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The Colour of Magic

Discworld 1
Narrated by: Nigel Planer
Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (283 ratings)
Non-member price: $31.21
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Publisher's Summary

The Colour of Magic, the first novel in Terry Pratchett's wildly imaginative Discworld series, takes the listener on a remarkable journey. The magical planet of Discworld is supported by four massive elephants who stand on the back of the Great A'Tuin, a giant turtle swimming slowly through the mysterious interstellar gulf. The adventure begins when an eccentric expedition sets out to explore the planet. The group, including an ineffective wizard and a naive tourist (whose luggage moves on its own little legs) encounters dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and, of course "The Edge" of the planet.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

Browse more of our novels of Discworld.
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(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1995; Copyright © Terry Pratchett, 1983; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not convinced

What would have made The Colour of Magic better?

poor audio quality and the narrator was inconsistent

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

story was fine - but both the narrator and audio were distracting. I didn't finish listening to it.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Nigel Planer?

Stephen Fry is a superb reader and narrator - he would read these fabulously well!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • DDD
  • 18-09-2016

Poor sound quality

Poor sound quality and the story seemed to get lost with each new chapter. This was my first Terry Pratchett book, the story was entertaining but I doubt that I could sit through another book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Problem:The Sound Quality

Fantastic story! Absolutely love this book and bought it as an audiobook to listen to when driving... there lies the problem. The sound is very scratchy (at no fault of the vocal performer). Lots of background noise and very sketchy volume. Was not a joy to listen to at all.
If this was recorded properly it would have been fantastic!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, narration quality varied

Fantastic story, but narration quality varied at times. Loved the characters and their adventures.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A really good book, but average sound quality

Would you listen to The Colour of Magic again? Why?

No. I would read it, but I found the quality of the audio book to be too off putting.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was brilliant. Different voices, strong voice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but bad copy.

I rather enjoyed the story and would whole heartedly recommended it to anyone starting out into the disk world series. The one thing that let it down was the quality of the copy. Narration was excellent but sound quality was exceptionally poor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable

Very entertaining story, and works well as an audiobook. Nigel Planer does a really lovely job of reading this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

discworld!

I've waited for so long to read the first Discworld book. It didn't disappoint. Especially nice that Nigel Planer read it to me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pity about the Sound Quality

A throughly enjoyable, funny book. The narration is excellent. Unfortunately the sound quality is appalling! Varying volume, a constant hum and scratchiness. This terrible recording really detracts from a great book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun Audio Book

clever dialogue and very funny! Thanks Mr Pratchett for helping my drive home from work each day be amusing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nighteyes
  • 20-12-2011

if you don't know pratchett this is where to start

What did you love best about The Colour of Magic?

and wonderful rich story, with wellrounded characters and a humor that you can only appriciate and wonder at anyone ever thinking up

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Colour of Magic?

i will not ruin the moment for you, just remember when i say

Have you listened to any of Nigel Planer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nigel is a wellrounded reader and his performance is always stellar...
i've listened to more than one book simply because he was the one reading it

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

there already IS a movie based on this book...

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthias Hohn
  • 10-12-2013

poorest audio quality ever

Would you try another book from Terry Pratchett and/or Nigel Planer?

I want the whole series.

What other book might you compare The Colour of Magic to and why?

Terry Pratchett doesn't need any comparisions.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nigel Planer?

I actually can't really evaluate the narrator due to poor audio quality.

What character would you cut from The Colour of Magic?

none

Any additional comments?

Audible must be pretty desperate to even consider selling this audio book. The audio quality is the worst I have ever experienced.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-09-2013

Horrible audio quality

This was very difficult to listen to, and I couldn't take more than ten minutes of the recording.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Askew
  • 04-12-2014

As good as expected :)

Would you listen to The Colour of Magic again? Why?

I'm just getting started on the Discworld books, and I suspect it will be quite a while before I return to this first book in the series. I have a lot of listening ahead of me...

Any additional comments?

For me, the concern about audio quality turned out to be unfounded. One of the characters, and in fact the opening narration use an echo to create a particular soundscape. That can make it a little tricky to hear, given the age of the recording. The bulk of the recording is completely normal spoken word, with no problems.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DocRockulus
  • 20-10-2018

Great story but...

Everything about this was great, save for the recording quality.

It sounds almost as though it had been pulled from the original audio cassettes. The quality is also inconsistent, as it changes from chapter to chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 24-08-2018

Good story, reproduction overdue.

I love Discworld, and I hoped to be able to continue enjoying it after switching to audiobooks. Unfortunately the only unabridged version is in desperate need of remastering to be even slightly enjoyable. I have no problem with Planer as a storyteller, but I do have a problem hearing him over the background noise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ulrika
  • 18-02-2015

Good story, bad audio quality

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Storywise and performancewise, I have no complaints, but the audio quality was very uneven. It must have been transferred from som old cassette recordings, where some of the cassettes were of very poor quality.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Colour of Magic?

I really loved the optimistic and daring view of life that was displayed by the tourist, Twoflower. Death is also a very interesting character!

Which character – as performed by Nigel Planer – was your favorite?

I think it's a tie between Twoflower and Death.

Was The Colour of Magic worth the listening time?

Yes, despite the poor quality, I really enjoyed listening to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Reza
  • 03-08-2011

Horrible audio quality!

I could not listen to this book for more than 10 minutes without getting a headache. The audio quality is VERY poor, and it sounds like it was recorded in a public bathroom with tiled walls.....

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Philip A Costley
  • 26-09-2008

Great book poor recording

I love this book and the naration is great. The audio quality is poor though and there are distinct switches in tone at times.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • BE
  • 23-08-2011

Worst audio quality so far

Nigel Planer does his best to make this catastrophe worth the credit or money spent on it but even he is unable to save it. Truly horrible audio quality, sounds like he's standing in an echo chamber.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Frank
  • 29-07-2014

Audio - white noise

Would you consider the audio edition of The Colour of Magic to be better than the print version?

No.

What three words best describe Nigel Planer’s performance?

Excellent, cunning, clever. Alas, the audio quality is abysmal!

Any additional comments?

The audio quality of this recording is miserable. There is plenty of white noise throughout the recording which make this a very unpleasant experience.

63 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adam Leach
  • 10-12-2016

I love this book but...

Colour of Magic is a great book but the sound quality of this audiobook is dreadful. Really not up to Audible's usual standard. I'm surprised by this and disappointed. Great story with good performance from Nigel Planer too. If you have never read or heard Terry Pratchett before don't start here because it will put you off.

37 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • 17-06-2017

In the beginning...

As the first in the Discworld series, this is arguably the most important book of the lot (would the others have happened without this one?). But honestly, it's not the best.
The brilliant style and clarity of the later books is yet to settle down, and this - by comparison - is a little muddling.
However, a poor book by Terry Pratchett is a very great deal better than the best work of many other authors.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to complete the Discoworld series, but for anyone new to Discworld - I'd suggest starting a few books in and come back to this one once you've fallen in love with them.

I very much enjoy Nigel Planar's performance, although the sound quality isn't A1 - it sounds like a recording of a cassette playing on the other side of the room.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-05-2014

Disappointing

Having been captivated by the Guards series from Discworld, this was disappointing. However it may have been better with a better delivery and recording - strange interval noises were very distracting and an echo on some sections may have sounded a good idea but did not work and made it difficult to hear.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Martin
  • 29-07-2011

story & narration great -poor audio quality

unfortunately this gave poor sound reproduction. not sure why but spoiled my enjoyment (a bit). Nigel Planer was perfect the narrator for this wacky tale. It felt like hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, only with magic instead of space travel.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jerry
  • 23-03-2012

Might have been a good book..crackling put me off

This is not a quality recording. Audible should not be selling this substandard audiobook. The story might be wonderful but I gave up after 15 minutes because the recording is so bad - I missed words and phrases. Sort it out Audible!

41 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-08-2014

Pretty good story - low quality recording

What did you like best about The Colour of Magic? What did you like least?

I like the humour, the light heartedness, and many of the characters. Also enjoy Planer's performance. I liked the quality of the recording the least. This is not up to Audibles usual standard, unfortunately.

If you’ve listened to books by Terry Pratchett before, how does this one compare?

I listened to The Light Fantastic right after this one, and I must say I liked the second book better than I liked The Colour of Magic. I can't quite pinpoint why, I'm afraid. Maybe I like the characters from the second part better... Or maybe the author has more room to be playful and creative when the stage is set and the protagonists introduced. Either way - the first one is alright, but The Light Fantastic is what convinces me that this series deserves its popularity.

Which character – as performed by Nigel Planer – was your favourite?

I think Planer did a brilliant job with all of the characters - brought them to life and kept them apart. I must, however, say that the quality of the recording isn't very good. As someone who's native language is not English, I occationally couldn't even make out what word it was, due to the low quality production.

Was The Colour of Magic worth the listening time?

Absolutely, but the story gets better in the second book.

Any additional comments?

I've finally gotten started on this series - and I can't wait to continue. I enjoy how Pratchett is playing around with fantasy clichés.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 13-04-2013

Fantastic book and great narration...

The Discworld series is amazing. The dozens of books in the series can be daunting to tackle, but this first venture into the amazing world Pratchett has created stands on its own and can be enjoyed without ever moving on to any of the other books. Thankfully they found an excellent voice for the story in Nigel Planer, whose enthusiasm and changes in mannerisms from character to character give the story life. Well done.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 01-10-2009

the turtle moves for the first time

The first in Terry Pratchett's amazing discworld series, in which we meet Wrincewind, the failed wizard and champion runner away, and twoflower, a tourist in a world where most people don't even know what a tourist is, and of course who could forget the luggage? no one since it follows behind on its hundreds of little legs. This book, while not the best of Pratchett's works, is nevertheless the best introduction to the amazing discworld, and a marvelous parody of all worlds, including our own. Don't worry too much about following the plot of this one, just relax and enjoy the fun of a journey through a world where nothing is quite as you'd expect it to be. For the best reading of this book, I would recommend the abridged version, read by the unbeatable Tony Robinson. However if you're like me, and think there's no point in hearing a book unless you hear all of it, then Nigel Planer also does a very good job with the unabridged version. I'm not good at writing reviews, but I love every Terry Pratchett book I've ever read, and I have a great affection for this one since it's the first in the discworld series, and the discworld series truly is one of the greatest literary achievments of our time in my opinion. This book is as I said, mainly a parody of all things fantasy, particularly of fairytales and legends. But like all the discworld books, it contains an interesting sprinkling of satire and comment, but above all, it's an exciting and fun story to read, perfect if you want to unwind from a hard day, I've even heard that the first part of the book is a great help in sending you off to sleep. So in conclusion, if you enjoy fantasy, or even if you don't, please give this book a try, I feel confident that The Colour Of Magic, and indeed the rest of the discworld series has something for everyone

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 02-09-2008

A magical good read!

This is one film I won?t need to go an see - the book is so well read by Nigel Planer that it is almost as if I have seen the characters as they lurch from one adventure to the next. If you like fantasy with a good seasoning of humour, imagination and trickery, this is the book for you!

22 of 27 people found this review helpful