Monday, 15 August 2011

Review 3: 'The Colour Of Magic'

I have three main people in my life with whom I discuss books. All three of them have read, loved, and recommended to me Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic.

This would be a much funnier post if I hated it and now have to search for three new friends with better taste in books, but actually I enjoyed it, too. Damn you guys.

The Colour of Magic is the first book in the Discworld series, so named because the world in which it is set is a disc, resting on the backs of four elephants, which rest on a giant turtle swimming through space. That's how the book begins, and it pretty much continues in that vein.

The first thing I thought when I started reading it was The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and check it out, I just noticed that the cover hails TCOM as "The wackiest and most original fantasy since Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy." It has the same sense of 'just go with it' that I got from that, where the author is taking you on this trip whether it makes sense at the moment or not, but probably it will all make some kind of sense later, and if not, the ride is going to be fun anyway so just carry on reading.

I liked the style of writing; it moved along nicely and was a nice quick read, but still managed to convey a whole different world. Pratchett has lots of fun with words (like the Rimbow and the Circumfence and inn-sewer-ants and reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits) and ideas (like how dragons only exist if you believe in them - and the practical consequences of not believing in them).

I'm told there are plenty more books in the series (whoa, apparently there are 38 total!). There is also a live-action miniseries, a couple of scenes of which I was shown in preparation for reading this book, which I would watch, just because I loved the Luggage, trotting along on its many many legs. I'm sure I will grab another Discworld book from the library sometime - one attraction is that series order doesn't matter - as they are a fast, fun read when you are in the mood for something a bit odd and clever and funny.

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