Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bookworming: The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic, Terry Pratchett, ***
First in the now expansive Diskworld series, The Color of Magic is a parody of the fantasy genre, and your reaction to it will probably depend on how much you are familiar with the tropes of sword and sorcery and how much you like the dry humor the book leans on. For me at least, this was not a laugh-out-loud kind of book, rather more of a wry grin. In some sense, I was a bit let down in that I was expecting funny rather than witty. That said, it wasn't the humor that impressed me about the book. The world-building in The Color of Magic has a hefty amount of verisimilitude, and parody though it is, it is also a magnificent example of the fantasy milieu form. Comparisons to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are not misplaced. It even shares Hitchhiker's greatest weakness: there is no story here. It is an almost random tromp through an imaginary world, and nothing deeper than that. Thankfully the imaginary world is bursting with personality, and that is the real reason I enjoyed the book. As for the parody, yes it is good. Even the ending is a send-up of the classic cliffhanger. It misses the four-star mark by a bit for me, but I suspect I will continue with the series at some point.

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