Terry Pratchett – The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic
Length: 272 pages
Started: 01 July 2015
Finished: 02 July 2015
Where did it come from? The library booksale.
Why do I have it? I found the graphic novel adaptation that I could own for cheap, right when I had just re-read the novels.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 April 2015.
tourists might be a job for
a better wizard.
Summary: This is a graphic adaptation of the first two Discworld novels.
Twoflower is an insurance salesman and tourist, freshly arrived to the city of Ankh-Morpork from the distant and exotic Agatean empire. Rincewind is a not-very-good wizard (he only knows one spell, but he doesn’t dare to use it) who has been tasked with protecting Twoflower by politicians eager to avoid angering the Agateans. Unbeknownst to them, however, they are being used as pawns in a game played by the Gods, and so Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves fleeing the city just ahead of an enormous fire, taking up with a barbarian, destroying a rather nasty temple, running into some invisible dragons, and falling over the edge of the Disc, all while being trailed by Twoflower’s sentient, loyal, and slightly murderous luggage. And all the time, the red star is looming ever closer to the disc, foretelling a terrible doom…
Review: I was pretty underwhelmed with this book. I still consider myself a relative newbie to Discworld (I’ve read… 3? 4? of Pratchett’s non-YA novels), but I have read the two novels that this book was based on, and the adaptation just didn’t stack up for me. A large part of this is that I think a lot of the humor gets lost in the adaptation. Most of the jokes (or at least most of the jokes that landed) were in the narration in the novel, not in the dialogue, so when the graphic novel format strips away everything BUT the dialogue, it strips away most of Pratchett’s dry pithy asides as well. The graphic novels are also very episodic – something from which the novels also suffered, but the problem is exacerbated in the graphic version, with very little transition on how characters get from one set-piece to the next. The art was fine – the style was not my favorite, I suspect because I’m more used to modern comics (these were originally published in pieces in the early 1990s, and they look oddly washed out in places – likely due to the hand coloring?) – but there were some nice panels and use of space as well. But I don’t really feel that they added much to what I already had in my imagination after reading the novels. In general, this was relatively inoffensive as far as adaptations go, and pretty faithful to the original, at least story-wise. But I don’t feel like it really added a new perspective, and the novels are definitely funnier. 3 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Only read it after having read the novels – the adaptation leaves a lot of the “connective tissue” of the story up to the reader. And then, really, only read it if you’re a Discworld completist – it’s not bad, but it’s not essential, either.
First Line: In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions… in an astral plane that was never meant to fly… see… …Great A’Tuin the turtle comes, swimming through the interstellar gulf.
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