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3.3 out of 5 stars17
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(3 star).Show all reviews
on January 13, 2003
Eric is more of a Discworld novella than it is a novel. At 154 pages, it's not very substantive. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't a quality book. However, in this case, I'm sorry to say that Terry Pratchett dropped the ball a little bit. It's another Rincewind adventure, and like most of the other Rincewind books that I've read, it fails for the most part to entertain.
I've never been a fan of Rincewind or his luggage, which I know makes me unusual for a Discworld fan. Unfortunately, Eric continues the trend of sub-par Discworld adventures featuring the incompetent wizard. I just didn't find it that interesting or funny, and the main saving grace is that it's short. If it had been longer, I think my rating would have been less. The idea is clever, a parody of Faust with Rincewind unable to fulfill any of the functions that the devil does in the original play. The execution of it isn't even that bad, though it's not up to Pratchett's usual standards.
I guess my main problem with it is that Rincewind seems even a lesser part of things than he usually does. The luggage saves his bacon a couple of times, and the other times things just happen and outside forces end up dealing with things. I think he actually solves a problem himself once in the whole book. The concept of an observer who would rather be sitting home bored than actually taking part in all of these adventures may be a good one, but I don't find it very interesting. Because of that, Pratchett has to make the situation worth my while in order for me to like the book. Eric doesn't do that. There are amusing bits here and there, a wry comment or a funny situation, but as a whole it doesn't work for me.
Once again, Death gets the best part of the book, and he's only in it for two scenes. The part at the beginning of the book where the wizards attempt to call forth Death to tell them what's going on is hilarious, with it not working quite as the wizards planned. He always seems to get the best lines in any Discworld book. There are a few other parts of the book where I actually laughed (like where Rincewind becomes a living part of history by tripping over something and setting the city on fire), but the overall affect, for me anyway, was "ho-hum."
The thing that brings this book up to 3 stars, though, is the rendition of Hell that Pratchett has. Astfgl has made hell a boring place rather than a fiery place, because he's realized that souls can't really feel any pain, so eternal physical torment really isn't that bad when the soul can't feel anything. So he makes it intensely boring instead, with people chained to rocks and forced to listen to stories of hernia operations and vacations on the various circles of Hell. I found this idea very inspired, and had to laugh at quite a few of the bits here. I don't want to ruin any of the jokes here, since they were most of the funny ones in the book, but suffice it to say that Hell was the best part of the book, and the only real saving grace.
The book's ending, though, is as uninspired as the rest of the book. It's a bit anti-climactic and not very well-done. Once again, Rincewind is saved by the actions of outside forces (not even the luggage saves him this time) and things start looking up for him again. Pratchett gives a rundown of what's happened to the various places that Rincewind and Eric have visited, but even that is only mildly amusing and not up to Pratchett's normal standards.
I know there are fans of Rincewind out there. I've read a few reviews, and even they think that this is one of Pratchett's weaker efforts. If you're a fan of his, you may enjoy this book, though I would suggest checking it out from the library rather than buying it. If you're not a fan of his, than you may want to skip this one (unless you're like me, and want to read every Discworld book out there). Thankfully, it's short, so you won't spend too much of your life with this one.
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on July 7, 2001
So-Rincewind likes running from danger... we know that. So now he's running through the Dungeon Dimensions. The fact that a teenage demonologist wannabe has him on a leash doesn't seem to slow him down all that much.
It's Pratchett who slows down his pace in this book. There's little new in character development, mainly because Rincewind has little character at this point to develop (and had little character to start with!). Some reviewers think that this is a negative point-I disagree. Still, overall the book is too short on development. There's a nice parody of the Trojan wars that sets up Rincewind for an encounter with his Counterweight Cousin later on-so at best, this is a book of continuation.
It appears that Prachett didn't have many concepts to develop, and that's a shame. Considering all the people who'll eventually end up in Hell, it would seem he'd have lots of material.
It still has Pratchett's humor-but this time it's a bit dry. OK read, and keep it in your collection. Otherwise, a bit of a yawner.
Heavens to... Murgatroyd!
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on October 25, 2002
The fake title (Faust) says it all. The inept "wizard" Eric tries to summon a demon and accidentally pulls Rincewind back from the Dungeon Dimesions. I admit that the main purpose is to bring back Rincewind. And the story is very short - but there really is only one thread. The best points in the story are the parts about hell (funny place) and about the take off on the Trojan War (especially Lavaeolus, the "rincer of winds"). Get the book at the library and read it: you won't be disappointed. And if you are, it's short and over quickly. I still say that the part about Lavaeolus is worth it by itself. It's always funny to read about Rincewind and his ancestors (or most anything else about him).
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on September 9, 2002
Only fairly funny are rather damning words when applied to any work by Pratchett who is one of the most amusing writers alive. Usually quite funny while being profound and dealing with some of existence's questions, Eric is one of the novels that is not a can't-put-it-down experience. Yes, some nice commentary about the hellishness of modern management. Yes, Rincewind and the Luggage once again run for their lives. It's the sort of novel one must read because it is Pratchett and there are some enjoyable moments. Because it is Pratchett it's better than loads of other things one might read- it's just not the best Pratchett. But of course, worth a read just because.
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on January 26, 2003
Mr. Pratchett is one of the funniest authors alive. This book, however, number nine in his laugh-out-loud discworld series, is a dissapointment. It's not the main character's fault (Rincewind the wizard is a very funny character in some of his other books). The plot, however, is kind of, well, [boring], and his writing is sub-par. My advice? Skip it, unless you want to read it just for completness
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on June 26, 2002
This book is merely OK. It's a fun, short read. But, it's a very shallow, linear plot. I'd guess that its sole purpose is to be a vehicle for the return of Rincewind. Read it if you've got nothing better to do. But, if you skip it, you only miss the mechanism of how Rincewind got back.
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on November 16, 2000
Im not too sure what the point of this book was. OK, we needed to get Rincewind out of the Dungeon Dimensions, but this book seemed like a filler so PTerry had more time to write Moving Pictures. The Pratchett magic wasn't in this one, but I did like some of the bits with the demons.
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Engaging escapism combined with Pratchett's customary wit and prodigious imagination. In this installment we return to the misadventures of Rincewind who finds himself the captive demon of an angst-filled adolescent on a quest for world-domination and self-gratification.
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on October 29, 2001
not as good as some of the others but it could be worse. Rincewind is the main charecter so it's pretty funny. Not really nessecery to read in the discworld series but it helps if you want to get all the jokes.
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