Published by Harper, HarperCollins on first published 1990
Narrator: NIgel Planner
Length: 3 hrs and 14 mins
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, General
Reading Challenges: Author Love, Terry Pratchett - Discworld
Discworld's only demonology hacker, Eric, is about to make life very difficult for the rest of Ankh-Morpork's denizens. This would-be Faust is very bad...at his work, that is. All he wants is to fulfill three little wishes:to live forever, to be master of the universe, and to have a stylin' hot babe.
But Eric isn't even good at getting his own way. Instead of a powerful demon, he conjures, well, Rincewind, a wizard whose incompetence is matched only by Eric's. And as if that wasn't bad enough, that lovable travel accessory the Luggage has arrived, too. Accompanied by his best friends, there's only one thing Eric wishes now -- that he'd never been born!
Another Rincewind! Although this is completely separate story from many of the Discworld stories, it is in the Rincewind world. Rincewind is a special kind of wizzard (misspelled intentionally although I’m not sure if Rincewind realizes it’s misspelled, I don’t think he does), and is constantly in trouble. His extremely lucky, albeit dumb luck, and tends to get out of the worst situations in the strangest ways.
“At least nothing particularly dreadful was happening to him right now. Probably it was only a matter of time.”
In the last book with Rincewind, Sourcery, Rincewind just sort of poofs out. Can’t go into how because that would be a major spoiler for that one, but if you read it, you’ll see and you’ll laugh because he’s just… Rincewind.
Eric, on the other hand, is a child trying to summon demonic beings to do favors for him. Sort of like the genie in the bottle thing. Three wishes will be granted sort of believer.
“the whole point of the wish business was to see to it that what the client got was exactly what he asked for and exactly what he didn’t really want.”
In other words, Eric is also a bit special, but he’s young, so Rincewind tends to think he’s just naive. So much of what happens in the book goes right over Eric’s head and Rincewind is not going to be the one to explain it to him!
On a separate note, I love how Terry Pratchett explains the no parents thing here. Eric is just in his room doing Ericy things. There’s no reason for his parents to get involved or to be curious why he’s in there for so long. At least the boy is at home, even if he is drawing huge occult marks all over his room. Rincewind even makes mention of this to him and how spoiled he is. Considering I absolutely hate books where the parents are nowhere to be found, I thought this was a brilliant way to explain a spoiled child getting into lots of trouble.
If you have read or ever seen a play on Faustus, this is basically the premise of this one, with the exception that Eric is young and doesn’t quite understand what he is trying to get himself into. Also, instead of summoning a demon to do his bidding or make a deal with, he summons Rincewind.
I’m not sure which is worse, really.
Moments in History
While trying to get away from Eric, Rincewind unwittingly takes them to various places, like Troy. Here again can be found Terry Pratchett’s insight into history as interesting and different! I love his take on how things went and how the universe actually works. Through his eyes, everything is just funnier and lighter.
This is not my favorite book of his, but only because he sets the bar so damn high! Eric is laugh out loud hilarious though. It is also much shorter than many of the other Discworld books. Easy to read, easy to laugh at, easy to love.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: