Eric (Discworld Series #9)

( 58 )

Overview

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 ...

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Eric (Discworld Series #9)

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Overview

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!

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Editorial Reviews

Roland Green
The latest in Pratchett's Discworld series plays a variation on the Faust theme. Eric is a singularly inept sorcerer who conjures up an even more inept wizard, Rincewind, and a sentient (also treacherous, vindictive, and unruly) footlocker named, of course, the Luggage. Not having got anything like what he bargained for, Eric is fated to go through the usual zany ordeals of a Pratchett protagonist, until he wishes he'd never been born. Nor do things really all work out in the end, even if Eric is better off than he expected to be through most of the book. The Discworld books are building a following that is beginning to resemble that of Piers Anthony's Xanth stories, although it can be said that Pratchett is rather more sophisticated than Anthony. In any case, there should be a lot of readers for this one. Fantasy collections, provide accordingly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380821211
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Discworld Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 339,703
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



The bees of Death are big and black, they buzz low and somber, they keep their honey in combs of wax as white as altar candles. The honey is black as night, thick as sin and sweet as treacle.

It is well known that eight colors make up white. But there are also eight colors of blackness, for those that have the seeing of them, and the hives of Death are among the black grass in the black orchard under the black-blossomed, ancient boughs of trees that will, eventually, produce apples that...put it like this...probably won't be red.

The grass was short now. The scythe that had done the work leaned against the gnarled bole of a pear tree. Now Death was inspecting his bees, gently lifting the combs in his skeletal fingers.

A few bees buzzed around him. Like all beekeepers, Death wore a veil. It wasn't that he had anything to sting, but sometimes a bee would get inside his skull and buzz around and give him a headache.

As he held a comb up to the gray light of his little world between the realities there was the faintest of tremors. A hum went up from the hive, a leaf floated down. A wisp of wind blew for a moment through the orchard, and that was the most uncanny thing, because the air in the land of Death is always warm and still.

Death fancied that he heard, very briefly, the sound of running feet and a voice saying, no, a voice thinking oshitoshitoshit, I'm gonna die I'm gonna die I'm gonna DIE!

Death is almost the oldest creature in the universe, with habits and modes of thought that mortal man cannot beginto understand, but because he was also a good beekeeper he carefully replaced the comb in its rack and put the lid on the hive before reacting.

He strode back through the dark garden to his cottage, removed the veil, carefully dislodged a few bees who had got lost in the depths of his cranium, and retired to his study.

As he sat down at his desk there was another rush of wind, which rattled the hour-glasses on the shelves and made the big pendulum clock in the hall pause ever so briefly in its interminable task of slicing time into manageable bits.Death sighed, and focused his gaze.

There is nowhere Death will not go, no matter how distant and dangerous. In fact the more dangerous it is, the more likely he is to be there already.

Now he stared through the mists of time and space.

Oh, he said. It's him.

It was a hot afternoon in late summer in Ankh-Morpork, normally the most thriving, bustling and above all the most crowded city on the Disc. Now the spears of the sun had achieved what innumerable invaders, several civil wars and the curfew law had never achieved. It had pacified the place.

Dogs lay panting in the scalding shade. The river Ankh, which never what you might call sparkled, oozed between its banks as if the heat had sucked all the spirit out of it. The streets were empty, oven-brick hot.

No enemies had ever taken Ankh-Morpork. Well, technically they had, quite often; the city welcomed free-spending barbarian invaders, but somehow the puzzled raiders always found, after a few days, that they didn't own their own horses anymore, and within a couple of months they were just another minority group with its own graffiti and food shops.

But the heat had besieged the city and triumphed over the walls. It lay over the trembling streets like a shroud. Under the blowlamp of the sun assassins were too tired to kill. It turned thieves honest. In the ivy-covered fastness of Unseen University, premier college of wizardry, the inmates dozed with their pointy hats over their faces. Even bluebottles were too exhausted to bang against windowpanes. The city siesta'd, awaiting the sunset and the brief, hot, velvet surcease of the night.

Only the Librarian was cool. He was also swinging and hanging out.

This was because he'd rigged up a few ropes and rings in one of the sub-basements of the Unseen University Library'the one where they kept the, um, erotic books. In vats of crushed ice. And he was dreamily dangling in the chilly vapor above them.

All books of magic have a life of their own. Some of the really energetic ones can't simply be chained to the bookshelves; they have to be nailed shut or kept between steel plates. Or, in the case of the volumes on tantric sex magic for the serious connoisseur, kept under very cold water to stop them from bursting into flames and scorching their severely plain covers.

The Librarian swung gently back and forth above the seething vats, dozing peacefully.

Then the footsteps came out of nowhere, raced across the floor with a noise that scraped the raw surface of the soul, and disappeared through the wall. There was a faint, distant scream that sounded like ogodsogodsogods, this is IT, I'm gonna DIE.

The Librarian woke up, lost his grip, and flopped into the few inches of tepid water that was all that stood between The Joy of Tantric Sex with Illustrations for the Advanced Student, by A Lady, and spontaneous combustion.

And it would have gone badly for him if the Librarian had been a human being. Fortunately, he was currently an orangutan. With so much raw magic sloshing around in the Library it would be surprising if accidents did not happen sometimes, and one particularly impressive one had turned him into an ape. Not many people get the chance to leave the human race while still alive, and he'd strenuously resisted all efforts since to turn him back. Since he was the only librarian in the universe who could pick up...

Eric. Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Great Fun

    Terry Pratchett is a great wit and comes up with really inventive spoofs of our world. Eric is just another example. Of course, if you've invented your own universe (Discworld) you;ve given yourself to do mirror image twisted humor on our world if you want. But he also can turn a great phrase. I've read about 12-15 of his novels and they never fail to satisfy me. If you like fantasy with a sense of the wacky. This is your guy. Since he's written dozens of them, you can go along for a long time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    Hallo, Rincewind! This book serves as a sequel to Sourcery,

    Hallo, Rincewind!




    This book serves as a sequel to Sourcery, which left our favourite wizard trapped in the Dungeon Dimensions. It concerns a pimply faced demonologist called Eric, trying to summon forth a demon, to grant him three wishes. Instead, he summons Rincewind.




    The thing is, it's an oddity. It seems to exist solely as an excuse to bring Rincewind back. I'm not sad that Rincewind is back, I like the little inept wizard; it's just that it seems that the book wasn't thought through properly. It's less than half the length of most other Pratchett novels. For someone new to the series, I wouldn't recommend it because it doesn't do a very good job of introducing the characters. As a continuation of the Discworld saga, it does nothing to advance the world. Oh, there are a couple of promising leads in the beginning, involving the wizards of Unseen University and our other favourite character, Death, but they never materialise. It's just disjointed.




    Still, it's got Rincewind, and it's got Pratchett's trademarked humour, so I quite liked it. But honestly, that was the only difference between a two and a three star rating, for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    Amazing Parody!

    Having read Faust in English class in school, I couldn't stop laughing at the way Pratchett manages to turn every aspect of the fall of Faust (Eric) into a comic romp. I would strongly advise it to all in need of a good laugh.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2003

    Lord of the Disc

    Pratchett is a charming author with humor, talent, and a wicked imagination. The characters are silly yet clever at the same time. Imagine a world more creative than Harry Potter's land of majic, a beginning of time with a logical, sensible creator (not THE creator of course) and a village of the damned that's remarkably similar to the comic Dilbert (NOT THE MEMO!!!). Pratchett is a classic humor sci fi writer. Never since Douglas Adams have I been so drawn to this unique and entertaining genre of books. Well done, ol' chap!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    When I spend $7 on a book, I expect to get a whole book, not a q

    When I spend $7 on a book, I expect to get a whole book, not a quarter of one. I love Terry Pratchett's work and have most of them. I was eagerly expecting something the same size as most of the others. But 160 pages, a quarter of which are non-story matter like reviews? It's like cutting into a big thick apple pie and finding a huge void over a thin film of apple. Not nice, Mr. Pratchett. Either expand this one or remove it from your available books, instead of deceiving your adoring public!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Se.x slave

    Walks in cuffed up

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Kaylee

    I missss you

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Rm

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    Eric

    Yep hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Dylan

    Anyone here?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    K

    Have fun

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    Posted November 29, 2011

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