After reading the first Discworld novel, I have to say that I’m feeling a lot of regret. The main thing that I’m regretting is not starting this series sooner.
Rincewind was your average wizard in a way that fish are your average mountain climbers. His boring uneventful life gets turned sideways when he’s forced into being the translator and guide for Twoflower, his planet’s first ever tourist. Now instead of wondering where his next meal comes from, he’s wondering if he’s going to live that long.
My First Look at Discworld
Oftentimes, when a great deal of hype and fanaticism surrounds something, I make it a point not to buy into the trend. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. As a result of that, I began the Discworld series expecting the hype to be unjustified. Oh, how wrong I was.
While I haven’t read the entire series yet, the first book undoubtedly deserves all the praise it has received. Terry Pratchett hilariously parodies many aspects of real life and the fantasy genre while simultaneously weaving his own story. While humorous, this levity never detracts from the excitement. Despite this series being over thirty novels long, there were multiple times where I was worried the characters wouldn’t escape their situations alive.
The Wizard and the Tourist
Rincewind is everything you don’t expect to see in a wizard. He’s unable to cast any spells and is also extremely foolish. Furthermore, he runs from the smallest sign of danger rather than facing it. I mean that. There is a lot of running in this book. A lot.
Twoflower is Discworld’s first ever tourist. As a result, most people don’t know what a “tourist” is, but most agree that it’s similar to “idiot”. He is often awed by by the things he sees and longs to see more. He also has absolutely no concept of self-preservation. If he saw a herd of stampeding elephants, most of the herd would have trampled him before the idea of “get out of the way” would enter his head.
This duo makes for some interesting scenarios. While Rincewind might run away too soon or too much, Twoflower certainly doesn’t run away enough if he runs at all. If someone were to take these two characters and make one character who knew when to run and when not to, most of the problematic situations would not have happened. It also would have cost the book about 95% of its conflicts and humor making for a dull read.
The Colour of Magic beautifully blend serious action with a comedic overtone. The characters are both memorable and distinct. The only fault that I can find is the cliffhanger ending that left me wanting more. And honestly, if a desire to read more is the only fault, then that’s an excellent book. How has this book never made it into a literature class (at least not one that I’ve attended)?