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The colour of magic by Terry Pratchett

The colour of magic (original 1983; edition 1985)

by Terry Pratchett

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14,736269135 (3.75)491
Title:The colour of magic
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:London : Corgi, 1985.
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (1983)

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English (250)  French (6)  Spanish (6)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Romanian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (268)
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Este libro me pareció bastante infantil y nada gracioso. Hubo un par de cosas que me parecieron divertidas, pero nada más. Al principio me gustó, pero me cansé después de la primera historia, porque el libro no tenía realmente un argumento.

Este libro contiene cuatro historias. Cada una trata de una aventura de Ricewing y Dosflores, pero no son lo suficientemetne largas para que se desarrollen bien el argumento y los personajes. Los personajes permanecen planos, incluso pasadas las cuatro historias. Si se hubiera tratado de historias que acompañaran a otro libro, hubieran funcionado mucho mejor.


This book was too childish and not funny at all. A few things were slightly amusing, but nothing more than that. I liked it at first, but then got tired of it after the first story, because the book didn't really have a plot.

This book contains four stories. Each tells an adventure of Ricewind and Twoflower, but they're not long enough for the plot or the characters to be developed well. The characters remain rather flat, even after all four stories. If they had been companion stories to another book, they would have worked much better. ( )
  Hellen0 | Jun 22, 2016 |
no review, because i haven't finished it and right now i just can't. my hubby of 42 years passed away on may 17, so this book is the farthest from my mind. reading some old friends, many times read, because i don't have to concentrate.

i never finished, and now i would have to go all the way back to the beginning. ( )
  winterslights | Jun 12, 2016 |
Whilst reading The Colour of Magic, the first of Terry Pratchett's celebrated Discworld novels, I couldn't help but think of it as the fantasy equivalent of Douglas Adams' sci-fi comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is a lazy comparison, I know, and one often invoked by those who have read both, but it is also an accurate one. Both are quick-witted and quaint, zany and eccentric. Both get their laughs by poking fun (affectionately) at the inherent absurdity of their respective genres. Both are fun to read and quite endearing.

However, the two books are also similar in that they are good books but not quite as good as often suggested. The Colour of Magic suffers from being over-hyped; the Discworld novels are lionized by fans and, to be honest, I expected more from my first foray into Pratchett's peculiar creation. I have heard that the Discworld books improve markedly but, having read The Colour of Magic, I feel it's fair to say that the series doesn't hit the ground running. It has no plot to speak of, really – it has nothing to anchor you in the story and by the end I was only vaguely aware of what had happened. I got a fair few laughs from it – Rincewind and Twoflower are a nice 'odd couple' and some of Pratchett's turns-of-phrase are clever. But, looking towards the second book – The Light Fantastic – I need to see more of that elusive brilliance which Pratchett fans extol, if I am to become one of them. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
Poor Rincewind the (failed) wizard is forced to play tour guide to a foreigner who is oblivious to the devastation his absurd wealth is liable to inflict upon the hapless inhabitants of the lands he visits. I've heard a couple of later Discworld novels on audio but this was my first hard copy read. Established fans will warn you this first book is weak. I thought it was fantastic, especially through its first half. It comes a bit off the rails later and turns episodic, but it's never actually bad. I expected the funny without anticipating that it is also very, very smart. The ending leaves you hanging and demands its immediate sequel.

While later books are clearly riffing on things metaphysical, economic, etc., by comparison it's true this one doesn't do much more than spoof some of the fantasy tropes (especially magic and Conan). The story never takes itself seriously but is still solid enough in its world-building, still creative enough in establishing its own sense of place, that I would happily return to it again. This first novel is hardly the only place to start with Discworld but I see nothing wrong with it as a choice, and nothing whatever to apologize for. ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Jun 2, 2016 |
This was my first experience with Terry Pratchett, although I’d seen enough comments about Discworld to have a general idea of what to expect. I was skeptical about reading it, because I knew it employs the type of humor that I just don’t seem to properly appreciate, but I was also curious about it. I’m talking about that unrealistic kind of humor that makes you laugh at the author’s cleverness, yet at the same time pulls you out of the story because it’s too ridiculous to take seriously. Is there a word for this type of humor? There has to be a word so that I don’t have to write an entire paragraph every time I want to explain it! Breaking the fourth wall might be one term for it, but I’m not sure that properly encompasses it. I like the type of humor that feels like a more natural extension of the characters and the story.

So, anyway, back to the book. I didn’t hate the book, but it also didn’t surprise me by being more entertaining than I had expected. It made me laugh at times, and I’d say the story held my interest to an average degree. It did have that “too ridiculous to take seriously” factor that I had expected, though. If there’s anybody out there who doesn’t already know the basic premise of the Discworld series, the following info might help explain what I mean by "ridiculous". This is what we learn about the Discworld within the first few pages of the book. The Discworld is a flat, disc-shaped world. This world is balanced on top of four elephants. The elephants are all standing on a really, really large space turtle. This space turtle is crawling through space. Slightly ridiculous, yes?

The story itself focuses primarily on the shenanigans of two particular residents of the Discworld. One is a wizard (sort of) named Rincewind and the other is an insurance agent (I guess?) named Twoflower. Twoflower is a visitor from a far-off area of the Discworld and he’s fascinated with everything he sees. He’s often cluelessly oblivious to danger, seeing everything as one big adventure. Rincewind, on the other hand, has no sense of adventure and he tries to avoid anything that seems like trouble. That avoidance would include Twoflower, but circumstances conspire to force them together. Rincewind does his best to keep both of them out of trouble, with little success.

The book is split up into four large chapters, and they read sort of like a series of short stories rather than one book. The over-all story includes magic and gods. These are the type of gods who don’t always get along with each other very well and who frequently interact with mortals. There was also a lot of repetition, and we’re reminded of certain things over and over. Sometimes repetition can be used as a form of humor, but I’m not sure whether that was the intent here. Sometimes it seemed like Pratchett thought his readers all had holes in their heads.

The whole story is written with a kind of sardonic tone, and some of the humor was pretty funny. As an example, Twoflower doesn’t speak the same language and there were some words he couldn’t translate into a language Rincewind could understand. Rincewind does his best to figure out their meaning based on the context. This means that he decides the word “tourist” must mean “idiot”. Throughout the book, Rincewind thinks of Twoflower as a “tourist” several times and that always made me chuckle a bit.

There’s was also some more risque humor, although it was fairly subtle and not too frequent. One example of it came early on in the story, when the narrator was explaining the whole space turtle thing. We’re told about a couple of the theories people have about where the turtle is going. One theory is that the turtle is crawling between the place he was born to a mating ground, where all the other space turtles in the universe were also slowly converging and would give birth to new turtles to carry new worlds. We’re told this is called the “Big Bang” theory. I was probably a couple sentences past that part of the book before the double entendre suddenly hit me and I have to admit I burst out laughing.

One thing that did surprise me was that the story ended in a classic cliff hanger. For some reason I’d thought these books were fairly self-contained, each telling a single story. Maybe that’s true later in the series, but it wasn’t true in this book. We end with the fate of one of our characters up in the air, with some general confusion about how he got where he is, and with no idea where some of the other characters are.

So I was moderately entertained by this book, probably more than I would have been if I hadn’t been well-prepared for what I was getting into. I plan to try at least a few more of the books. I know some people like different book groupings within the Discworld series better than others, so I’m curious to see how they differ. For those people who follow me closely enough to know that I usually read a series all at once, I can assure you that there is absolutely no chance that I’ll be reading all 50+ of these books all at once! Not even in the unlikely event that I do get addicted to them. That’s just too much even for me. If I do decide to stick with it, I’ll probably just read a few at a time and then move on to other things for a while. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | May 1, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rockwell, Scottmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Callori, NataliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Player, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly, the curling star-mists waver and part...
Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant "idiot".
"Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Terry Pratchett has invented a phantasmagorical universe in which a blissfully naive interplanetary tourist called Two-flower joins up with a drop-out wizard whose spells only seem to work half of the time.

Together they undertake a chaotic voyage through a crazy world filled with monsters and dragons, heroes and knaves. Pratchett has taken the sword and sorcery fantasy tradition and turned it in its ear to create an entertaining and bizarre spoof.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061020710, Mass Market Paperback)

The Colour of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the bizarre land of Discworld. His entertaining and witty series has grown to more than 20 books, and this is where it all starts--with the tourist Twoflower and his hapless wizard guide, Rincewind ("All wizards get like that ... it's the quicksilver fumes. Rots their brains. Mushrooms, too."). Pratchett spoofs fantasy clichés--and everything else he can think of--while marshalling a profusion of characters through a madcap adventure. The Colour of Magic is followed by The Light Fantastic. --Blaise Selby

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:49 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A slightly disorganized and somewhat naive interplanetary tourist named Twoflower joins up with a bumbling wizard and embarks on a chaotic voyage through a world filled with monsters and dragons, heroes and knaves.

(summary from another edition)

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