Terry Tuesday: Eric (#9)

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This is yet another one that I haven’t re-read in a very, very long time. This re-read 1-41 is making me feel like a phony Discworld enthusiast.

This is a really short book, it’s only 3 hours on audio and you can definitely get through it in a sitting. It’s another Rincewind novel.

There’s a mysterious invisible “being” that’s been running and screaming through Anhk Morpork as well as Unseen University wreaking havoc and destruction wherever they go. The Wizards are trying to find out where the haunting is coming from, assuming that the invisible being must be a ghost. What else would it be? Eight of the High Wizards decided to summon Death because he’s the only being in the world who knows what’s happening everywhere at every time. Death tells the Wizards that the cause of the outbreak wasn’t a ghost, it’s Rincewind. Back in the book Sorcery, Rincewind gets transported to the Dungeon Dimension and is now trying to find his way back. Rincewind saved the University back in Sourcery, but even if you haven’t read it the events are summarized in a way you understand what’s going on.

Enter Eric, a very young and amateur summoner who wanted to summon a demon, but instead, he summons Rincewind. He starts to make demands of Rincewind like chests of gold, and eternal life, absolutely baffled that Rincewind isn’t capable of any of that. Demonologists aren’t well regarded by anyone, even the Wizards. Despite Wizards craving power, they know it’s best not to deal with demons to try and get it. Demonologists tend to be a pale, socially inept and creepy group. Rincewind accidentally discovers that he does indeed have powers he didn’t have previously, he can now perform magic at the snap of his fingers, and he has a moment of uncertainty – is he dead? Has he turned into a demon? What happened? He certainly has never had magic fingers before this.

Despite it being a shorter book, the world was expanded a little bit, going into the differences between the dungeon dimension and it’s monstrous inhabitants, and the various hells that the demons reside in. It turns out that you only go to hell if you believed in your heart you should go there – and you can’t think that at all if you’ve never heard of Hell. It’s important to shoot evangelists on sight. Now that Rincewind has powers he didn’t know he possessed (teleportation and time travel), we also get to see some new kingdoms when he transports himself and Eric to the kingdom of Tezuma ruled by Muzuma, and then to Ephebia and then again to the beginning of the world. Long story short, when Eric and Rincewind made it to the creation of the universe it turns out that Rincewind kicked off life on the Disc, who would have thought?

As always, Rincewind is the type to run away from a problem, he’s gotten quite good at it. However, I think this re-read has done some good for my relationship with this cowardly Wizard. I’m finding myself warming to him more than I had before and it’s been a satisfying change in opinion. I’m starting to enjoy how everyone else deals with Rincewind rather than trying to identify with him or like him as a person. It’s entertaining the shenanigans he manages to get himself into, and how he manages to haphazardly find his way back out again. I didn’t really warm to Eric, however, he’s a young and spoiled character that wants all the best parts of life handed to him on a plate. He’s also whiny.

Audience:

  • comic fantasy
  • haphazard heroes
  • time travel
  • demons/hell
  • old school wizards
  • lots of magic
  • Satire of Faust

Ratings:

  • Plot: 11/15
  • Characters: 12/15
  • World Building: 13.5/15
  • Writing: 13/15
  • Pacing: 11/15
  • Originality: 13/15
  • Personal Enjoyment: 6/10

Final Score: 79.5/100

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