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The Color of Magic: A Discworld Novel Paperback – September 13, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 758 customer reviews
Book 1 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Colour of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the bizarre land of Discworld. His entertaining and witty series has grown to more than 20 books, and this is where it all starts--with the tourist Twoflower and his hapless wizard guide, Rincewind ("All wizards get like that ... it's the quicksilver fumes. Rots their brains. Mushrooms, too."). Pratchett spoofs fantasy clichés--and everything else he can think of--while marshalling a profusion of characters through a madcap adventure. The Colour of Magic is followed by The Light Fantastic. --Blaise Selby --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Ingenious, brilliant, and hilarious.” (Washington Post)
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Product Details

  • Series: Discworld (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060855924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060855925
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (758 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This poor book has been badly insulted by a number of latter-day Terry Pratchett fans such as myself, people who must shamefacedly admit that we began the Discworld series in the middle with "Small Gods" because of the shiny turtle on its cover. But "Color of Magic," the first book in the series, does not deserve such disdain.
For the yet untutored fan, "Color" is a great starting point to learn about the Discworld. The book is short, using most of its plot to describe the geography of the Disc and to introduce the earliest hero of the series, a cowardly and untalented wizard named Rincewhind. He's a thaumaturgical flop, but a comedic king.
Most of the Discworld novels are complex satires of our own world. "Color" begins, though, as a straight spoof of the fantasy genre. It isn't even a complete tale without the following novel, "The Light Fantastic." But it's the first bright grain of sand in the vast, murkey Nothing. Pratchett's own imagination was already birthing such wildly beautiful concepts as intelligent luggage and working classed pixies. Slightly philosophical police already skulk through the fans' beloved city of Ankh-Morpork and try not to be noticed by any criminals.
This book stands well enough on its own merit. It is a fun, Saturday afternoon romp that lets folks laugh at the "in" jokes of the fantasy genre. Non-Discphiles can file it next to "Bimbos of the Death Sun" by Sharyn McCrumb or "Bored Of the Rings" by Henry Beard and Douglas Kenney. Pratchett fans can tell themselves that the author has done better. Sure he has. The next book was better, and the one after that was jaw-dropping, and the next was eye-popping ... so don't knock "Color of Magic" until you've grokked it. If you really must be dazzled, go find the book with the shiny turtle on it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fantasy has never been one of my favorite genres, but I decided to give the magical world of Discworld a try at the suggestion of several friends. I am very glad I did. This turned out to be a very different kind of fantasy, in spite of its wizards, trolls, and dragons. Discworld is a flat planet resting on the backs of four elephants riding on the back of a turtle that slowly makes its way across the universe. As strange and steeped in magic as Discworld is, it seems suspiciously like our own world. Its inhabitants have some very familiar vices and pastimes. Author Terry Pratchett is a wonderful cross between Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, and Mark Twain, and his Discworld novels are full of great fun, inventiveness, and wicked satire.
"The Color of Magic" is the first story in the series. This paperback edition comes with an appendix that makes a handy travel guide for first-time tourists of Terry Pratchett's amazing fantasy land. It includes a brief musing on Discworld, a synopsis of the main cast of characters in the series, a nonmap (after all, how can a sense of humor be mapped?), a guide to Discworld on thirty dollars a day, and even a crossword puzzle to quiz you on what you have learned on your maiden voyage.
The bumbling wizard Rincewind, a wizard college dropout and the quintessential coward, is appointed as guide and protector for the four-eyed tourist Twoflower, who hails from a gold-rich city on the Counterweight Continent and who has come to the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork to see the sights. As the story opens, Ankh-Morpork is in the process of burning to the ground, and Rincewind and Twoflower are fleeing to safety. Accompanied by a frightening piece of many-legged luggage, the twosome experiences one misadventure after another.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Colour of Magic" is the first, and obviously the oldest, of the now infamous "Discworld" series. More than ten years since originally published, the book is still attracting new readers - me among them - who have gone on to purchase each and every one of the series. High praise indeed? Read on...
The general plot of Pratchett's novel is a romp around a fantasy world. A place where the world is flat, and people who tried to show it was round were proven wrong years ago. It's carried through the cosmos on the back of four giant elephants, the magnitude of whom is so great that simply trying to imagine it makes your head spin. Even more mind-boggling, these elephants stand atop Great A'Tuin, the star turtle, who moves with extreme deliberance over tens of thousands of years, and has thoughts so vast that time itself pales into insignificance.
Our heroes? Well there's Rincewind, the dropout wizard who failed Unseen University, the Wizard's universal school in all dimensions including ours, and TwoFlower, the tourist with the living luggage (and what stroppy luggage it is too). Happening upon each other in a pub, Rincewind finds the odd fellow strangely endearing; mainly because he is paying for a pint of ale with three times the value of the pub in solid gold. Their quest leads to run-ins with goblins, the local malitia, an entire array of very scary trees, demons with a penchant for the number eight, the local barbarian (who is usually for hire) and a crackpot set of scientists determined to travel to the edge of the world, and beyond...
Pratchett's writing style is both warm and intoxicating. He involves the reader from the very first page with such wild fantasy that it simply must be true!
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