Book Review: The Color of Magic

As I mentioned in our review of Cabinet of Curiosities, I have been slowly collecting the first or best works of some of the most prolific names on bookstore shelves. This debut novel by the well-known humorist is part of that project.

As always, I review what I read and I read a variety of genres. If you have a book you are interested in seeing reviewed in this space, feel free to contact me.

The Basics: 

Title: The Color of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Genre: Humor. Parody. Fantasy. Science-Fiction. 
Publisher: Colin Smythe Ltd, 1983

Spoiler-Free Summary: 

While The Color of Magic is ostensibly a novel, I would argue that it is actually four novellas with common characters stitched together. We follow a naive tourist, a reluctant drop-out wizard, and their Luggage on a mad-cap dangerous romp through a bizarre magical land. They bumble their way one step ahead of the powerful forces which wish them ill for no reason other than they manage to irritate everybody they meet into a homicidal rage. Between thieves’ guilds, barbarian princesses, assassins, pirates, dragons, and even the primal forces of the world, our heroes cannot catch a break. 

Why this book might be for you:

Do you love to laugh? Do you enjoy absurdist situational humor in the spirit of Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Lewis Carrol, or, for our under-29 crowd, Spongebob Squarepants? Then you will enjoy this book. Each page is more ridiculous than the last, and that is apparently the only point. Along the way Mr. Pratchett slaughters every sacred cow from the high-fantasy and sword-and-sorcery genre. It is a guilty-pleasure sugar rush of a novel, and sometimes that’s all you want from a good read. 

Why this book might not be for you: 

Readers without a certain sense of humor will not enjoy this book. The appropriate, likely intended, way to read this book is to joy-ride along the humorous highway too quickly to notice the plot-holes and deus ex machina. However, some readers may find that the increasingly contrived ways the protagonists escape from danger lower the stakes in an unsatisfying way. Some may dislike the way there is no real direction or central conflict to the thing, which leads to a feeling of incompleteness in the end. We follow two characters as they escape from danger until the pages run out, and the laughs end. 

Where can you find more?

You can read about the Discworld setting and the life of the late Terry Pratchett here or here. His works live on Amazon.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s