The book Eric is one of the first in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I have loved this series of books for around 11-12 years, and always try to read a new book when I come across one. The irreverent fantasy style mixed with satire of human technology, emotions, and behaviors appeals to me.
I had never read Eric mostly because I’ve never seen it anywhere before. However, when I went to the library a few weeks ago, it was there, so I picked it up to read. I was rather surprised at what I found.
Author: Terry Pratchett
Year Published: 1990
Genre: Satire Fantasy
Morality Rating: PG
Overall Rating: 3 stars
Honestly this book surprised me. I am not very familiar with the story of Faust, but what I do understand is that in the story, he makes a pact with the devil to encounter all worldly pleasures. Eric follows the same pattern, with experiences like meeting the most beautiful woman in the world, ruling the world, and living forever. But in typical Terry Pratchett style, it all happens in the most hilarious and absurd way possible.
This book contains some of the early Discworld characters, like Rincewind (who I’ve never liked), his luggage, and Death (who is probably my favorite Discworld character). Eric isn’t a deep character, and overall, he kind of feels hastily thrown together.
Eric was shorter than most of the other Discworld novels that I have read, and it seemed rushed to me. The clever insight and satire present in the other books in the series seemed choppy and random in Eric. This seems to be true for all of the original Discworld novels. I’m not sure if Terry Pratchett simply was not as good at writing back then, or if his editor was responsible for cutting the expounded ideas and thoughts that make his later books so enjoyable and rich.
I didn’t know that Eric was originally an illustrated novel. That might account for some of the choppiness of the book. I’d like to see the original illustrated version at some point.
On the whole, if you’re going to read a Discworld novel, I would advise skipping Eric. It does not showcase Terry Pratchett’s later talent like most of the other books in the series.
Have you read Eric? What did you think of the story?