Eric by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eric, first published 1990, is the ninth discworld book, and the first published as illustrated novel. Sadly, the Kindle version I was reading included neither the illustrations by Josh Kirby, nor the alternating page titles of Eric and
If you've read the older books revolving around the inept wizard, you already know that he has vanished to the dungeon dimensions in Sourcery. Now he gets a chance to come back - a one in a million chance, to be exact. They always work.
Eric is only a boy, but he is obsessed with summoning a demon to get three wishes: to live forever, to get the most beautiful woman of the world, and to be the ruler of the world. Instead of a demon, though, it's Rincewind who appears in the circle and has to play the role of a demon. He is quite surprised, in fact, that snapping his fingers has any effect at all...
Oh, and the effect it has! Rincewind and Eric are taken to an empire in Klatch, where the people are waiting to meet the ruler of the world - to complain. Only, complaining in an annoyed tone of voice is not their style, they're more the torture and kill types. They are rescued by the Luggage, of course, and with another finger snapping end up in a big wooden horse.
In Pyramids, the thing with the wooden horse was already extensively covered, but here's a short summary: Ephebe and Tsort are Terry Pratchett's parody on the Trojan war. In this war, though, the civilians try selling food to fighting soldiers and the Luggage gets to chase a lot of people. Before snapping his fingers again, Rincewind meets his ancestor Lavaeolus, who invented the horse and all tactics surrounding it. He can't bring himself to tell him that a long, 10 year journey lies before him...
Then Eric and Rincewind end up at the beginning of the universe, to have a nice chat with the creator (who creates an egg and cress sandwich for the wizard). To live forever means to start out at the beginning... But not with Rincewind! He makes Eric reverse his summoning of him, taking them both to hell.
How they escape from there as well, and what bureaucracy can do to hell, I'll leave up to you to find out.
So, what can I say about the book? It had Rincewind, the Luggage, a stupid teenager, Death, demons... Some references reminding me of Good Omens and a lot of travelling to strange places. I know some people really disliked Eric, but I enjoyed it as much as the other discworld novels I read so far.
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