Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eric by Terry Pratchett

by Sir Terry Pratchett
Millennium, 2000
155 pages

There's not a lot to say, since this is both barely an entire novel and also one I enjoyed thoroughly. This is a short little book, but it contains one very important detail: Rincewind is back! He goes from the frying pan of the Dungeon Dimensions to the fire of Hell, with some random side-trips in between, thanks to a young demonologist named Eric. This is very much a "be careful what you wish for" story, with a bit of time travelling and the Luggage.

This story is also a little slyly poking fun at the trend towards making certain public institutions conform to the economic business model; it's pointing out that efficiency isn't everything, for example. Of course, in this case the public institution is Hell, which makes the whole story suitably absurd.

At any rate, it's a Rincewind book, and I love Rincewind, and I'm happy to see him back on the Disc. He's his same loveable, cowardly, speedy and incredibly lucky/unlucky self. It's always a pleasure to hang out with him. He's such a unique character and so... I don't know, "consistent" isn't effusive enough for what I'm trying to say, but I have never once seen him step out of character. His character is note-perfect, all the time. This doesn't mean that he's predictable, but that he's entirely believable and real to me.

I know this is short; but what else to say? The other characters are just as bright, if less familiar and fleshed out; the story was engaging and entertaining. A perfect cottage afternoon read, which is what it was for me. Not sure whether it would make a good introduction to Discworld, as I don't think it has the same full detail as some of the other Discworld books; it also presupposes a certain familiarity with Rincewind, I think. That said, read by the sort of person who doesn't always need to know exactly what's going on, I think this would be a fine intro. And it's definitely recommended for fans of Rincewind.


Jill said...

Glad you liked it! I'm looking forward to this one - it's coming up next for me in my series read, and of course I love Rincewind. :-)

Ana S. said...

You've reminded me of how much I really enjoyed Eric. It might not be one of my favourites, but it's still wonderful.

Unknown said...

Darla -- it won't take long! It's so good to have Rincewind back.

Nymeth -- It's that whole "Pratchett is like pie" thing. :) And you know, I was realizing that as a short book, it's very tightly crafted. Everything fits together very well.