I finally finished reading The Color of Magic this week, which is actually the third time I’ve read it. It’s been at least 10 years since the last time and it was almost like reading again for the first time.
The Color of Magic is the first of Terry Pratchett‘s novels set in a fantasy realm called Discworld. The story follows two main characters – Rincewind, a wizard of sorts, and Twoflower, a visitor to the city, Ahnk-Morpork. They have several adventures and meet many fantastic characters and creatures throughout the book, including thieves, warriors, dragons, and even Death. The book is separated into four short but linked stories that could stand alone, but do flow one into the next.
When I first set foot in Discworld, I was probably around 12 years old. At that time, Terry Pratchett spun a tale of whimsy and happiness. I took note of those things a normal 12-year-old would, the escape into an alternate reality that was clearly more exciting than our own.
The second time in was just a few years later and not much had changed, although I do remember finding it much more comical than before. The interactions between Death and Rincewind are great.
This time is took me much longer to read it than ever before. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it as much as previously, because I did. It was because I spent about half the time reading and the other half thinking about a passage in the book. Pratchett touches on politics, religion, and common misconceptions. There is so much depth in his writing, so much philosophy and satire, that I completely missed previously. Pratchett obviously has a great sense of humor but within that humor lies deep contemplation and intelligence.
Overall Grade: 4/5 stars (only because one of his other books is the bar I’m using for a 5/5)
If anyone else has read it, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts and reactions to it too.
I read a handful of Terry Pratchett books several years ago, all from his Discworld series, but eventually left the Disc to go other directions. I never really knew much about the author until last year but have since become an even bigger fan.
His books fall in the fantasy genre but they’re not your normal sword and sorcery books. Pratchett is a tongue-in-cheek writer who adds comedy and satire throughout each book. The books read quickly but are ones that can be reread several times. You may catch something in a second reading that you hadn’t noticed the first time through. Pratchett loves to tie in characters from previous books, so familiar names will continue to pop up throughout the series.
However, the best Terry Pratchett reading I’ve done has been of the interviews he’s given over the past few years. Pratchett was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2007 and has been open and honest about his reactions and life since. In no way could I do justice to the interviews he’s given, so instead I’ll include links to a couple of the better ones I’ve read.
The last time I checked, the Discworld series stands at 39 books. You can pick up any book in the series and read it individually, but like any world, Discworld has grown and evolved throughout the years so I recommend starting with the first and what I still consider one of the best – The Color of Magic – which I’m reading for the third time. Pratchett has touched many lives with his writing over the past 40 years and I’m sure he will continue to do so, in one way or another, for several years to come.
Thank you Mr. Pratchett