Hello again on this grey and rainy Thursday!
I’ve another review for you 🙂
Eric is the Discworld’s only demonology hacker. The trouble is, he’s not very good at it. All he wants is the usual three wishes: to be immortal, rule the world and have the most beautiful woman fall madly in love with him. The usual stuff. But what he gets is Rincewind, and Rincewind’s Luggage into the bargain. Terry Pratchett’s hilarious take on the Faust legend stars many of the Discworld’s’ most popular characters in an outrageous adventure that will leave Eric wishing once more – this time, quite fervently, that he’d never been born .
Eric is the ninth installment in Terry Pratchett’s remarkable Discworld series. It is also the fourth featuring the character Rincewind. While most of the series works as standalone novels, this is one that you might consider reading only after Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and Sourcery.
That being said, the following review is SPOILER-FREE!
This story is about Eric, a demonology hacker who learns the hard way about the fickle nature of language and the manifold ways in which words can be manipulated and interpreted. Basically, he makes wishes, but fails to specify the demands. What follows are harrowing adventures from a human-sacrifice-happy tribe to the very beginning of the universe.
The book presents itself as a story about Eric and a parody of the Faust legend, but the narrative itself ends up focusing less on him and more on Rincewind. As these two characters struggle to survive, side-stories with demons take precedence and, by the end, it comes to light that this story was even less about Eric than one might have been led to believe it was. It’s difficult to say anything more without spoiling, but plot wise the narrative meanders a bit too much between these two stories vying to be the predominant thread.
That isn’t to say that what does fill these pages isn’t diverting fun! It’s always a given that Pratchett’s Discworld antics are humorous and witty. Rincewind and Eric bicker and squabble, two characters with very distinct notions abut life. One survives by running from danger, one is looking for an adventure. They are fun characters to spend time with and the brevity of the novel means that any other discrepancies are only minor issues.
Faust isn’t the only work to get the parody treatment. Pratchett finds a way of mingling in a number of other classics: Homer, Cervantes, Milton… Each to the benefit of the novel’s comedic tone.
While not my favourite novel, Eric continues to show that Pratchett’s work deserves to be delighted in. Sometimes you need to laugh. A Discworld novel can be the solution to that!
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,