Friday 4 November 2016

REVIEW: The Colour of Magic

RIP, Sir Terry.


So - to the review!

I hadn't reviewed this because I read it so long ago that all I could remember was that I loved it.

To remedy the situation I took our very old and battered copy (bought in 1987) to the hospice on a weekend stay with Celyn:

I've just read this in slightly over 24 hours ... which is extraordinary for me. I normally take a month to read a book. 

It is, to be fair, both a very readable and a very short book (65,000 words - a short fantasy these days is ~100,000 words).

I was surprised to find how much of this I remembered, especially as I last read it 28 years ago!

It's a very funny book with some GREAT one-liners. I particularly liked one that said about men falling foul of the thieves' guild (I paraphrase) '... men who wouldn't be going home again ... unless they happened to live near the river and their corpses floated by on the way to the sea."

And this from the character Twoflower was poignant:

"When I think that I might die without seeing a hundredth of all there is to see it makes me feel," he paused, then added, "well, humble, I suppose. And very angry, of course." 

Anyway - incompetent and cowardly failed wizard Rincewind falls in with Twoflower, the naive tourist with an impossibly optimistic attitude, oodles of gold, and an indestructible, vicious and implacable treasure chest on legs to defend him.

Hilarity ensues as Twoflower tries to see everything, Rincewind tries not to die, and the gods play games with them. We get a great tour of the Discworld, its geography, magics, and inhabitants, all of which are so fantastically imaginative and amusing that even geography becomes a joy.

This isn't Terry Pratchett's best book but it's full of all the great stuff that gathers together into its peak a few books into the series. It's certainly an excellent book though. Pratchett has an incredibly rare talent for compressing humour into one-liners that are witty, incisive, and yet never feel mean - it's not jokes that you feel are directed _at_ anyone, just mined from the stuff of life.

I had a great time revisiting this book and if you've not tried it - now's the time!

You can go and 'like' my review on goodreads, if you like.


  1. Ah, Rincewind, Twoflower, and the Luggage - so many good memories!

  2. My friend tossed me an early US printing in 1986 or so and I was hooked. I should reread a few of these - it's been a while.

  3. It would be interesting to read a review by you of his Tiffany Aching series. I read somewhere that his daughter has teamed up with Brian Henson to make the first book (Wee Free Men) into a movie.

    S.R. Bogart