A friend recommended the podcast Myths & Legends, and I chose to start with the two-part episode on Faust and Mephistopheles, because I have a sculpture of those two that I absolutely love (pictured). The episode was great, and inspired me to reread Pratchett’s Eric, which has barely anything to do with the Faust story, but is still a damn fun ride.
Eric is a horny teen gothling, trying to summon a demon to grant him all his wishes. Rincewind is a terrible wizard (in that he’s bad at it, not that he’s a Great and Terrible Wizard) who was stuck in the Demon Dimensions in a previous book. Eric draws some fancy demon circles on the floor, does his summoning spell, and tada! Accidentally transports Rincewind back into the real world.
Eric starts demanding wishes, Rincewind starts explaining that he couldn’t possibly, until all of a sudden, he can. For reasons unknown, Rincewind now has the power to bamf the pair all over the world, teaching Eric Important Lessons of the “be careful what you wish for” sort. And of course, because it’s Rincewind, there’s lots of mortal peril and the Luggage. We take a trip to Hell and meet some demons, and everything wraps up improbably but neatly.
This feels like an earlier Pratchett (where is Ridcully???) without a lot of overlap with other characters and stories, but it’s lovely to dip a toe back into the Discworld and check in on the old gang.
Also, I feel like I should get extra credit for spelling “Mephistopheles” correctly without looking it up.