Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review:: The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

Title: The Colour of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld, #1
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I'd poked a bit at Terry Pratchett's work in the past, but then decided I had better things to read. His fanbase, honestly, was one of the biggest turn-offs for me. (The more you overhype a book, the less likely I am to like it. Please, give me reasonable expectations.) But I figured now was a good time to get started.

The Colour of Magic was a fun read, but not really that remarkable. (Yes, I know it's not a good introduction to the series, but I'm neurotic and read things in publication order.) It reminded me a bit of a fantasy mashup of Douglas Adams' wittiness (although not as acute) and Harry Harrison's self-awareness and whimsy (although again, not as acute). Mostly, I felt like it was Harry Harrison doing fantasy.

From what I've heard, one of the major reasons people don't like The Colour of Magic is because they can't stand Rincewind. Which I get. But I can't really get behind Rincewind hate, at least in this book. Sure, yeah, he whines a lot and mostly survives by RUN AWAY. He doesn't always think through the consequences of his actions.

But I honestly don't know what else I'd do in his situation. He's a very bad wizard, which means he's not going to do that well if he does anything but run away. And he keeps getting stuck in stupid situations that he never meant to take part in. I'd whine too, if that kept happening to me. His best bet is basically being annoyed and plodding on.

The plot wasn't really much to sneeze at, but I felt like it wasn't really the point. It was an enjoyable and short romp. Even if I weren't neurotic and had trouble not finishing series, I'd certainly continue on. Especially considering the vast number of people who shout and rave that this isn't the book you should start with.

In parts, the writing style reminded me of Michael Ende, as well. Kind of an almost fourth wall breaking genre-savvy parody, if that even makes sense. I don't know. In some ways, Pratchett is reminding me of so many things that it kind of grates.

So I guess I shouldn't try to think too hard.

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