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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Behold the Discworld
In The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett introduces us to the Discworld, a flat planet held aloft by four great elephants, all of which ride on the back of the cosmic turtle called Great A'Tuin as he (or possibly she) purposely plods through the universe toward his (or her) unknown Destination. Having read many of the Discworld novels, I was rather struck by the fact that...
Published on June 15 2006 by Daniel Jolley

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected after reading Adams.
To many people, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett are nearly synonymous. They're both great humorists and write some terrific satire, so the comparisons between the two seem pretty inevitable. My favorite books of all time are those in the Hitchhiker Trilogy by Douglas Adams, and after hearing so much about Pratchett and his much-praised series, Discworld, I thought I'd...
Published on Feb. 5 2002 by Chad Trotter


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Behold the Discworld, June 15 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Color of Magic (Paperback)
In The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett introduces us to the Discworld, a flat planet held aloft by four great elephants, all of which ride on the back of the cosmic turtle called Great A'Tuin as he (or possibly she) purposely plods through the universe toward his (or her) unknown Destination. Having read many of the Discworld novels, I was rather struck by the fact that so much of what was to come was incorporated into this original novel, not only in terms of the characters but also in terms of the unique geological, geographical, and meteorological characteristics of the most unique world in the multiverse, from the grandeur of the Rimfall "close to the edge" to the singular city of Ankh-Morpork to the previously mythical Counterweight Continent. In terms of characterization, which is one of Pratchett's most gifted abilities, many of the individuals we encounter here are easily recognizable and described in the same exact terms in later novels. The humor, which is really what makes the Discworld series so wildly popular, is also here in great abundance. Pratchett can make something very funny with a mere word, deftly structuring sentences in a seemingly simple yet utterly brilliant way that few writers can match even on their best days. This book isn't as funny as most of the Discworld books that followed, but it can still make you laugh out loud at any given moment. One thing this book does lack, in comparison with its younger Discworld brethren, is Pratchett's brilliant and heavy use of satire. It may be wrong of me to judge this novel in comparison with other Discworld novels, but I certainly think the absence of constantly biting satire explains why this book is only incredibly funny rather than downright hilarious.

In terms of characters, we meet many important denizens of the Discworld. First and foremost among these is Rincewind, the most inept wizard ever to walk the halls of Unseen University. He is not even very good at failing, which says a lot in itself, but he somehow keeps managing to elude Death, which is fortunate because his attempts to stay out of trouble virtually always backfire to land him in hot water. Rincewind is a fairly taciturn individual, living his life for the sole purpose of not dying. Thus, when he finds himself serving as a tour guide of sorts to Twoflower, Discworld's first tourist, a man who finds enjoyment in the most precarious situations for no other reason than his belief that no harm will come to a tourist, he is in for a hard time indeed. Of course, he is helped as well as hindered by the Luggage of Twoflower. The Luggage is made of sapient pearwood, which means it will follow its master anywhere (and I do mean anywhere), employing a multitude of little feet for its transportation and unhesitatingly attacking any one who gets in its way. The novel basically relates four adventures of this unlikely trio of characters, taking us from Ankh-Morpork to the temple of Bel-Shamharoth, the hideous Sender of Eight, to the inverted mountain Wyrmberg where dragons exist (well, sort of anyway) and finally to the land of Krull right on the edge of the disc. Along the way, we are introduced to such wonderful characters as the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, Hrun the Barbarian, and Tethis the water troll.

It is difficult to describe Pratchett's humor; it is simple yet complex, sarcastic yet meaningful, flippant yet philosophical, and often deviously subtle. Certainly, there will be some who don't "get" Pratchett or who honestly do not find him amusing in the least--such poor souls are to be pitied. Pratchett's popularity is ample proof of the fact that most people who pick up one of his books do find it highly amusing. The Colour of Magic isn't Pratchett's best work, but it sets a beautiful table for the huge buffet of laughs and joy to come from the Discworld books that would follow it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic silliness, Oct. 18 2005
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Colour of Magic (Paperback)
If you haven't travelled Pratchett's Discworld yet, you're not alone. Mr. Twoflowers hasn't travelled it yet, and he lives there. Feel free to join him and his reluctant guide, Rincewind, as they sample Discworld's dives, tavern brawls, dragons, assassins, pirates, and a charming assortment of near-death experiences.
Twoflowers has the tourist's implacable confidence that every demonic temple, every hero with a magic sword, every brigand, and every catastrophe of nature was placed and scheduled for his amusement - and will hold still for a picture. He's also quite convinced that, as a tourist, he's immune to any possible harm.
That premise gives Pratchett's comic genius plenty to work with. Even Death - the Reaper himself - is just a straight man in this world. (There's also The Luggage, but I'll let you discover that for yourself.)
This is the first book in a long-lived series, and gets it off to a great start. I have to warn you, though, there's no such thing as one Pratchett book. Even one is enough to cause addiction.
//wiredweird
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic silliness, Sept. 1 2005
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Color of Magic (Paperback)
If you haven't travelled Pratchett's Discworld yet, you're not alone. Mr. Twoflowers hasn't travelled it yet, and he lives there. Feel free to join him and his reluctant guide, Rincewind, as they sample Discworld's dives, tavern brawls, dragons, assassins, pirates, and a charming assortment of near-death experiences.
Twoflowers has the tourist's implacable confidence that every demonic temple, every hero with a magic sword, every brigand, and every catastrophe of nature was placed and scheduled for his amusement - and will hold still for a picture. He's also quite convinced that, as a tourist, he's immune to any possible harm.
That premise give Pratchett's comic genius plenty to work with. Even Death - the Reaper himself - is just a straight man in this world. (There's also The Luggage, but I'll let you discover that for yourself.)
This is the first book in a long-lived series, and gets it off to a great start. I have to warn you, though, there's no such thing as one Pratchett book. Even one is enough to cause addiction.
//(...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning to an equally great series!!, May 20 2002
"The Color of Magic" is Terry Pratchett's introduction to the now near-famous-yet-delightfully-bizarre planet of Discworld. While the series is now more than 20, but this is where it all starts--with the tourist Twoflower and his bumbling wizard guide, Rincewind.
Discworld is unlike any other place a reader may have visited, even in the wild n' wooly world of science fiction and fantasy. For starters, the entire planet of Discworld is shaped like a LP record (or, for modern readers, a CD or dinner plate): it's flat and round, encircled by the Circle Sea, which flows forever off the edge of the planet. Oh, yes, lest we forget, the whole planet is also carried on the back of four enormous elephants which, in turn are balanced on the back of The Great A'Tuan, the World Turtle who swims slowly through the cosmos on errands of it's own. As an interesting aside, the concept of our Earth being balanced on the back of elephants or turtles is as old as civilization-many creation myths from India had the earth being carried about by these animals.
Such an improbable place would, of course by it's very nature, contain a large concentration of magic, wizards, mages, witches, sorcerers and other magical sort of folks. Our incompetent hero and main character, Rincewind, is himself a wizard, though an exceptionally bad one. While at wizard school (called Unseen University), he snuck a peek at the Great Book of Spells on a dare, and one of the Great Spells leapt out of the book and into his head. All other lesser spells, from opening walnuts to changing the weather or your shape, are too scared to stay in the same head as one of the Great Spells, so Rincewind, while technically a wizard, is doomed to wander around doing card tricks for a living.
Fortunately, however, Rincewind does have a talent for picking up foreign languages, which allows him to translate for an EXTREMELY RICH tourist who comes to town. Twoflower the tourist is unique in that A) he has four eyes B) he's the first tourist the town has ever had and C) he's got a strange sort of treasure chest that follows him around on little tiny legs and seems to be able to give him anything-a change of underwear, a flask of water, or more bars of solid gold than the entire town has seen in it's whole history.
The fun begins when Rincewind, who is street savvy despite being an inacompetent wizard, tries to first steal Twoflower's treasure and then protect the innocent and naïve Twoflower from the danagers of the city (Twoflower, unaware of how much anything costs, offers up a whole bar of gold for a single glass of water, for example). Their adventures take them all over the Disc, from the high mountains at the Hub of the world to the edge of the Circle Sea, all the while as the Great Spell tries to get itself spoken by Rincewind, usually when he's just about ready to die some unusual and terrible death (oh, by the way, since only Death himself may take the soul of a wizard, the hooded figure of Death appears quite a lot in this story, usually when Rincewind is about to die some unusual and terrible death).
Pratchett loves to poke fun at the whole genre of science fiction and fantasy as well as himself and his own characters. More than one ridiculous situation will seem oh-so-familiar to those who are much taken with the genre. The book is worth reading just for the absurd situations that Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves in, as well as the cast of lesser characters who make up the patently motley crew of Discworld.
While not specifically a young adult novel, teen readers will no doubt enjoy the fast pace of the novel as well as the ridiculous situations almost every character finds itself in (as well as the ridiculous characters themselves, like Cohen the Barbarian). Those readers who have read a lot of fantasy/science fiction will enjoy the way that Pratchett pokes fun at the genre itself and the impossible twists in the plot (indeed, in the second book of the series, Rincewind himself falls off the edge of the planet but, no surprise, manages to get back on his feet...)
Highly recommended!! Those who really love this book may want to go onto the second book in the series, "The Light Fantastic" where the futher adventures of Twoflower and Rincewind are documented.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning, March 10 2002
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This was not the first Discworld novel I ever read, which was slightly unfortunate because that way I expected something more from it when I first read it. It is not as good as most of the books later in the series, and aspects of the world are less well developed than in them; also, I felt that it was lacking in plot, being more like just an aimless journey from one place to another. However, I never got that feeling again when I reread it several times. I cannot evaluate this as a work of its own, because I have read (and practically fallen in love with) the whole rest of the series, but as a part of it it works fine. I would say it is propably a good one to start reading from, at least if you know that even if you do not quite like it, the rest are better. (This one is worth five stars, and it is considerably below average level for the series. What does that tell of the series?) It certainly contains some of the best elements of the series already, like ingenious facts about the world and very interesting characters, although both get even better later on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start to Discworld, Feb. 24 2002
In "The Color of Magic" Terry Pratchett weaves a tale of light fantasy and some humor to make a good read. Being the first in a series of over 25 books, I'm sure that this is probably not one of the best.
For one thing, his humor wasn't the greatest. He threw in some dumb punchlines but the really good humor wasn't as easy to find. Things such as his "Big Bang" theory were pretty good compared to some other dry stuff. Despite this Pratchett still did a good job in presenting a comical fantasy adventure.
The plot of this novel is pretty simple. Rincewind the Wizard (who graduated from Unseen University knowing no spells because one of the 8 Great spells trapped itself inside of him) meets the tourist Twoflower in a tavern. Twoflower hires Rincewind as his tourguide so he could see Discworld. After Twoflower sets the city of Ankh-Morpork on fire, he and Rincewind make a run for Quirm. Read on to find out the rest.
Pratchett's characters are the actual very funny part about the book. Rincewind is just...Rincewind; Twoflower has to see everything even if it means his existence on Discworld will be no more; the talking sword, Kring; Hrun the Barbarian who fights and has basically a dumb mind; and many other characters that we meet throughout thisnovel are just funny.
What is interesting about this book is that Terry Pratchett takes issues that have arised on Earth and puts them onto Discworld. These things make the world of Discworld seem even more like the one you and I are on right this very second.
In conclusion, "The Color of Magic" is a great read that a fantasy fan or somebody looking for a good book to enjoy. This novel is relatively short and can be read quickly. After reading this I am looking forward to reading more books about Terry Pratchett's Discworld. This is probably the best way to start out this series. Read this, you won't be disappointed.
Happy Reading!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as terribly intriguing and thrilling, Feb. 21 2002
By 
David Pontoppidan (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
The book "Colour of Magic" is the first book in Terry Pratchetts Discworld book series, a series that just seems to never end.
We're cleverly thrown into the story and learn about the main characters, what, where and why. There are many hillarious books in my book collection, and I must admit that this is not one of them! This book is funny, witty and innovative, but it's not hillarious, strange and at the frontier of madness such as the stories by Douglas Adams. In return, however, it's a lot more thrilling. I just couldn't put it down after I had started reading it! TP writes in a very complicated language, and you have to use your dictionary once in a while, but it's great practise, and soon you'll discover a broadening in your vocabulary, the only downside is that sometimes TP uses very complicated language at the punchline of a joke, causing some of the fun to go out of it.
If you're just looking for a laugh I wouldn't recommend this book to you. But if you're looking for a funny and exciting tale that offers more than just a superficial "haha" this book is just what you've been looking for!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as terribly intriguing and thrilling, Feb. 17 2002
By 
David Pontoppidan (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
The book "Colour of Magic" is the first book in Terry Pratchetts Discworld book series, a series that just seems to never end.
We're cleverly thrown into the story and learn about the main characters, what, where and why. There are many hillarious books in my book collection, and I must admit that this is not one of them! This book is funny, witty and innovative, but it's not hillarious, strange and at the frontier of madness such as the stories by Douglas Adams. In return, however, it's a lot more thrilling. I just couldn't put it down after I had started reading it! TP writes in a very complicated language, and you have to use your dictionary once in a while, but it's great practise, and soon you'll discover a broadening in your vocabulary, the only downside is that sometimes TP uses very complicated language at the punchline of a joke, causing some of the fun to go out of it.
If you're just looking for a laugh I wouldn't recommend this book to you. But if you're looking for a funny and exciting tale that offers more than just a superficial "haha" this book is just what you've been looking for! Definitely a 4-star hit. ...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected after reading Adams., Feb. 5 2002
By 
Chad Trotter (Laguna Niguel, CA) - See all my reviews
To many people, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett are nearly synonymous. They're both great humorists and write some terrific satire, so the comparisons between the two seem pretty inevitable. My favorite books of all time are those in the Hitchhiker Trilogy by Douglas Adams, and after hearing so much about Pratchett and his much-praised series, Discworld, I thought I'd give it a shot. While I can see how Adams and Pratchett are parallels in many respects, I just didn't think this book had as much charm as Adams' works.
As a twist of originality, the Discworld series doesn't follow one or two characters around... It focuses more on the world, telling the tales of its inhabitants. It's a pretty awkward change for most people, and it's quite a bold move on the part of the author, but I'm afraid it just didn't captivate me like I had hoped. I found myself unable to connect to most of the characters... Possibly because they weren't described well enough, possibly because they didn't express enough character to keep me excited, or maybe because Pratchett spent so much darn time talking about everything BUT the characters.
Pratchett's humor isn't quite what I had expected after reading -- and getting used to -- Adams' style. Admittedly, they're both quite similar, but I've found that Pratchett uses a lot of techniques that may be more favorable to English readers, whereas I'm just a lowly American looking for a good laugh. I got the jokes and puns he was making, but I found myself thinking they were pretty dry... Or sometimes I would recognize him trying to throw a punchline in, but it just didn't work on me. I was hoping Pratchett would get me to pause reading because I was laughing so much... But in the end, I wanted to stop reading, period.
The book has its flaws, and I'm sorry for spending so much time dwelling on them, but it also has its better points. The cities that are described, the locations that are visited, and the world of Discworld is all made quite clear to the reader. It's abnormal, and usually quite silly, but Discworld really comes alive in your mind. You soon realize that there's certainly no shortage of adventures in this flat universe, and Pratchett obviously saw the same thing or he wouldn't have written 20+ about it.
If you can get into it, I'm sure you will enjoy this book heartily. There's a lot to love about it, but unfortunately, most of it didn't appeal to me. The book didn't quite attach itself to me like I had hoped it would, but I'm not letting Pratchett off the hook just yet. I'm currently in the middle of Good Omens, another of his books, and I'm really enjoying it. I also plan on reading another Discworld book in the near future, probably number eight. Here's hoping that Mr. Pratchett can make me eat my words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest fantasy titles of all time!, Nov. 19 2001
By 
Randy Hofbauer (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
Discworld is a world like no other, and a book like no other. The Color of Magic is the first Discworld book,and in my opinion, the best. The story is based around the idiot wizard Rincewind and his escapades with a local tourist, Twoflower, and his luggage (though it is no ordinary luggage, but a box with a hundred feet and razor sharp teeth that you don't want to mess with.) as they travel from Ankh Morpork to the Edge of the World, risking their lives around every turn, and meeting tons of interesting characters. Rincewind is definitely my favorite Discworld character and I feel the most hilarious of them all, as well. He makes the Discworld what it is, and all of the Discworld books should be put up against this book, the standard to all Discworld, or even fantasy book.
One of the greatest things I got out of this book is a quote from Hrun the Barbarian, "The only reason to sneak into the jaws of death is to steal his gold teeth." This book gets awfully philisophical, and is definitely the thinking man's book. Any fans of J.R.R. Tolkien or Harry Potter should at least read this one book, even if you never read another Discworld book again... but no one ever read just ONE Discworld book.
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The Colour of Magic
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - April 1 1990)
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