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The Colour Of Magic (Discworld #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  140,342 ratings  ·  3,539 reviews
The first Discworld novel, revamped for a new generation of readers.

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. It plays by different rules. Certainly it refuses to succumb to the quaint notion that universes are ruled by pure...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2012 by Corgi (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

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Before picking it up, I'd heard that The Colour of Magic was funny. Now that can mean just about anything because, let's face it, comedy is the most subjective of arts.

Funny is a deeply personal thing. The "funny peculiar" and the "funny ha-ha" might not be the same from person to person or even to the same person depending on their mood or their place in life. So knowing something is funny ahead of reading it really doesn't tell me much.

I'd read Terry Pratchett's & Neil Gaiman's Good Omen...more
David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party"
Reading The Color of Magic is akin to eating an entire bowl of ice cream just a little too fast...sure, it may cause your head to hurt at times, but the sweet rewards make it all worth it!

Filled with ambitious wizards and ruthless assassins, the city of Ankh-Morpork has survived many dangers in the past, but now it faces an even more destructive force...TOURISM!!! When a rich but bored outsider named Twoflower decides to explore the city in search for adventure, it soon becomes an adventure for...more
I'm pretty sure people have told me about Pratchett and his Diskworld series before, usually working in the phrase "He's the Douglas Adams of fantasy" into the description. But the problem was that I always felt that I had had enough of Adams after the third Hithiker's Guide to the Galaxy book, and whenever I scanned Pratchett's section in the bookstore I was immediately put off by not knowing where to start reading among the approximately five hundred thousand Diskworld books. I'm glad I finall...more
Killer Rabbit
Wanna go where The Luggage packs itself?
Terry Pratchett wrote the Discworld series with absolutely no intention of obeying The Rules of Fantasy story telling. But it is abundantly clear that he knows a great deal about fantasy stories that have previously been written. And also about Shakespeare, and history, and geology, and... Suffice to say that Pratchett understands a great deal more than the average bear about mankind and the world.

So when he mocks us in his tales, he knows exactly where t...more
Meh. It just didn't do it for me. Unfortunately, this book has been recommended to me so many times by well-meaning friends who know my love of absurd British humor that it couldn't possibly live up to the hype. It suffers from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy syndrome. For years, everyone I knew--friends, family, students, co-workers--would ask me if I had read Hitchhiker's and their mouths would drop when I admitted no, I hadn't . . . yet. Their response was always the same, "Oh, but you h...more
Tried to start him at the beginning, as many of my dear friends love him. However, this book showed no particular charm nor skill of construction. It is an early piece, so this unpractised work is to be expected. The jokes were more worthy of groans than guffaws, and I was left feeling rather let down, since he's been compared to the superlatively funny Douglas Adams.

After finding this one dull, a friend suggested I try one of his later books, so I started Moving Pictures, which was better craft...more
Apr 26, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: SciFi and Fantasy Book Club August Book
I read this book way back in high school, when I lived in England. Having forgotten everything except for the fact that there was a trunk that liked to eat people, I bought the book (again) to see how it stood up these many years later. As I've read I've received goodreads messages and been spoken to by several people who have warned me that Pratchett was just warming up with this one, that he hadn't reached his highest form yet. I still have to read more of his work (I'm planning on Mort and Gu...more
This was a fun, quick read. I enjoyed it and plan to read my way through disc world. This somewhat cartoonish seeming universe is populated by colorful and unlikely characters. The author created an original and interesting mythology and multiverse.
Hidden within the tongue and cheek humor and somewhat silly action is an intelligence and insightful view of not just those make believe world, but ours as well. Many references are to actual occult concepts and the magic, while loose, humorous and e...more
I dunno if this is going to be a proper 'review' (heh, as though any of the things that I write in this space are...), it'll likely just be a bunch of randomness and ranting. So, like my usual offerings.

I read Amanda's review (This'un.) and I'm all like "Yep." This is one of those books/series that people love and it makes me want to love it and then I set crazy goals for myself, like reading them... all... in a year... just maybe not this one... and then when the first one ends up NOT being the...more
This was the perfect pick me up after the depressing, depressing, depressing downer if The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I laughed out loud reading this and that is not something I do very often. Rincewind is a new favorite character and Terry Pratchett is a new favorite author. I'm not sure I would have loved this as much I I hadn't been in the perfect mood for it. But, I was in the perfect mood and I did love it.
Executive Summary: Started slow, but finished strong.

Full Review
I've been meaning to read Discworld for awhile. A good friend of mine loves the series and recommended it to me over 10 years ago, but I just never got around to it.

He suggested I might be better off starting with Guards! Guards! than this book. However between picking up the first few books on a sale, and my general need to read thing in publication order.

My understanding is that while all the books are set in Discworld, there are...more
A fun parody of the fantasy genre and some great world building

I've been listening to this one for the past two weeks, I found myself out of shape and in need of something that would hold my concentration whilst I taught my body to exercise again. Ordinarily I'm not a fan of audiobooks but it seemed like the perfect way and the perfect time to get started on the great Discworld re-read that I've had planned for the past two years. It worked.

It's been many, many years since I last read this book,...more
Feb 06, 2008 Belarius rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Obsessive Completionists
Author Terry Pratchett may be the modern day Mark Twain, one of the most prolific satirical authors in genre fiction. The world he spins his elaborate metaphors is that of Discworld, a setting in which he has successfully parodied everything from opera to religion, from currency to war, from morris dancing to mall proliferation. But before Discworld was a template upon which all things modern could be parodied, it was simply a parody, and a mediocre one at best.

Pratchett's humor is similar in ma...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Ahh, the story of Twoflower and the "failed" wizard Rincewind. Although calling Rincewind a "failed" wizard is possibly not really fair to him as he's only a "failed" wizard because having sneaked a look at a forbidden spell book one the 8 Great Spells has taken up the room in his brain that would be needed for other spells and he can't get it out, at least not without casting it, and since neither he nor the other wizards know what it will do...destroy the world, the universe, the multiverse......more
“Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorizing the other occupants and kicking over the furniture.”
Hey, look at that! That’s what happens to my brain all the time!

Seriously though, if you like humorous fantasy there is no escaping Terry Pratchett, and the colour of magic is probably one of the staples in the genre. And for good reason! It's got word plays: the most memorable might be Twoflower working with inn-sewer-ants, although I t...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
I've heard they get better after this one, but it was still a great read. I was cracking up left and right and the idea of the monster was just brilliant. Shoot, the idea of the tourist coming to a ridiculous fantasy land was brilliant along with the flat world riding elephants riding a giant turtle. Okay, everything is brilliant. :) If the rest get better, then I'm in for a treat.

For Amazon's deal of the day, Sept. 17, 2013, this book (and the next 4 in the series) is on sale for $1.99 on Kindl...more
4.5 stars. My favorite installment of the long running Discworld series (I have only read the first five so that may change). Original, well-written and very funny.
Steven Harbin
Although this is the first book in the Discworld series, it's actually the 2nd I've completed, The Wee Free Men being the first. I enjoyed this book, although having read a later book in the series showed me that Mr. Pratchett's writing has improved considerably over time. Still, this is a fun read for anyone who likes fantasy in general and humorous fantasy in particular. I came to really like inept magician Rincewind and his traveling companion Twoflower, first tourist in Discworld history (ap...more
I've never really been a fan of British comedy. I see the attraction to stuff like Monty Python, Faulty Towers, et al, but the humor's vastly different then what I enjoy. I think it's the propriety or formality that throws me off. People compare Terry Pratchett's work to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide series and that seems pretty approriate. Both are outlandish and filled with silly inanity. That being said, it's not my cup of tea. There always seems to be those scenes where characters apolog...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
I had a number of preconceived notions about the Discworld novels, which is probably why I took so long before I attempted one. Fortunately, my preconceptions were mostly innacurate. What I will say about Terry Pratchett's writing, and the humour in particular: it can be pretty random. There were times when I went "huh?", or, "erm?", or just sighed in perplexity. He is also not afraid of applying deus ex machina to his sequences climaxes.

That being said, these books are a blast to read, and the...more
To be honest, I am not really sure what I think of this book. I enjoyed it, certainly. It was wildly creative, of course. It basically reverses science and magic, making magic the real thing and science the myth; I suspect that residents of Discworld would find the book significantly less amusing than we do simply because so much of the humor comes from references to science which is not there. Case in point: "It was as if the ocean had decided to create life without going through all that tedio...more
Beth F.
I admit it. I am probably not the intended audience for this book. I don't like elf and sword fantasies and have not read many. Regardless, I thought a parody of that sort of fantasy would be a laugh for me and I've had countless people recommend Terry Pratchett to me over the years. Unfortunately this book fell flat for me and many of the references were beyond my realm of giving a shit.

The introduction of a cast of forgettable characters from forgettable places was rushed and confusing. I was...more
3 stars - It was good.

A light, silly and fantastical read that is highly original and creative. It has the feel of Disney, but made for adults and not at all predictable. I really enjoyed the author's frequent play on words which provided nerd humor throughout the book. I plan on continuing the series, but for me, this is definitely something I will have to be in the right mood/mindset in order to really enjoy it.


Favorite Quote: He wondered what kind...more
It had some funny moments, but I really struggled to get through it. In all fairness to the people who suggested I read the Discworld series, this is not one of the ones they said I should start with. I think I mostly had a hard time slogging through all of the world-building and made up words. Fantasy has never been my thing, because I'm not someone who enjoys reading descriptions of the characters surroundings. I'm not giving up on the series, though. I think I'll just go back through my book...more
While I have read other books in the Discworld series, I can definitely say that I am happy to have finally caught up and read the first installment. Pratchett here lays much of the groundwork for his wild imagination to build upon in further books, and establishes his humorous wit in turning the tables on standard fantasy tropes. There are indeed a few excellent turns of phrase that made me chuckle loudly, albeit not as many as in his later books, as Pratchett here seemed more intent on world b...more
Dec 27, 2013 Amara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amara by: The Ultimate Teen Book Guide
Shelves: 2013, reviewed
While exceedingly lofty expectations led me to be a bit disappointed with The Color of Magic--just a bit!--I will definitely be continuing on with the series. For my full review, see here.
Here be dragons...and trolls...and a suitcase with legs?

A wizard and an unflappable tourist share a rather silly adventure.
Apr 11, 2009 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of humorous fantasy
Recommended to Werner by: Book was a gift from my wife
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Having recently read Swords of Lankhmar, I was able to recognize a marked influence of Leiber on this opening volume of Pratchett's popular Discworld series. Like Nehwon, the Discworld is a swords-and-sorcery flavored fantasy realm where the social environment is generally not a benevolent one; Pratchett's corrupt and decadent city of Ankh-Morpork has certain similarities to Lankhmar, and Bravd and the Weasel here are very reminiscent of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Potentates on the Discworld ev...more
This gets 4 stars instead of 5 mostly because I understand from the whole of the world of people who have read Discworld that it only gets better from here- so I figured I better leave room!

What a fun, creative, fantastical, ridiculous book. Twoflower may well be one of my favorite characters in literature- we'll see if that pans out over time- and Luggage? I WANT SOME LUGGAGE. Hee. Rincewind, also, is a wonderful creation. Pratchett's imagination, and gift for puns, is a true joy.

I can't wait...more
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,...more
More about Terry Pratchett...
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29) Small Gods (Discworld, #13)

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“If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards!” 819 likes
“You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs. ” 212 likes
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