Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Color of Magic

This book was a trip; a true psychedelic weird adventure. The first in a series of 39 Discworld books (Wikipedia notes as of September 2011), Pratchett introduces us to his wacky flat word that rides on four continent sized elephants that are on the back of Great A'Tuin the giant turtle that lumbers through space (hopefully not to meet a mate anytime soon). Yes, this is totally weird, but I'm sure there is a parallel with Earth that could be exposed to meteors, crashing planets, exploding stars or flips in polarity. Prachett pokes fun at us in clever ways through this wacky collection of four story-chapters.

Rincewind, the wizard, kicked out of wizard school for looking in forbidden magic books, has been forced (under threat of death by city's mayor, or "Patrician") to guide Twoflower, the tourist, through his scrappy home town, Ankh-Morpork. The destruction of the town unfolds as Twoflower introduces incredibe wealth in the manner of tips of gold coins and inn-sewer-ants policies into impoverished Morpork. The book is divided into four parts, each a new outrageous experiment in humor-fantasy.

If you read this work of very strange art, laugh and enjoy every word. The new vocabulary may on first glance be words of nonsense, but they were chosen to be words that are similar to words you do know. Morpork, for example, is More Pork? , Perhaps the word Rincewind makes you think of someone as hard to pin down as rinsed wind? This book is written for the strange by the strange, so hop on board for dragon rides and magic!

This wasn't a popular discussion book in our group. Matter of fact, I think there were some really unhappy people with this choice, so for your regular woman's book club, I would steer clear. However, if you like fantasy and have never tried this author, you should read one of his books. My guess is that Mark Twain would have loved these books, due to the incredible amount of parody, imagination, and no-nonsense nonsense. A web search indicates that good choices would be Night Watch, Small Gods and Going Postal (which I read and really really liked).

I would also like to add that this author has won awards for his discworld novels, and was also a best selling UK author in the 1990's.

1 comment:

  1. There are animated movies made from some of Terry Pratchett's books. I found one at the local library---I can't remember the name, unfortunately (it involved witches, maybe the word was in the title?)---but it was quite
    enjoyable; another friend of mine watches Hogfather" before Christmas each year and I did enjoy the book, but haven't seen the movie yet.

    Once you get start reading Pratchett, you note that he pokes fun at all sorts of modern ideas. His later books are definitely improved over the earlier ones, but I am really liking his stuff in general. (I read "Colour of Magic" because I always like to read the first book in a series to understand what's going on in later books.) "Guards! Guards!" is also really good (my law
    enforcement friends found the characters ncredibly apt.) "Making Money" so far is really good too (dealing with monetary policy in Pratchetts' warped view, which really isn't so warped at all if you look at the current economy!).
    Written by Michael W.