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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Named as one of the BBC's 100 most inspiring novels.

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is....

 In the beginning there was...a turtle.

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different.

Particularly as it’s carried though space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown). It plays by different rules.

But then, some things are the same everywhere. The Disc’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the world’s first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land.

Unfortunately, the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard.

The Discworld novels can be listened to in any order but The Colour of Magic is the first book in the Wizards series.

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

Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby

Browse more of our novels of Discworld.
Click here to see all the titles in our Terry Pratchett collection.
©1983 Terry Pratchett (P)1995 and 2007 ISIS Publishing Ltd and Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Colour of Magic

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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!

8 people found this helpful

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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!

6 people found this helpful

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  • 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 people found this helpful

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Great book, narration quality varied

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

4 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Neat, but oh so confusing.

Terry Pratchett's lack of chapters but intertwining stories is fun. As a whole, it is a cool story but often found myself rewinding to figure out what is going on, . Recording/performance style bugged me a little bit - made for frequent change of volume levels.

1 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

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

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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 person found this helpful

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A fantastic book ruined by a horrible performance

The audio for this book sounds like he's reading it from an underground tunnel. It's full of echo which makes it hard to understand what the reader is saying. Simply horrible service done to an amazing novel. Couldn't even finish the first chapter.

Do yourself a favour and buy the novel instead.
This recording is a crime.

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  • 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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan P Dodds
  • 02-02-2020

Recorded in the toilet

It sounds like Mr Planer decided to record this while taking a poo. His voice reverberates around the porcelain like it’s in an echo chamber turned up to 11. The resulting audio is unlistenable. Such a shame. Loved the book though.

6 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

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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...

6 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

24 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Muharrem
  • 10-12-2018

love at first listen

From the fantastic reading to the voice acting, i never felt for a moment lost on who was speaking in the story nor did i struggle to understand the plot.
The book itself reminds me of a homebrew d&d. characters have personalities and flaws yet they made for a perfect action comedy

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tsara Vandercross
  • 21-01-2020

great story with terrible sound quality

I absolutely love this story. a fantastic start to a wonderful series. But wow... the audio quality is horrific. there are times when you can hear conversations happening in the background, there is a constant static and just overall lack of quality to the recording. I wouldn't be surprised of this was just a copy of an old audio tape converted to digital.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 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 person found this helpful

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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.

97 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Gillian Morgan
  • 23-11-2016

Sub standard

Terry has never done a bad book in my eyes and I enjoyed Nigels performance but the audio quality is terrible. Please address this as I would love to get the complete set but this is holding me back.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • 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!

58 people found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 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.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 people found this helpful

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