Day 202 – 208
The Colour of Magic
By Terry Pratchett
One week! Yoohoo! I knew it was going to be a quick read!
Now, I’ll take a moment to mourn the fact that I’m celebrating 7 days as a “quick” read. Life, I tell you, has a way to pick you up, carry you 10 stories high…and then, fling you down. Without a word of warning. And laugh uproariously while you scream your way to doom.
Anyway, histrionics aside, I enjoyed The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett tremendously. However, my Goodreads account will show you that I’ve only given it four stars. This is because, I want more; and I believe that he’s an author who can give me more. So, I’m saving those five stars for the book that will completely sweep me off my feet, that’ll make wings grow out of my back and that’ll keep me up in the air for a long time after the book is shut.
And what made me believe in him so much?
His characterization. It’s vivid, it’s snappy and most importantly, it’s consistent. Never does wizard Rincewind stop being self-serving, nor does Twoflower lose his insatiable curiosity. Even the barbarian Hrun doesn’t step out his shoes for a moment. A dialogue read is capable of telling you who’s uttered it and that speaks of an amazing literary capability. The pearwood box which was characterized so well as to deserve its own cast credits scared me enough to give me a nightmare (I don’t like animated inanimate objects; unless they’re transformers).
However, what fascinated me more than the characters was the world.
Pratchett doesn’t believe in info-dumping. So, he’ll reveal his world in bits and pieces of detailed description. Except, now that I remember, on the second page, where he describes everything in a footnote. Don’t worry if most of that doesn’t make sense. Have patience and you will definitely get more glimpses of this fascinating world from chapter to chapter and adventure to adventure; in explanations from new captors and old wizards and in detailed descriptions by the author.
Of course, the side effect of this sort of piecemeal revelations is that you’ll have to wait and there will be moments where you lose track of your imagination because you don’t know where you are. But, for some reason, I forgave him for this disregard of his reader’s peace of mind. I guess, because, that attitude fit in with the story and its narration and its characters. “Regard” is not something that’s valued a lot in Discworld and that’s made eminently clear in its opening paragraphs- where he introduces a giant turtle and four elephants with little regard for your fish-out-of-water feeling and follows that up with a fire and the city being burnt to nothing.
He’s not entirely unkind though. The story of Rincewind the wizard and Twoflower the tourist is narrated in an anthology of their travel tales. So, at the end of one adventure, if you want to take a breather, return to world that’s not carried on the back of a giant turtle, he kindly allows you to do so. This kindness, I took maximum advantage of and hence, the 1 week “quick” read for a 288-paged book.
All in all, it made me happy and kept me interested and I’m really really really looking forward to picking out more of his works to read.