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One vision of modern hell

Updated on January 27, 2014

...or a quasi-review of Terry Pratchett's 'Eric'

You thought Hell is fire, smoke and brimstone? It's probably Dante's fault. Actually, it can get much, much worse than that. Terry Pratchett describes it in detail, in his beautifully illustrated Discworld novel, Eric. Read on to find out more and remember - BE GOOD or else...

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Who the hell is Terry Pratchett?

My vision of Terry Pratchett

My vision of Terry Pratchett
My vision of Terry Pratchett

Disclaimer:

I've committed this drawing because I don't want to be A Bad Girl Who Uses Images Without Permission.

I'm sorry, Terry, I know I'm terrible at drawing!!

No, but let's be serious

OK.

Terry Pratchett is a bestselling British writer, creator of the Discworld and possibly the funniest man on planet Earth. There are (so far) 39 Discworld novels, with 39th, 'Snuff', released only in October last year, plus innumerable spin-offs. There's also few non-Discworld books.

If you ask me, Terry is the wisest creature that ever lived and I'm unofficially in love with him (never mind the 40 year age difference:).

What the hell is Discworld?

Discworld - mirror image of the Earth?

Discworld is a flat, round world, travelling through space on backs of four elephants, which in turn rest on a giant sea (star?) turtle.

After such a description you may find it hard to believe, but it is strikingly similar to our lovely Earth. Just as absurd, anyway, only slightly more fun - there are dragons, vampires, wizards and all other kinds of magical creatures.

It is hilarious, logical in its own twisted way and highly addictive.

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Discworld poll

Have you ever been to Discworld?

See results

Who the hell is Eric?

Well, in Terry's own words:

Demonologist. Midden Lane, Pseudopolis. Next door to the tannery.

Or, better still:

...a slim, dark-haired young man whose face would be a lot better when his acne cleared up.

Dossier:

Eric Thursley, 14, address: 13 Midden Lane, Pseudopolis, Sto Plains, The Discworld.

Occupation: self-proclaimed demonologist, relentlessly (and success-less-ly) continuing family tradition.

Hobbies: conjuring foul fiends from the deepest pit of Hell (and confused wizards, occasionally)

Pets: an irritating parrot, whose vocabulary consists mostly of 'wossname'

Essential features: voice-activated fear of Mum, extreme excitability triggered by young ladies (thought of)

Special achievemets: one-time Ruler of the World (or, to be precise, the tribe of Tezumen), being present at the creation of everything, journey to Hell and back

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If you want to buy 'Eric'...

The Illustrated Eric
The Illustrated Eric

The story starts from three wishes, ends up in Hell and is brilliant all the way through.

This particular edition will be a treat to all the booklovers. It is printed on high quality, glossy paper, handy in size and even has this ribbon-bookmark bit that I think all the books should have. It is illustrated with fantastic, imaginative illustrations by Josh Kirby (tip for advanced Discworld-ers: that's the guy who illustrated the earliest covers of the Discworld books).

In short, it's a pleasure to read, pleasure to hold and pleasure to have.

 

OK, but what about the Hell?

Welcome to Hell

Let me take you on a quick tour around the bottomless pit.

There are potted plants.

There is terrible music playing constantly.

Workers wear badges with names and slogans like 'How may I help?'

There are room dividers.

And coffee machines.

In fact, Hell looks very much like a modern office.

Oh, and while we are at coffee machines, here's another good quote from The Author himself (speaking as one tormented devil):

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We only used to drown people in lakes of cat's pee, we didn't make them buy it by the cup

What's so bad about it?

Boredom

Imagine - office for the eternity. No holidays, no end of working day, no lunch breaks. And you're never the boss.

Convinced?

Special treatment

Remember Sisyphus? The one who rolled a huge stone up a mountain but it always slipped out of his hands just before the summit? Or Prometheus, whose liver was daily eaten out by a giant vulture?

The modern Hell has even more exquisite torture for special sinners.

Like being read health & safety regulations.

Or being showed holiday pictures of other people (here: demons). With commentary.

For whole eternity.

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I'd rather fry

One last quote:

Let there be egg and cress, sort of thing

Which Hell do you prefer?

Hell - traditional or modern?

Traditional - I'd rather fry than be stuck in the office for eternity!

Traditional - I'd rather fry than be stuck in the office for eternity!

Submit a Comment

  • Trisha Cornelius 4 years ago from Gauteng, South Africa

    Thankfully, (as someone who is also in love with Terry Pratchett) I know the truth: we are safe from hell so long as we don't believe in it. So when Death comes to collect me on Binky, I'll be going to the Discworld.

  • Paul Turner 5 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

    If the office were more like the tv show I'd be there.

  • reasonablerobby 6 years ago

    just get me away from e-mail, I'll do anything....yes anything

  • anansigirls lm 6 years ago

    Can I have one in between the two (don't like getting roasted, but the office is not exactly inviting either).

Modern - this isn't a Hell, it's redemption!

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More books from Terry Pratchett

Nanny Ogg's Cookbook: A Useful and Improving Almanack of Information Including Astonishing Recipes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld (Discworld Series)
Nanny Ogg's Cookbook: A Useful and Improving Almanack of Information Including Astonishing Recipes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld (Discworld Series)

Here's one unusual approach to a fantasy world.

Nanny Ogg is one of the main characters of Discworld series. Her recipes are funny, full of hidden spicy innuendoes and - and this comes as a surprise - actually quite ambitious.

Cuisine is mostly British, but don't let it scare you, it's not all bad :). Nanny Ogg teaches you to cook only the tasty stuff :)

 
Pratchett 8 Book Set: Night Watch / Truth / Carpe Jugulum / Color of Magic / Fifth Elephant / Light Fantastic / Equal Rights / Thief of Time
Pratchett 8 Book Set: Night Watch / Truth / Carpe Jugulum / Color of Magic / Fifth Elephant / Light Fantastic / Equal Rights / Thief of Time

Eight Discworld books means enjoyment times eight. The set includes the first three books of the cycle plus selection of the best novels. There are witches, vampires, City Watch and more. Personally I would go crazy with joy if someone presented me with such a bunch, and I may not be alone.

 

Angel or a demon, leave your mark before leaving :)

Who the hell are you? And what do you think of 'Eric'?

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      Kumari 2 years ago

      Interesting. I was enjoying the music, then the words strtead. Well, I guess kids might like it.Love the bear though.I'll have to come back and watch deaths interview, my kids are too noisy and the head phones don't work........dhole

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      Trisha Cornelius 4 years ago from Gauteng, South Africa

      I love Eric. Not least of all because of this story: I used to work in a bookstore on the weekends and one Sunday morning I was regaling one of my co-workers about a particular anecdote in the book Eric, and I did not see behind me that there were two rather prim ladies, whose expression was apparently priceless, as they caught the end of the statement, that the difference between being erotic and kinky is the same as the difference between using a feather and the whole chicken.

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      Paul Turner 5 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      Another fun lens. I've seen one of the movies but have not read any of the books.

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      dannystaple 5 years ago

      I loved this description of hell, but then I am a huge Pratchett fan and probably see the world through lenses tinted by his visions.

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      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Great lens, Pratchett has a way of taking a great and pervasive fear of man and showing us that we need not fear it for we already live it, haha. Truly no worse hell can exist than eternity in a modern office.

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      reasonablerobby 6 years ago

      TP is my hero, and as I work in an Unseen University I find his books inspirational

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      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Sounds like a clever batch of books, and you have put together a fittingly clever presentation.