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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 13:28   #11
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If we all think we will be readyish by then, I think I will have calmed down enough to post about this at the weekend

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Old 4th Sep 2004, 13:33   #12
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Tis the weekend, and a convieniently sprained ankle * is preventing me from trimming my hedge .... so here goes:

This is a many times re-read for me, and is also heavily influenced by what other Pratchett and Gaiman I have read.

First things first, I hate the cover No-one looks like I think they should, and the style of art just seems odd to me. I don't know if the publishers wanted this to seem 'different' than anything produced by the authors individually when this cover was commissioned - but it is a real shame, as both Pratchett and Gaiman have benefitted from some wonderful cover art in the past (I would have loved to have seen what Dave McKean did with this)

The first time I read this came to it as a Pratchett fan, who had never read any Gaiman, and I was reassured to find enough of TP's influence that it was 'familiar' (for want of a better word) - if somewhat darker. Over time I have read more and more Gaiman, and this particular re-read has followed a re-read of the complete Sandman series (seeing as I now have them all) so I noticed far more of NG's influence than I have ever done before. It is now getting to the extent that I can read certain bits, and think 'Pratchett' or 'Gaiman'. Which adds to the fun for me (I figure you all know I am a sad bunny by now). Roughly speaking the humour belongs to TP, whereas some of the 'big concept' stuff is definitely NG.

Although I have read this many times before, it has been quite a gap since my last read of this, and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised it was still able to make me laugh out loud (even on trains). I think a lot of the humor comes from the recognisable normality that is central to the book - and that some of the jokes are things that deep down in our hearts we know could be/wish were true - such as the M25. One of my favourites is the conept of Famine being behind the diet industry and junk food.

I would have liked to have seen more of the motorcyclists of the apocalypse, as in the Discworld novels, Death is one of my favourite characters - his humour value is here, but underused (the Elvis moment is a classic however), and I am so glad that they used TP's 'Death' not NG's 'Death', who I don't think would have worked so well in this setting.

Thoughts anyone - or are you all still reading?

Hazel

* I fell over, for no apparent reason (unless I managed not to dodge one of Leeds' infamous potholes, which klutz as I am is quite possible) narrowly missing headbutting the scaffolding and grazing my knee (I feel like I am 10 years old again) in the process
I can't even get home from work without doing myself an injury
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Old 4th Sep 2004, 13:57   #13
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I too have read Good Omens several times, but the last was probably more than ten years ago and as I have gone off Pratchett completely in the interim, I am slightly afraid to go back to it. So all I will say is that I understand the book was initially a Neil Gaiman project, but when he got about 20,000 words into it he realised it was a bit like a Terry Pratchett novel - so he asked TP to co-author it with him. The edition I have is the hardback which has an author photo on the back cover showing P&G in front of some sort of crypt, Gaiman all in black with shades and Pratchett all in white down (or up) to the traditional hat - which amusingly reflects two of the characters in the book, if you haven't read it.
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Old 4th Sep 2004, 15:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self
The edition I have is the hardback which has an author photo on the back cover showing P&G in front of some sort of crypt, Gaiman all in black with shades and Pratchett all in white down (or up) to the traditional hat - which amusingly reflects two of the characters in the book, if you haven't read it.
That picture is on the inside cover of the above paperback.

You could give it another go - there is a lot of Gaimen to be found in there.

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Old 6th Sep 2004, 8:40   #15
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I have some 40 pages to finish, so just shortly now. It's been my almost first Pratchett (because I also listened to the abridged audiobook of Reaper Man), and unquestionably first Gaiman. I haven't been in the best of moods lately so it was really no middle ground, it must have either cheered me up or totally annoyed me. And it turned out the former, decidedly.:) I liked it from the start and I don't suppose those last 40 pages will change my mind...
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Old 6th Sep 2004, 9:09   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.
I have some 40 pages to finish, so just shortly now. It's been my almost first Pratchett (because I also listened to the abridged audiobook of Reaper Man), and unquestionably first Gaiman. I haven't been in the best of moods lately so it was really no middle ground, it must have either cheered me up or totally annoyed me. And it turned out the former, decidedly.:) I liked it from the start and I don't suppose those last 40 pages will change my mind...
Not in the least - glad you are enjoying it!

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Old 6th Sep 2004, 12:20   #17
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While it's nice enough to read, I find Good Omens a bit threadbare.

I am familiar with both Pratchett and Gaiman, and the Terry Pratchett influence seems very much stronger than the Neil Gaiman one, and it could easily be a Discworld novel. Frankly, after American Gods, I don't really rate Gaiman as an author of novels, though as an author of comic book plots he is unsurpassed.

The humour, as is customary with Terry Pratchett, relies on exaggerating or inverting commonly held concepts and experiences, and you'd miss quite a lot if you knew nothing of the mythology of Heaven and Hell, Witchcraft, the Omen and Exorcist series of movies, Atlantis, the Book of Revelation etc. I guess, though, that if you recognise either of the authors' names, much of that will be common ground.

The Them gang is a very clear evocation of The Outlaws from Richmal Crompton's Just William books, and I enjoyed that very much indeed.

The authors were very keen to seem up-to-date and mentioned lots of early nineties topical stuff, with the result that it sometimes feels a little dated.

I liked Crowley and Aziraphale - their conspiracy to preserve the status quo was extremely well argued.

So, all in all, like most of Terry Pratchett, an entertaining read, but not a lot of substance, a criticism, mind you, that can be levelled at much of what I read.

Hazelweller, I agree the cover is regrettable, and could have been much better.
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Old 6th Sep 2004, 12:31   #18
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I might have to have a re-read of this.

The cover of the hardback is below. The text which is barely legible reads "The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" and the neon sigil is of course the M25...

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Old 6th Sep 2004, 12:50   #19
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This is a little off topic, and has very little to do with Good Omens, so apologies, but I am always a little concerned about novels written by two people. I know it isn't the same thing, but it always reminds me of those awful thriller franchises, like a recent example I've seen in Ottakers:Robert Ludlum's the Bourne Legacy by Eric Van Lustbader.

Just doesn't seem right to me...
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Old 6th Sep 2004, 13:15   #20
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I haven't finished my re-read yet but I suspect my review will have something in common with gil's.

I have only read two books that worked as co-authorships: The Talisman (King and Straub, though I haven't read the sequel yet), and Larry Niven/Steve Barnes Dream Park. As uncertain as I was about American Gods, I prefer what I have read of Gaiman to Pratchett.
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