The Color of Magic

Terry Pratchett
The Color of Magic Cover

The Color of Magic


During his forty-four years as a published author, Terry Pratchett--make that Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE--bore the honor and burden of being the funniest man in the room. I have no reason to think he saw it as burden; but, having finally read one of the 44 Discworld fantasies for which he is best known, I admit that I find the level of nonstop hilarity exhausting. I imagined spending a fun day or two with The Color of Magic, but found that I could only manage about fifty pages at a go.

I'd never read Pratchett because I didn't know where to begin. When I happened upon a fistful of secondhand paperbacks that included The Color of Magic, the first Discworld tale, I decided to dive in. Perhaps I laughed out loud a few times, but for the most part I was in awe. Inept wizards, clueless tourists, bored and indifferent gods, blustering champions, dragons--every possible element of heroic fantasy is introduced and enthusiastically mocked. My favorite character, which I will not attempt to describe, was The Luggage.

At this point I am a semi-convert to Pratchett. Although I've been assured the novels do not need to be reading sequence, my initial purchase does include The Light Fantastic, Discworld Vol. 2. It's really a question of how much I can take at one time.