Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I'm torn. Part of me is delighted that these two authors came to me at this era in my own writing, because I feel like I need them. Part of me is infuriated that I didn't discover them earlier in my life. It feels like lost time. Why did it take me so long?

Alright, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. First of all, I listened to this on an audiobook. I'll be re-reading it at some point in a book form.

Let me tell you how audiobooks work for me: I hear three sentences. My head starts spinning. Suddenly, like Alice down a rabbit hole, I'm somehow back in my own work in progress, forgetting that I was listening to someone else's book because the faeries in my own novel are calling. And I have to rewind and refocus. Every time. Regardless of the audiobook.

Good Omens
Even with a great audiobook like this one, read by Martin Jarvis. I'm very much a visual learner. Things I see on paper stick more than things I hear.

I'm intrigued by authors who can co-author a book. When I write the stories are so in my head, so deeply a part of me, that I can't imagine attempting to work with another author in the process. Not in fiction, anyway. I admire it.

An attempt at a summary (which may or may not give spoilers): The world is going to end on Saturday, but due to a mixup with the intentional switched at birth attempt of the child anti-christ, he has been misplaced. Meanwhile there are demons flying through phone lines and fish in the streets. The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been joined by four bikers. Also, a woman who pretends to be psychic has found herself in touch with a spirit she didn't necessarily want, and a man who loves to complain to newspapers finds himself in situations so outlandish even he can't write them. If it can happen in the book of Revelations, or if you can imagine it happening in some new version of Revelations, it can happen in this satyrical novel of the future of the world.

This is a really funny book. I laughed out loud and got weird looks from other drivers at stop lights, but there is also a deeper thread of questioning religion and society that tends to be in most of Gaiman and Pratchett's work. When you have Angels of the Apocalypse who are naming themselves "Grievous Bodily Harm" and "Things Not Working Properly Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager" you can't help but laugh, but there is also this interesting dialogue being hinted at about what we value, and what we hate. And where those values will take us in the future.

But mostly, with this book, you'll laugh.

Also, note what is next for Good Omens and the BBC4 event coming up.

Side Note: I don't normally music reviews, however, as I was writing this I was listening to Pink Floyd's new album, "The Endless River." This is some good meditative and calming stuff. I agree with a friend of mine's analysis that it somehow feels like you're always on the precipice of lyrics (it's primarily instrumental) but it's really interesting, and will likely be a common soundtrack for my writing. And perhaps yoga. 

First Test
Feminists who like fantasy,
take note, if you don't know Tamora Pierce!
Dubbed "the most eloquent man in the world.
I believe it.

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