Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Journey to the edge of the disc - a tale of magic, friendship and buffoonery

The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1)The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Terry Pratchett stakes his claim to being the funnyman of science fiction in the Color of Magic, book one in the Disc-world series. He grabs you from the first page with his uncanny wit and his character’s humorous banter and keeps you chuckling to the very end of the story. You’ve likely seen similar characters from other books, television and movies but Pratchett takes the classic comedy duo and firmly plants them in a fantasy world that is over the top hilarious.

Rincewind and Twoflower are Discworld’s Costanza and Kramer with supporting characters who run the gambit of personalities. You’ll meet the brainless, brawny Hrun and the tenacious, terrifying luggage; that’s right, a seemingly living piece of luggage with legs and an uncanny willingness toward violence.

When you consider this entire world is literally a ginormous disc, supported by humungous elephants who reside on top of an astronomical space-travelling turtle then you’ll be very comfortable knowing that the rules of magic and nature constantly fluctuate in Discworld.

You’ll join Rincewind, our comedy’s straight-man, on his escape from the burning city of Ankh-Morpork (which coincidentally is burning partially because of his shenanigans) with his tourist-sidekick, Twoflower. The story begins with the duo telling their story to a couple of heroes on the road out of town, launching you on a journey through some of Disc-worlds most perilous places populated by some cunningly funny people.

Character growth, mixed with the multitude of laughable moments provides smiles from beginning to end. Rincewind is layered like an onion; cowardly and almost indifferent in the beginning but certainly altered for the better as he learns the value of friendship.

In protecting his clueless friend, Rincewind sets off a chain of events that leaves nothing but mischief and mayhem in their wake while the Gods twist and turn the tables our unlikely pair. Rincewood and Twoflower narrowly escape horrendous perils at every turn rankling Fate and completely befuddling Death himself.

Pay close attention to Pratchett’s humorous pokes at our view of traditional fantasy, religion and social norms that lace neatly within the plot. Color of Magic is easily a family read with enough mature comedy that adults will absolutely love this story’s wit. Pratchett thoroughly establishes a new world while maintaining a quick pace that will leave you wanting to jump right into the next novel.

While I certainly found the story hilarious, some of the humor is quite British and therefore not to everyone’s taste. But if you are a fan of the classic comedy duo and if you appreciate a good Monty Python skit then you will absolutely love Terry Pratchett’s Color of Magic; a solid four-star comedic fantasy tale.

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