Mark Lawrence's Reviews > The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
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it was amazing

I haven't reviewed this because I read it so long ago that all I can remember is I loved it.

I'll take our very old and battered copy (bought in 1987) to the hospice this weekend when I go with Celyn and see if I can't refresh my memory.

RIP, Sir Terry.

'DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING,' said Death, 'JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.'


So - to the review!

I've just read this in slightly over 24 hours ... which is extraordinary for me. I normally take a month to read a book.

It is, to be fair, both a very readable and a very short book (65,000 words - a short fantasy these days is ~100,000 words).

I was surprised to find how much of this I remembered, especially as I last read it 28 years ago!

It's a very funny book with some GREAT one-liners. I particularly liked one that said about men falling foul of the thieves' guild (I paraphrase) '... men who wouldn't be going home again ... unless they happened to live near the river and their corpses floated by on the way to the sea."

And this from the character Twoflower was poignant:

"When I think that I might die without seeing a hundredth of all there is to see it makes me feel," he paused, then added, "well, humble, I suppose. And very angry, of course."


Anyway - incompetent and cowardly failed wizard Rincewind falls in with Twoflower, the naive tourist with an impossibly optimistic attitude, oodles of gold, and an indestructible, vicious and implacable treasure chest on legs to defend him.

Hilarity ensues as Twoflower tries to see everything, Rincewind tries not to die, and the gods play games with them. We get a great tour of the Discworld, its geography, magics, and inhabitants, all of which are so fantastically imaginative and amusing that even geography becomes a joy.

This isn't Terry Pratchett's best book but it's full of all the great stuff that gathers together into its peak a few books into the series. It's certainly an excellent book though. Pratchett has an incredibly rare talent for compressing humour into one-liners that are witty, incisive, and yet never feel mean - it's not jokes that you feel are directed _at_ anyone, just mined from the stuff of life.

I had a great time revisiting this book and if you've not tried it - now's the time!



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Reading Progress

September 23, 2011 – Shelved
March 13, 2015 – Started Reading
March 13, 2015 –
page 20
7.02% "The quality is right there on the first few pages - it's confident, funny, warm."
March 14, 2015 –
page 83
29.12% "Even the mighty Sir T gets the poisonous vs venomous snake thing wrong!"
March 14, 2015 –
page 115
40.35% "It's remarkable how much of this I remember given that I last read it 28 years ago..."
March 14, 2015 –
page 199
69.82% ""When I think that I might die without seeing a hundredth of all there is to see it makes me feel," he paused, then added, "well, humble, I suppose. And very angry, of course.""
March 14, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Paul A tragic loss.


Katie There are so many of his books that are worth re-reading.


message 3: by Berken (new) - added it

Berken Byrne Hopefully he got to go out on his own terms like he always fought for...


Paul Great review Mark


Hudson Did you read his final tweets? Heart breaking and beautiful.


message 6: by Craig (new)

Craig I need to revisit this. I think I've only read maybe 6 or 7 of the Discworld books, but it was many years ago so I want to go back and start again.


Linda Todd I do have a few of the discworld books and love them and can read them over and over again.☺


David I'm a Johnny Come Lately. Only started reading Sir P. in the last 10 years. Am currently reading MOVING PICTURES. I think I'll always have a Pratchett book going.


Nogueira Gosh, the Discworld novels... that brings me some wonderful memories of summer reading by the beach during my teen years (along with Enid Blyton classic adventures, this were the first books I read in English)... even today I sometimes go back to that happy place carried by a giant turtle, living great adventures with Rincewind, the best of the worst magicians on the realm! About TP, he will always live through his books, that's the real magic of good writing!


message 10: by Zakgirl (new)

Zakgirl That's just crazy reading, Mark. That's over 4,000 words an hour! Great job! (Assuming you took eight hours sleep).


Cathie Such a lovely review, I wish I could have read this book years ago to be rereading it now and remembering fondly my favourite bits as I have with many other favourite books. rediscovering forgotten friends and finding those little snippets that get missed. Don't you always find something new on a second read through having missed it he first time.

I've only just started reading these books and I hope that I can one day return to them and rediscover the magic as you have.


Ifigenia Which is Terry Pratchet's best book? :)


message 13: by Jack (new) - added it

Jack Pond Great review Mark. I've read a few Discworld novels but I never got to The Colour of Magic (kind of sad seeing it's the first one). We lost a great author in Terry.


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