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Currently Reading: The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mini Review: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (Published 1990)
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-genre: Um… Biblical Parody?
Completed: January 16 2011

There is no doubt that Good Omens is based on an almost objectively hilarious concept. Unfortunately I didn’t find the conceptual humour sufficient to sustain an entire novel. The delivery of much of the humour by authorial intrusion, rather than through character or story, felt too forced after a few chapters. I’m a Christian, and the story certainly did not offend me. In fact, my knowledge of the Bible and understanding of church history and politics probably made it funnier for me. There was just too much of a good thing.

Good Omens is extremely ambitious in its effort to provide social satire. Gaiman and Pratchett seem eager to lampoon so many of the inconsistencies in Western society that to me it felt that they bit off more than they could chew. There are so many threads and viewpoints that the central (and most enjoyable) relationship between the angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley is overwhelmed.

Does the collaboration work? The two Gaiman books I have read I give 4 stars. Of Pratchett’s work I have only read The Colour of Magic (shame on me) and gave it 3 stars, but I am worried that it may be his style which is not for me (SHAME ON ME!). I can only see fit to give Good Omens 2.5 stars. I’ll be bunkering down now.

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