Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Failed to Cast a Spell

The Color of Magic
by Terry Pratchett
Published by Harper Perennial
2 Out of 5 Stars

Meh. It just didn't do it for me. Unfortunately, this book has been recommended to me so many times by well-meaning friends who know my love of absurd British humor that it couldn't possibly live up to the hype. It suffers from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy syndrome. For years, everyone I knew--friends, family, students, co-workers--would ask me if I had read Hitchhiker's and their mouths would drop when I admitted no, I hadn't . . . yet. Their response was always the same, "Oh, but you have to! It's like it was written for YOU!" By the time I got around to reading it, there's no way it could have lived up to the expectations that had been percolating for years. Ditto for The Color of Magic

I'll admit, Pratchett has a way with words and there was the occasional turn of phrase in response to which I made that air-escaping-from-the-nose sound that's not full bodied enough to be considered a snort of laughter. There was the infrequent half-smile. A few head nods in appreciation of a clever conceit. But, alas, there were no tear-inducing uncontrollable fits of laughter, which is what I expected. Will I read more Pratchett? Yes, because I have at least three more books by him lying about. I just hope they're better than this.

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