyways, Rincewind gets into mishap after mishap after becoming responsible for tourist Twoflower who comes from the Counterweight Continent. Twoflower works in insurance and has come to Ankh-Morpork for adventure with his Luggage, which is a suitcase that is actually alive.

So, Rincewind and Twoflower travel all over Discworld and get into scrape after scrape. They catch the attention of the Gods as well as Death. Overall, it’s a bunch of irreverant silly-ness that makes fun of certain fantasy tropes. Like, okay you know all those fantasy books where there’s always a group of harsh barbarians who keep slaves, typically on some dark continent. Yep, that shows up here. And there’s dragons. And Heros. And magic. It’s definitely good times.

I mean, I do like Pratchett’s writing style, and the fact that this book is satire. However, I am admitting straight up, I don’t get satire. I really don’t. Some people understand it, but I do not. So, the fact that I enjoyed this without getting it entirely should go to show that Pratchett is awesome, and would probably be even more awesome to people who are down with satire.

Just for an example of the humor, here’s an excerpt I found to be quite funny:

“Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the Discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant ‘idiot.’

As they rode leisurely through the thyme-scented, bee-humming air, Rincewind pondered on the experiences of the last few days. While the little foreigner was obviously insane, he was also generous and considerably less lethal than half the people the wizard had mixed with in the city. Rincewind rather liked him. Disliking him would be like kicking a puppy.”

-pg. 67

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. HA! The quoted part made me laugh. When I first moved to London it took me months to stop violent urges to kill people and then to laugh at their jokes instead. I love this book!

  2. I’ve never read any Terry Prachett although I’d like to! I totally know what you mean..I never get British humor as much as I do American. Like, for instance, I accidentally got the British version of The Office and didn’t really laugh as much as I do when I watched the American version. Goal for 2011–get British humor.

    • I LOVE the Office, American version though.

      Also, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable 2011 goal.

      I’ve read and enjoyed Maurice And His Amazing Rodents, it’s good intro to Pratchett.

  3. Jami (YA Addict) says

    I am a huge fan of British humor, so this one might be right up my ally. Thanks for the review!


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