Mark Reads ‘The Color of Magic’: Part 4

In the fourth part of The Color of Magic, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Oh my god, what have y’all done to me? What have I gotten myself into? OH MY GOD.

I’m actually surprised that we’ve already reached the opening scene of this book, that we’ve finally learned why Rincewind told Weasel and Bravd that Twoflower was responsible for Morpork turning into a flaming mess. That’s not quite true, but I am endlessly amused by Twoflower’s influence here because HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND HIM. I mean, I almost want to call this a comedy of errors, but I don’t know that this fits the genre perfectly. However, Twoflower’s naïve nature and his kindness cause complete and utter chaos around him, and he has no idea. None. NONE AT ALL.

The people in Broadman’s bar all highly distrust one another, and I think that is what fuels most of the anarchy in this chapter. Ymor and Broadman are at odds with one another, and Broadman admits that he’s clearly going to cheat Twoflower out of his insurance premium, and OH MY GOD, THE EXACT OPPOSITE HAPPENS. Because Broadman didn’t plan on Zlorf arriving, or on Rincewind trying to rescue Twoflower, or Death showing up. DEATH SHOWS UP. LITERALLY.

More on that in a bit. No matter how much I’d paid attention to the book so far, there’s no way I could have guessed that Rerpf would have shown up, leading a group of local merchants in the Guild of Merchants and Traders. Who just formed. LIKE A FEW HOURS EARLIER. Oh, and they’re here to protect Twoflower, because they want tourism to improve in Morpork! Which is now the funniest thing in the universe to me because GUESS WHAT HAPPENS TO MORPORK? I mean, y’all, Morpork burned to the ground. I don’t think that any tourists are going to go there now. The irony is too much. But seriously, this whole book is too much, isn’t it?

Because holy shit, Death. The Death. CAPITALIZED BECAUSE IT’S THE ACTUAL DEATH. And I just can’t help but giggle at the idea that Death is super casual with Rincewind enough that this happens:

BUT WHY ARE YOU HERE? (Boom, boom went crypt lids, int he worm haunted fastnesses under old mountains…)

“Um, why not?” said Rincewind.

BLESS THIS BOOK ALREADY. So! Apparently, Rincewind was supposed to die five hundred miles away from Morpork that night, but the system got messed up? How? How is that possible? And why is Death happy about what’s happening that night??? STOP TEASING ME, BOOK. STOP IT.

So. The bag. Oh my god, Rincewind throws bags of coins into the Drum in order to get the Luggage to break in through the front door to TERRIFY EVERYONE. It works so beautifully because truly, this isn’t Twoflower’s chaos; it’s Rincewind’s. He was the one who got the Luggage into that room. (IT HAS A TONGUE. WHY DOES THAT FREAK ME OUT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.) But I still can’t ignore that while all these parties face off against one another, Twoflower is up in the rafters, watching the impending fight with glee. Okay, he’s so adorable that I can’t cope with the thought of this. I mean, when Withel and Rincewind fight outside the Broken Drum just after this, Twoflower intervenes and then asks, “Am I doing this right?” He is more concerned about blending in and being authentic than saving his own life. It’s part of the understated humor of this book so far, something I’m enjoying a lot because seriously, I haven’t done many comedic pieces for Mark Reads! I think John Dies at the End counts, no? (Though that book is also unfairly terrifying, too, so don’t go reading it expecting it to be only hilarious. It’s constantly nightmare-inducing.) And by gods, there have been so many moments that made me laugh, most of them only when I gave the line some thought. And then there’s this brief exchange, too:

Broadman went to throw the taper down the steps. His hand paused in midair. He looked at the taper, his brow furrowing. Then he turned around and held the taper up to illuminate the scene. It didn’t shed much light, but it did give the darkness a shape…

“Oh, no–” he breathed.

BUT YES, said Death.

I mean, there’s a whole section where Rincewind finds out that Twoflower thought HE WAS GETTING ALONG WITH ALL THE BANDITS AND THIEVES. And this is the best possible response:

Rincewind started to correct him, then realized he didn’t know how to begin.

Because Twoflower fundamentally doesn’t understand anything about this place. Oh my god, it’s too much. He doesn’t even realized that he got Broadman to pay him two hundred rhinu, which is a goddamn fortune in Morpork. His cluelessness honestly gives me life.

And so we catch up with the story in real time as Rincewind finishes telling Bravd and the Weasel the story of how Morpork came to be set aflame. (Well, there’s also that hilarious little aside about the insurance policy becoming a god and being studied.) I was very confused by the little exchange between Bravd and the Weasel regarding the golden disc that the Weasel stole from Twoflower. Why does he deny that he broke it? I don’t get it. But mostly, I don’t understand where the story can go from here. This is both exciting and mildly frightening. There’s more. SO MUCH MORE. And I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

The original text contains the word “mad.”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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