January 24th, 2008

Books 02

Octarine Dreams

I hadn't meant to do another Pratchett right after Mort, but the Wolfe I'd requested from interlibrary hadn't managed to get down to my local library by the time I finished it. So I grabbed the Rincewind the Wizzard omnibus I picked up by mistake some years ago, and took another stab at The Colour of Magic. It's the first of the Discworld books, consisting of four connected short stories, and it's just not as good as the later books. I'd read the eponymous first story about a year ago, got bored, and put the book aside. I suppose it's lucky I didn't try to start my reading of the series with it, because I might never have bothered with the other books and been very puzzled by all the praise heaped upon them by my friends.

It features Rincewind, the saddest sack of a failed wizard in all of creation. I was fine with Rincewind in The Last Hero, but there he was part of an ensemble, rather than the star of the show. A little of Rincewind goes a long way. A lot of Rincewind has me reaching for something else. Still, I persevered till the end. The stories do get better as the book goes on, mostly because Twoflower, who is basically a prop in the first story, becomes more interesting as a character later on. That helps a lot. On the other hand, I hated the ending. Was I not already familiar with the series and characters, the book would've been flung across the room.

The other thing that bugged is that a lot of it seems inconsistent with later canon. Death, especially, is very different from the character only a few books later in Mort, and not nearly as interesting.

"My name is immaterial," she said.
"That's a very pretty name," said Rincewind

Despite all that, it was okay. There was still enough funny to keep me amused. I've read that Sky One is producing a live action version of TCoM and The Light Fantastic starring Sir David Jason (who played Albert in Hogfather) and Sean Astin as Rincewind and Twoflower, respectively. Tim Curry's in it, too, and Christopher Lee is voicing Death. That should be fun.