Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

 I'm not a big science fiction or fantasy reader.  I like supernatural stuff just fine; ghosts, vampires, werewolves, what-have-you, but I've never been very good at imagining whole other galaxies and physical worlds.  That's why I was so surprised when I loved everything about The Hitch-Hiker's Guide series.  Admittedly, I had to re-read the first one to feel truly comfortable with who/what the characters were and what the real issues happened to be, but from there on I was hooked.  So with that in mind, I decided to venture outside my usual fiction/literature picks and grabbed a copy of The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.  I already plan on re-reading it to get myself more comfortable with the set-up, but I'm glad I took the risk on this one.

This is actually the first of a large, seemingly rambling, series and it's over 25 years old.  It could buy us all a drink at the bar.  But it's not dated, probably thanks to the alternate setting: Discworld.  Discworld is, well, a disc that happens to be resting on the backs of four giant elephants who are standing on the back of an even giant-er turtle.  On this disc there are lands, seas, desserts (and deserts), heroes, gods, wizards, dragons (sort of), mercenaries, trolls, tree-dwellers, smart but mean luggage, and one very frustrated and busy Death.  And that's just what I can name off the top of my head.  The Color of Magic follows Rincewind the Wizard and Twoflower the Tourist through their rambling voyage around and off Discworld.  Rincewind is mostly a wizard in name only due to an unfortunate event at school, and has since been more of a grifter than anything.  Twoflower comes to visit the great and seedy twin cities of Ankh-Morpork.  He is tired of his safe and predictable life as an insurance man.  So he travels to Ankh-Morpork to witness brawls, see heroes, meet wizards, and really live, ya know? 

Twoflower has a bit too much trust in others and naively ventures forth with little knowledge of the local language or currency.  His rich beyond measure in his new environment and he is surrounded by an entire city's worth of underbelly who are all too willing to help rid him of his wealth.  Fortunately for Twoflower there are other events set into motion by ever-watchful gods, and Rincewind becomes his reluctant translator and tour guide.  Throughout the book they manage to burn an entire city, save a hero, ride dragons, and fall off the edge of the disc.  All the while, Twoflower's luggage follows doggedly behind swiftly dispatching anyone to which it takes a disliking, and Rincewind is able to cheat Death on more than one occasion.  Nothing about this book takes itself too seriously:  one of the several reasons I enjoyed it so.  The pace of the story is swift though I wouldn't call it a logical procession.  There's a lot to keep track of which had me going back to the beginning a couple of times. {This is why I have to re-read science fiction.  My short-term memory has a very low capacity.  I blame my children.}  However, I'm looking forward to reading more of this series.  Especially now that I know the color magic is octarine; a sort of fluorescent greenish yellow purple.  So if you're wanting something outside of your spherical-world norm, I'd recommend something flatter like Discworld.   

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  1. I love Tim Curry. But I suppose that's not REALLY relevant.
    I think one of my summer projects is to introduce myself to Terry Pratchett. That's a big hole in my sci-fi/fantasy library.

  2. O.K. when I read the review, I thought there is no way this almost 62 year old mind can keep all that straight. Then I watched the trailor(sp?) and I am intrigued and thinking maybe I could get into this book. We will see how the summer goes with travels and granchildren as to whether I can fit it in along with all the other books you three review. Three of you against one of me and I am a slow reader. Sleep gets in my way. Oh well, sounds like a very interesting read.