I am embarking on a mighty and noble quest. That’s right I am endeavoring to read the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett front to back. This no small feat. Pratchett wrote forty one books about the many different characters on Discworld. Using this infographic as a guide, I will set off to traipse through Ankh-Moorpork and beyond, hub to rim and across again.
And at each stop, I will drop a review of the book I have just finished. Come along with me, on this adventure of laughs and groans and more laughs.
We begin with: The Color of Magic
The Color of Magic
Overall Rating: (3 / 5)
Character Series: Wizards
You can feel Pratchett working out his comedic pacing and plotting with The Color of Magic. Largely his stories have a certain meandering plot style, where you may not be sure in what direction the story is going but you know its moving toward a desired ending. The Color of Magic, while it meanders, doesn’t really feel like Pratchett knew where the story was going. Combined with the *ahem* cliff hanger (or dropper) ending it makes this book feel a little incomplete. In fact, it feels like The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic (the second book in the series) should have been one novel but some editor in the hallowed halls of editdom said “No one will read a funny book longer than two hundred and seventy seven pages.”
But you can feel Pratchett trying to find his stride. And the book is funny. If there’s one thing Pratchett did not need to find it was his sense of humor. The play on words, the conversations where none of the participants seems to be understanding one another, and the sharp social satire is on display and on point in this novel.
The novel introduces a myriad of characters which recur in later novels, my favorite of which are Rincewind an inept wizard who knows only one spell he can’t use, a sentient wooden trunk possessed of a hundred tiny feet with which it moves around, and my favorite of all Death.
The story centers around Twoflower, the Discworld’s first tourist, who arrives in the city of Ankh-Morpork flush with cash and ready to spend it. He engages a hapless wizard on as guide and what follows is fire, dragons, barbarian heroes, hydrophobic wizards, trees bigger on the inside than the outside, and the great mystery of Great A’Tuin’s (the turtle on the shell of which the four elephant’s who hole Discworld on their backs) genitalia.
Overall, this is a good read. Not as good as his novels will get, but well worth reading.
“This was partly in embarrassment. Garhartra’s spell had been the little-used and hard-to-master Atavarr’s Personal Gravitational Upset, the practical result of which was that until it wore off Rincewind’s body was convinced that ‘down’ lay at ninety degrees to that direction normally accepted as of a downward persuasion by the majority of the Disc’s inhabitants. He was in fact standing on the wall.”
Rincewind – everyone’s favorite bumbling wizard
Twoflower – the Discworld’s first tourist
Luggage – Part bottomless trunk, part guard dog
Death – repeatedly disappointed by Rincewind’s complete inability to meet his fate