Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Omens

My goal of 4 books a month seems to be fading fast. It's more like I have read 4 books in three months. So rather than 48, I am on pace to read 12. I think Smelmooo has already read more than that.

Even so, I have two books under my belt in the past few weeks and feel like I am getting back into a rhythm.

I just completed Good Omens. A collaboration by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. As you will recall, I recently read another Gaiman book and liked it. Pratchett is an entirely different matter altogether.

Pratchett is out of the same literary school as Douglas Adams. Their styles are similar to Monty Python (in fact I believe Adams did write for Python at some point) only with a science fiction bent. Many years ago I was exposed to both authors. Actually, that's not true. I found Pratchett after exhausting all possible material to read by Adams, but still looking for a fix. Unfortunately, at that time, I found Pratchett barely readable. So, after an attempt at one of his novels over a decade ago, I had never read another word he had written until now.

Good Omens is hyped on the cover with a quote from the New York Times, "A direct descendant of The Hithhchikers Guide to the Galaxy." In as much as the earth is destroyed in hitchhikers and GO is about the Apocalypse, both are funny in that Monty Python British sort of a way, then indeed GO is a descendant of Hitchhikers.

I must admit, Douglas Adams, in my mind, was so good, that everything else in the genre is second rate. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing out loud at different points of GO.

I think this book succeeds because it marries Gaiman's solid fantasy/mythology storytelling with Pratchett's humor. The book plays to both of their strengths.

A good read.


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