11 June 2007

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (Corgi Books, 1991)

It took me a long time to get to this book, which had been recommended to me by three or four different friends. I've never read any of Terry Pratchett's other works, and if this is representative in any way, I don't think I'll bother. Similarly, like most of Neil Gaiman's works, I love the ideas, the worlds he builds, the alternate realities, but ultimately the writing is not well suited to the page.

Yes, sacrelige, I know. The man (Gaiman) is very entertaining and has a huge following -- myself included, oddly -- but I consistently find that his stories are those of a storyteller and they need to be read aloud. Good Omens is no different.

I love the idea of an angel and a devil, each of whom has adapted to life on earth over a couple thousand years, agreeing to quietly screw up armageddon so that they can maintain their comfortable lives. I even smiled at the many puns and page after page of wordplay. Never have footnotes been more amusing. However, after a few chapters, I just wanted them to get on with it. I'm sure, listening to the story being told, it would have held my interest, but reading it just got tedious.

In the end, it did pick up, and I enjoyed the last few chapters as much as the first; I just could have done without the middle.


No comments: