The Colour of Magic


Author:  Terry Pratchett

Title:  The Colour of Magic

Genre:  Fantasy

Publication Date:  1983

Number of Pages:  183

Geographical Setting:  Discworld

Time Period:  Interdimensional Present

Series:  Discworld 1; Rincewind series 1

Plot Summary:  The Colour of Magic introduces us to the fantastic Discworld, a Frisbee planet balanced on the backs of four mighty elephants riding on the shell of a colossal turtle swimming through the cosmos.  Failed wizard, renowned coward, and exquisite linguist, Rincewind, is hired to guide tourist, Twoflower, through the quaint and exciting (read:  squalid and lethal) Morpork.  As cultures (and luggage) clash, and cities burn to the ground, the two embark on an adventure peppered with barbarians, trolls, imps, demons, and dragons.  The journey reveals the champion hiding within a reluctant hero and the magic resting within an actuary on holiday.

Subject Headings:  Discworld (Imaginary place); magic; voyages and travels; monsters; dragons; heroes and heroines; adventurers; wizards; Rincewind; fantasy fiction, English; humorous stories, English.

Appeal:  witty, fast-paced, imaginative, detailed, humorous, cinematic, high-adventure

Three terms that best describe this book:  funny, adventurous, rich

Relevant Non-fiction

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.  As physics (or pseudo-scientific jargon) plays a notable role in conveying how Discworld space-time behaves, Stephen Hawking visits such topics as elementary particles, the expanding universe, wormholes, and time travel.

Magic for Dummies by David Pogue.  Failed wizards, tourists, anyone can learn magic with this resource that provides a deconstruction of “tricks” as well as a background in the world of magic.

Dragons, Unicorns, and Sea Serpents:  A Classic Study of the Evidence for their Existence by Charles Gould.  A Darwin-era geologist makes a case for the existence of mythical creatures.

Relevant Fiction

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  This classic sci-fi satire features Earth’s sole survivor exploring the universe with a galactic travel writer (and others).

Snow White and the Seven Samurai by Tom Holt.  Fairy tales are skewered in this fantasy.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett.  Comic errors abound in this fast-paced apocalyptic novel about an angel and demon working to prevent Armageddon.  Tag-teaming authors deliver a fantastic, irreverent romp.



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