Sunday, December 18, 2016

2017 Book Goal: Going Walkabout in Discworld!

The Color of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett

When Author Terry Pratchett passed away in August 2016, I made the decision that in 2017 my main book goal will be to re-visit Discworld. The last time I visited, it was the 80's, and I was happily enjoying my high school and college days. I loved Terry Pratchett's British wit, irreverent humor and brilliant satire from the start. But then I entered The Real World where things like inn-sewer-ants and reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits took over. I never came back to discover all the new adventures going on in Terry Pratchett's wonderful world!

But I'm back now! I see that while I was expanding my horizons, my family, my debt and disillusion, Pratchett was very busy expanding his fantasy world. What  used to be a series of 6 or 7 books back in the late 80s is now 40 books! I definitely have a lot of reading to do!

Required disclaimer for first-time Discworld tourists: Don't panic! 40 books does NOT mean that this is a ponderous series and too great an undertaking for all but the most committed travelers. Most books in the series are stand-alone stories with just a few that should be read together to complete an entire story arc. So for the most part visitors can pick and choose from the series, without reading in any particular order or reading all 40 books. It's like booking a can take a short weekend jaunt or a 3-month backpacking, hostel-staying epic journey. It's all up to you!

As for me,  I'm a bit OCD in my reading habits and always have to start with Book 1 and go forward. :) Yes, I know there are websites with suggested reading order lists that meander from here to there, enjoying the stories in a completely tourist-friendly manner (such as this one here.) I'm hard-headed though and must travel from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 from The Color of Magic straight through to The Shepherd's Crown with no turns or getting off the path. I'm just weird like that.

I just finished book one: The Color of Magic. Re-reading the book as a 48-year old, rather than a fresh-faced high school student, I found that I enjoyed it even more. It's akin to that first time you watch a children's movie and realize it contains thinly veiled adult humor you didn't notice as a munchkin.

In 2017 I'm going to see just how far I can read through the series. I have the next 3 books in the series waiting on my TBR shelf and will acquire additional books as needed. My local library has some of the series, their online offerings have more in ebook format and I can order the rest online. Finding all the books just adds to the adventure. :)

Basics from the tourist brochure for new visitors: Discworld is a magical land that travels through the astral plain on the backs of four giant elephants who ride upon A'Tuin, the Ancient Turtle. The Color of Magic is the first story in the series. The city of Ankh-Morpork has its first tourist. Nobody knows quite what to think about Twoflower, a tourist from a distant land travelling with an imp-inhabited camera and attack luggage. Failed wizard Rincewind becomes his guide, and hilarity ensues.

In 2008 a 2-part mini-series version of The Color of Magic was made for television. Although it doesn't completely follow the book, it is an enjoyable adaptation. There are also movie versions of Hogfather and Going Postal. But, as is the case most of the time, the book versions really are better. The movies are enjoyable, but leave out details here and there and change some portions of the plot.

Anyone who enjoys British humor and the fantasy genre would love this series. I highly recommend it! And for those who have visited Discworld before, it's definitely worth reading again!

Just to show A'Tuin and the beginning of the story, here's a clip of the first part of the mini-series:


  1. I'm hosting Discworldathon all year on my blog if you want to join in with that at any point we'd love to have you! :-)

    1. I joined the Goodreads group!! :)))