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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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13,295218166 (3.75)419
Title:The colour of magic
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:London : Corgi, 1985.
Collections:Your library

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The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (1983)

Recently added byLorem, sammii507, GwendolynB, eculeus, Colif, dmcwo, Zombz, ushatten, private library, Binderman
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English (202)  French (6)  Spanish (4)  Polish (1)  Romanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (217)
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If you're a fan of fantasy or good ol' fashioned SF, The Colour of Magic will do its best to mock everything you've ever held dear.

And man, is it fun to be mocked.

Pratchett has the wit of a comedic genius and the heart of an earnest fantasy fan. The world he creates both pays homage to and pokes fun at the works of Howard, Tolkien, Lovecraft, Dunsany, Lewis, and many others - and when it feels like he goes too far, and you should stand up and fill the halls with cries of blasphemy, you can't - you're laughing too hard.

I can't recommend this book enough for any fan of great comedy or great fantasy. It was my introduction to Pratchett and now I'm a big, big fan. ( )
  zhyatt | Aug 12, 2014 |
Summary: Twoflower is an insurance salesman and tourist, freshly arrived to the city of Ankh-Morpork from the distant and exotic Agatean empire. Rincewind is a not-very-good wizard (he only knows one spell, but he doesn't dare to use it) who has been tasked with protecting Twoflower by city politicians eager to avoid angering the Agateans. Unbeknownst to them, however, they are being used as pawns in a game played by the Gods, and so Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves fleeing the city just ahead of an enormous fire, taking up with a barbarian, destroying a rather nasty temple, running into some invisible dragons, and narrowly avoiding falling over the edge of the Disc, all while being trailed by Twoflower's sentient, loyal, and slightly murderous luggage.

Review: The Color of Magic is by far the roughest of Pratchett's novels that I've read. It's certainly understandable, since it's the first Discworld novel (and one of Pratchett's first novels, full stop.) A lot of time is spent introducing the world of Discworld, its geography, its cosmology, its metaphysics - these are amusing infodumps, but they're still infodumps. The action of the story is also extremely episodic: Rincewind and Twoflower are plunged from one disaster into the next with only the barest connective tissue. But the good news is that each of the individual pieces are enjoyable on their own merits. This book is poking fun at fantasy clichés and conventions (at least as they existed in the early 1980s), much the same as Douglas Adams did with science fiction, and with a similar dry British wit that's a combination of absurdism and snappy sarcastic one-liners. (I was glad that I'd recently read Dragonflight so I could pick up on the references in that episode of the book. Who knows how many allusions I missed elsewhere, though?)

Overall, while this book is pretty rough around the edges, it's also imaginative, light and easy to read, and quite funny. Definitely enjoyable for some non-serious summer reading. And I think it says something good about a book when entire scenes get stolen by a piece of Luggage. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Even though it's ostensibly the first Discworld book, I actually wouldn't recommend this for someone new to Pratchett's writing. (Start with one of the later "intro" books or stand-alones - like Small Gods - instead.) But it's a fun, easy read, particularly for epic fantasy fans who are familiar with the clichés that Pratchett is satirizing. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Aug 11, 2014 |
It started off well but as I neared the end it started to bore me i kep getting distracted by other things..so i put it down alot!
However i say the book contains gems in the form of absurd sentences :D ( )
  JazMinderr | Jul 31, 2014 |
(reread) I haven't read this book for maybe 15+ years and have read a lot of other Discworld novels in the meantime. It is very different and clear that Pratchett was just starting to explore the genre. Some bits felt a bit clunky (the gods for example) but otherwise it had the depth and pace I would expect from Discworld. Much better than I recalled and I clearly missed a lot on the first read through! ( )
  rlangston | Jul 16, 2014 |
I've read about 10 Discworld books, but wanted to read the first one in the series, so I finally got it and I just finished it. And let me tell you, it was an enjoyable book to read. The book is broken up into four parts, so it can be a little disjointed in some places, but overall the writing was what we've come to expect from Pratchett. This book introduces a delightful character named Rincewind who is a wizard, albeit a very terrible one who wouldn't know how to DO magic if it bit him on the leg. He does know one spell that he remembered from his time at Unseen University before being kicked out for ineptitude. Rincewind is a coward, but bravely so. He also has Lady Luck on his side, so his cowardice is helped out considerably at times throughout the book. One day, a character named Twoflower shows up from another country far away lugging a piece of luggage (that walks on many small feet and has a life of its own) and is overflowing with gold. Twoflower is curious to see Ankh-Morpork, the big city at the center of Discworld, but his curiosity gets him into trouble and, besides, he's utterly clueless to the dangers posed by his obvious riches. Rincewind is goaded by Lord Vetenari to show Twoflower the sights -- safely -- and so an adventure begins. During their times together, we meet a barbarian hero who is a narcissist and loves to pose for pictures, dragons and their masters, a water troll, dryads, a frightening monster living in a temple out in the sticks, a frog, a terrorist on some airplane in another plane of existence, and so much more. Rincewind is always fleeing danger in terror, only to inexplicably save the day by tripping over his own feet and perhaps those of a guard somewhere, injuring them somehow and allowing them to escape. Twoflower, meanwhile, knows no fear and while they're flying on a dragon, he excitedly looks down at the ground far beneath them while Rincewind cowers in fright. My favorite Discworld character, Death, makes an appearance or two, but he's not as funny as he is in later Discworld novels. All that said, I really didn't care for the ending at all, so that's why I'm marking it down from five to four stars. Still, it's a good start to an excellent series and I certainly recommend it. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jul 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Callori, NataliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:25 -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)

» see all 10 descriptions

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