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Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Default Smiles We usually start these reviews off with 'imagine',
Sassy Sharky Or an argument.
Default Smiles We'll get to both of those. But this time it's really important that we kick off with a quote. Specifically, this one:

It would take a lot to faze a copper from the Met.
It would take, for example, a huge, battered car that was nothing more nor less than a fireball, a blazing, roaring, twisted metal lemon from Hell, driven by a grinning lunatic in sunglasses, sitting amid the flames, trailing thick black smoke, coming straight at them through the lashing rain and wind at eighty miles an hour.
That would do it every time.

Happy Sharky2 If there's any image that more perfectly captures the tone of this book, we haven't found it.
Surprised Smiles Imagine the Apocalypse. Or rather, imagine the Apocalypse trying very hard to happen, but things keep going wrong. The Antichrist is born. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse  are about to ride. The End of Days is nigh. … and then the Antichrist gets swapped one too many times at a hospital and now nobody knows which family he's ended up with and where.
Happy Sharky It's a silly, heartfelt, frantic, dark, screwball comedy about the world about to be destroyed and it is great.
Happy Smiles IT REALLY IS. This is another one of those books that possesses me to force everyone I meet to give it a try.
Happy Sharky2 There's a lot of storylines converging on this plot, all with their own characters who only intersect briefly until the end, but it's all woven together perfectly. An angel and a demon trying to stop the End, the four hoursemen riding towards the End, a witch and witchfinder who are pretty close to learning how the End is going to happen, a witchfinder general and a psychic caught up in everything, and… well, the Antichrist and his best friends unintentionally setting events in motion that will lead to the End. I've officially used that phrase too many times now.
Sassy Smiles The End.
Angry Sharky 3 Oh shut up.
Happy Smiles It’s great black comedy, with, if you think about it too hard, an absolutely ridiculous body-count. They definitely tosses a bit of gore in there too, thankfully briefly. But if you’re talking about the progress to the end of the world what else can you expect? And my God the trip is beautiful as much as it’s scary and silly. The descriptions are amazing, and it only helps that there are so many striking images in the first place that just get your imagination running.
Surprised Sharky There are a lot of things on fire in this book.
Default Smiles Almost any time some carnage and chaos happens, it’s told wonderfully. Take the quote of the burning car up there, for example. And there’re these great ‘scenery’ moments too, like when the book takes a little look at what the four horse-people are up to.
Sassy Sharky There’s just something so perfect about Famine being a thin man in an impeccable black suit, selling food with no nutrition in it. Also his phone and laptop are the thinnest possible models because of course.
Surprised Smiles I’m honestly surprised there’s no comic book adaptation of this book already, because it’s so visual that something like that seems obvious. But then you miss out on the phrasing of the descriptions.
Surprised Sharky And that’s cutting out half the fun.

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Surprised Smiles Of course, as usually happens, when you have a lot of storylines and a lot of characters, even if they’re all headed towards a common climax, you’re going to enjoy some a lot more than others. If you’re lucky, the less enjoyable ones won’t be actively boring, and you’re lucky! But then obviously at the start where new people are constantly being introduced, it’s easy to start wondering what all these detours have to do with the plot. Everything, it turns out, but you don’t figure that out until later down the line.
Happy Sharky2 Some plots and characters are definitely a lot stronger than others, but it works out eventually. Arguably the best are the angel and demon trying to stop things from going wrong because they’re so comfortable on earth. Mostly the demon, Crowley. He’s clever and snarky and petty and you can almost hear his patience running out as the story goes on.
Confused Smiles I’m pretty sure he ran out of patience halfway through the book.
Happy Sharky2 I guess he’s not technically the main character (or maybe he is, like we said, there’s so many stories inside this story), but he’s the most fun to follow around. He’s the grinning lunatic from the quote at the top. Just so you know what to expect.
Shocked Smiles That part had Sharky grinning like a lunatic while he read it. Do you know how HARD it is to make him grin? … do you realise how terrifying it is to see a sharp-toothed lunatic grin out of the corner of your eye when you aren’t expecting it?
Surprised Sharky 2 Terrifying?
Shocked Smiles YES.
Happy Sharky2 I'll keep that in mind.
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2 thoughts on “Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

  1. Excellent review! Terry being one of our favourite authors, of course. But Neil Gaiman adds an extra dimension to it. The narrative is seamless and breathtaking, a sign of excellent collaboration. I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time around and must read it again the first chance I get. Great stuff!

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