The Color of Magic

By: Terry Pratchett

An ignorant tourist and an inept wizard walk into a bar…and the city burns down. Not much of a punchline for the people of Morpork but they’ve never had a tourist before.

Thus begins the many adventures in Discworld. Set in an alternate universe where the world is flat and supported on the backs of 4 elephants riding a cosmic turtle, strange things can and do occur regularly. Anything can happen on the Disc because magic is unpredictable and undeniably real.

If J.R.R. Tolkien took LSD, thought of Death as a guy who takes his job very seriously, and wrote satire with a honed edge of honesty that cuts deep and bleeds truth, he actually would have been Terry Pratchett in disguise. I’m not saying Terry Pratchett did drugs, but I am saying that the ideas that fueled his brain took other authors like Stephen King years of snorting cocaine to imagine.

Pratchett was undeniably a master comedy writer of his era and the co-author, you may remember, of one of my all-time favorite novels, Good Omens.  Pratchett was a prolific author of over one-hundred combined novels and short stories with over one-third of those taking place in the Discworld universe. I plan to read every one of the Discworld novels in chronological order. Not back to back because all good things should be savored, but I will read them in my own time.

If there is any criticism I can offer on The Color of Magic, it’s that the narrative can seem jumpy. However, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad trait since I felt Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a bit hard to follow in places but was overall still a masterpiece. As long as a story has a purpose and cohesive narrative in terms of objective, a little jumpiness is a small price to pay for cathartic and intelligent prose. 

Overall rating: 5

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