The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

If you're a reader and you haven't heard of the English author Terry Pratchett, and his fantasy Discworld series, you've probably been living under a rock. More Douglas Adams than J.R.R. Tolkien, Pratchett's fantasy is typified by humour and satire (For example, the series gets its name from its world - the Discworld - which rests on the back of four giant elephants, who happen to be standing on top of a Giant Star Turtle which is hurtling through space).

As the first book in the Discworld series, The Colour of Magic follows Rincewind, 'an avaricious but inept wizard' and Twoflower, 'a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs' as they set off on a 'gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition' across the Discworld. Highly experimental and totally hilarious, Pratchett has thrown everything but the kitchen sink into this book, with the result that many of the characters, places, and themes which crop up in later works are present. On this basis, Pratchett might be considered less concerned with his character's internal journeys than in trying things out and giving us a laugh.

With such endlessly quotable descriptions as, 'It is at this point that normal language gives up, and goes and has a drink' and dialogue as, 'On the Disc the gods dealt severely with atheists', it is hard to mind. The Colour of Magic is not Pratchett's best work but in this era of omnipresent face-masks it is a fitting tonic. The characters might get into trouble, but they always triumph in their own shambolic way, often with a little help from fate or luck. 

Submitted by Daniel