Thursday, August 25, 2011


Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, William Morrow, 1990, 369 pp

Surely I am going to get some dissenting comments for this review. Left to my own reading plan I would have read this book when I ran out of anything else to read that was written by Neil Gaiman. Alas, it was chosen by one of my reading groups. I found it mildly entertaining but did not love it, though it seems nearly everyone else in the world did. I was in good company at the reading group meeting though. They nearly all disliked it so much that only three of us even finished the book.

So what do we have here? We have Armageddon made funny, in a British humor style. Actually the humor is the best part and is usually truly funny. We have a demon and an angel who are friends and secretly don't want the world to end. Also a cool group of kids who call themselves The Them.

The potential is there. The similarities to A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a book I love) are numerous. Satire is probably one of the trickiest genres, but I thought Neil Gaiman was adulterated by the addition of Terry Pratchett. Oh yes, and did I mention there are footnotes? I purely hate footnotes in fiction. They are bad enough in non-fiction.

What I learned:
1) I am a tough customer when it comes to humorous fiction.
2) I don't need to read Terry Pratchett this life time.
3) The Apocalypse is best approached with humor. Serious novelists would do better to remain in the present or the past.
4) I love Neil Gaiman so much that I will forgive him anything.

(Good Omens is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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