June 5, 2012

Good Omens

by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
ages: adult
First sentence: "It was a nice day."
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!

This is one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of books. There's witches (who carry bread knives around for protection, because that's the sort of witch they are) and witch hunters. Prophetesses (well, one: who wrote the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, which is surprisingly correct) and anti-Christs (well, one. He's eleven.). Demons and angels. Not to mention the four riders of the Apocalypse, as well as several telephone salespeople.

And all are headed toward Lower Tadfield. Because, of course, that's where the End of the World/The Great War/Impending Doom is going to take place.

I adore Gaiman and Pratchett separately, so I figure together (and, yes, it was about time I read this book!) they'd be brilliant. And they were. So much so, that I think I missed a good 60% of the jokes. Completely. It's not that I didn't like the book: I did. I laughed at parts, I kept turning pages, I did love bits and pieces of it. But really (and Hubby says it's because I haven't seen The Omen, nor do I have plans to), I felt like I was sitting in on a conversation where I got some of what was being talked about, but was, for the most part, left completely out to pasture.

Which means, although it's brilliant (I really did like the forward and afterward in my 2006 edition), it's not my favorite Gaiman or Pratchett.


A Jane of All Reads said...

Not my favorite either but still a good one. I agree with you on the feeling that you're not in on the joke. I sort of attributed it to the fact that they ARE MUCH SMARTER, WITTIER AND FUNNIER than I am.

Have you read any of the adult books in Pratchett's Discworld series?

Chris Thompson said...

I'm not sure I trust co-authored books. It seems that they could get a little too complicated with the different writing styles and visions of each author.

Amanda said...

This is by far my favorite by either author. I just loved it to pieces, especially the audio version. I know I didn't get nearly all the jokes, but it's one of those books I'll get more on each reread, which is just awesome. Jason liked it a lot too, and we both got different jokes. :D

Melissa said...

Laura: nope. I need to, though.

Chris: actually that was one of the more amazing things about this book: you really couldn't tell where Gaiman ended and Pratchett began. Well, that's not entirely true: there were elements that I went, "That's Pratchett!" and others "Totally Gaiman," but for the most part, I couldn't tell.

Amanda: I think it would improve for me upon rereading. Maybe, if I kept reading it, I'd eventually get the jokes? I still like Neverwhere and Wee Free Men, better though.

marveloustales said...

I've been meaning to get to this book forever...some time soon! And I must say, sitting in on a conversation between Gaiman and Pratchett sounds like it would be fun...

Sarah Bible said...

It's been so long since I've read Good Omens but I remember enjoying it a lot. It's what started me on my journey of Gaiman adventures and, eventually, the Pratchett Discworld books.