The Colour of Magic

Genre: Fantasy
Author: Terry Pratchett

Quick Look

Reading The Colour of Magic is like eating an entire bowl of ice cream just a little too fast…sure, it may cause your head to hurt at times, but the sweet rewards make it all worth it! (I haven’t written this, I saw it on GoodReads and thought it was brilliant… exactly what happened to me!)

Score: 4/5

Good to know

Synopsis

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…

The journey starts in the city of Ankh-Morpork, filled with everyday wizards and perfectly normal assassins. What they don’t know yet, is that they are going to face a challenge never seen before: TOURISM! When Twoflower, rich but bored outsider, decides to explore the city – the very first tourist in its history – everyone around him seems to join his adventure. Pirates, dragonriders, and various supernatural entities are all after his treasure and don’t seem to care about keeping Twoflower alive. Every tourist in distress needs a guide… in this case the honour goes to Rincewind, a failed wizard that helps Twoflower explore the Discworld, even if very reluctantly.

Review

Where to start? First of all what I loved the most about The Colour of Magic is Pratchett’s imagination: a flat planet balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle of unknown sex, really? Where do all these ideas come from? And I am not talking only about the Discworld itself, some of the characters were pretty amazing as well: a luggage that moves thanks to hundreds of little legs, a whole world inside of trees, translucent dragons, trolls made of water… the list could go on forever!

Something else that I absolutely loved was its humour. To be honest I wouldn’t define this book funny – I have seen it in a lot of reviews – at least not funny in an Italian way. It is witty, clever, it manages to describe most funnily ever aspects of our everyday life that we consider perfectly normal. An example is Twoflower’s job: it is so weird in the city of Ankh-Morpork that there is no word for it. Nonetheless, he convinces the owner of a bar to “place a bet” on whether or not the bar will be damaged, calling this process “inn-sewer-ants”… when I read it I honestly could not stop laughing. 

And there is more: what can I say about Twoflower’s watch and his iconograph, which is powered by a tiny imp that is sitting inside it, paintings pictures of whatever it sees, on-demand? The colour of Magic is just an amazing satire of our world: in Ankh-Morpork wizards, assassins, dragons and demons are normal, while tourism has never been taken into consideration before. 

Said this, I did have a couple of issues with The Colour of Magic. First of all, I think it is difficult to completely appreciate for a non-native English speaker… Probably because there are way too many characters, different places, different stories happening all at the same time. Also, I struggled a bit in finding something that kept me awake at night because I wanted to know what happened next. I feel it has been written more as an exercise of style than to tell an actual story. It is brilliant, as said before, but I was not giving up everything to finish the book.

Anyway, it has been a great introduction to the Discworld, its characters and its author, I will definitely read the next books, just to see if the imagination of Pratchett has limits or not 😊

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