Rediscovering Pratchett: A Dive into ‘The Colour of Magic’

Revisiting Pratchett’s ‘The Colour of Magic’: a journey through Discworld’s humor, worldbuilding, and the antics of the reluctant hero, Rincewind.

Terry Pratchett enters the Great Hall - Author Terry Pratchett speaks at Brisbane Grammar School, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 070214

Ah, Terry Pratchett’s ‘The Colour of Magic,’ an enigmatic tome that has a special place in my heart, much like an old pair of slippers that’ve seen better days but still possess an undeniable charm.

With the new audio editions of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series now out, I decided to revisit it was time for a re-read from the very beginning.

And let me tell you, it was as comforting as a cup of tea during a drizzly afternoon.

The World on Four Elephants

If there’s one thing that Pratchett does with aplomb, it’s worldbuilding.

Now, you might be thinking, “How difficult can it be to build a world that’s essentially a disc on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant turtle floating in space?”

But it’s not just about the peculiar shape of the world; it’s about the colourful (pun intended) inhabitants, the odd logic, and the unapologetic defiance of traditional physics.

From the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork to the mysterious Counterweight Continent, every corner of Discworld brims with its own unique flavour.

Each locale is a testament to Pratchett’s staggering imagination, an exquisite blend of the fantastical and the absurd.

You can almost smell the distinct odours of Ankh-Morpork, a pungent mixture of questionable street food and wizardly incense.

Not always pleasant, but always memorable.

A Laugh a Minute

Pratchett’s humour is like an impish sprite that leaps out at you from the pages.

It’s there in the footnotes, the character dialogue, and even in the most dire of circumstances.

The man could probably make a tax return hilarious, given half the chance.

In ‘The Colour of Magic,’ Pratchett uses satire, parody, wit, and puns to transform the mundane into the hilarious and the serious into the absurd.

The humour isn’t just an added spice—it’s baked into the narrative like currants in a hot cross bun.

This is a book that makes you chuckle, guffaw, and occasionally snort tea out of your nose (this isn’t a good look, especially if it’s been several hours since your last cuppa).

The Unlikely Hero

Let’s talk about Rincewind.

Rincewind, the wizard with no spells, the eternal pessimist, and the man who turns running away into an art form.

It’s safe to say he’s not your typical hero.

In fact, he’s a downright coward, more likely to be found hiding in a barrel than brandishing a sword.

Yet, it’s this very cowardice that makes Rincewind so endearing.

His flight instinct, strong enough to qualify as an Olympic sport, often lands him in situations where, much to his exasperation, he ends up saving the day.

He’s a hero who doesn’t want any part of heroism, thank you very much.

Can’t a man just enjoy a quiet pint in peace?

Rincewind’s character is a testament to Pratchett’s ability to subvert expectations and create characters who are deeply flawed yet irresistibly charming.

He’s not the hero we’re used to, but he’s the hero Discworld deserves.

A Lesson in Magic

Revisiting ‘The Colour of Magic’ has reminded me, as an author, of the power of creativity and the importance of humour.

Pratchett’s world is not just a flat disc on four elephants—it’s a vibrant universe that lives and breathes in the minds of its readers.

His characters are not just characters—they’re old friends who make us laugh, roll our eyes, and occasionally, shed a tear.

Pratchett has shown us that it’s okay to be different, to break rules, and to create characters who are gloriously, unabashedly, themselves.

And he’s reminded us that sometimes, the best heroes are the ones who’d rather be somewhere else, preferably with a good book or a pint of ale.

So here’s to you, Rincewind, the reluctant, cowardly hero.

May your legs always be swift, and may your Luggage always be close behind.

Author: joncronshawauthor

Best-selling author of fantasy and speculative fiction brimming with adventure, escapism, and an exploration of life's big questions.

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