Saturday, March 17, 2018

Book Review: The Colour of Magic and Purple Cow

Few days back, I had been to Blossoms, the used books store on Church Street. I picked up a copy of The Purple Cow and The Colour of Magic, which I recently finished reading. So, here goes the review for both of them:

The colour of magic is the first book in the Discworld series of books by Sir Terry Prachett. While I don't intend to read all 41 books in the series (just getting hold of each of them would be a costly affair for me in India), I have always been curious about Prachett's writings and finally picked up this book. The book follows the story of its hero Rincewind, who is actually a failed wizard and tries his best to be not a hero, and the adventures he has with the tourist TwoFlower, who doesn't have any sense of money or danger. The Discworld is set on a disc which rests on four elephants, who rotate the disc on the top of a giant turtle. The Discworld has its own system of magic and physics. The book is a classic work - it is full of imagination, comedy and goofyness. The story grows from one misfortune to another that Rincewind and Twoflower manage to survive, with occasionally Death failing at getting Rincewind convinced to die. The only spoilsport - the book ends with a cliffhanger, and thus it so makes you want to read the next book. Overall: 4.5/5

Purple Cow is a book by Seth Godin where in he talks about transforming your business by being remarkable. Overall, I found the book interesting, though there were definitely avenues where I would have liked to learn more. His analysis of how product launches and marketing worked in the Television era are spot on, and make for an interesting read on why they aren't as relevant today. Though, having been written in early 2000's. I did miss ideas related to internet and marketing over it. For example, he obviously doesn't talk of anything social media, and how virality is at times induced by the various social platforms of the day. One of the best part of the book is, that the book is full of very meaningful questions, that one can ask oneself so as to understand whether or not they are being remarkable. And most of these questions apply to both physical and internet products which any business can come to use. However, the book does leave you wishing for more since it only talks about ways in which you can identify if your product is remarkable - It is silent on ways and methodologies that one can use to come up with remarkable products. And to some extent, it borrows a lot of ideas from other books, so if you've already those books, it can come across as repetitive. Overall: 3/5