Read: The Colour of Magic

As a result of a friends recommendation I already have read Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic some 15 years ago. Though I cannot remember wheter it was a German translation or the original I had a faint recollection of what the book is about. Having seen the TV adaption some time ago and having read the more recent Going Postal and Making Money I thought the Discworld novels would make a nice entry on my vacation reading list. I like regularity and structure, so I naturally start with Discworld novel one.

Now, during the last 15 years quite a bit changed and so did I and the way I perceive things. It is therefore not the funny, ironic style and cultural references of Pratchett’s that strikes me most. I first noticed that he really is a professional writer, his rhetoric includes all the moves that you would learn in an academic writing course. My second observation was that already in his first book I has some clever references to economic principles. This time it is the pitfalls of well intended but badly implemented (insurance) policies, how human behavior responses to economic incentives. In short, the unintended consequences of otherwise sound economic policies.