Friday Review: Good Omens (Book) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Summer Sale!! During the month of July, all my books and stories will be on sale at SmashwordsThree, including the first two stories in my urban fantasy series, The Yo-Yo Files, are free. My short fantasy collection is half off, as is my latest sci-fi novel, Two’s Company. My first novel, Circle Unbroken, is at even more of a discount. Ebooks are available in many formats. The sale begins July 1 and ends July 31. I hope you find something that interests you, and please tell your friends.

Good OmensGood Omens by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A few weeks ago, I did a review on my blog of the TV adaptation of this book. I was reading the book at the same time, and have finished it, so this review will concentrate on the book.

It was good. Very good. Of course, I am a fan of both Pratchett and Gaiman, so a collaboration between these two was probably going to make me happy. And, yes, I know- it’s been around a long time, but there are a lot of older things I am still catching up on.

The book is both light-hearted and dark, funny and sobering, cheeky and proper, Much like a good bit of both author’s works. It has been compared to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and it’s a good comparison. There’s a lot of very British humor in there but if you read either of the authors, you will get it.

There is, of course, a lot more in depth background and character development in the book than was possible in a 6 episode TV series, so we get a bigger, more complex story here. Both Crowley and Aziraphale get to shine a bit more in the pages of the book, and there is a bigger understanding of the realms of heaven and hell. The book, like the series, is set mostly in Great Britain, either London or Tadfield, with side excursions to a few other spots around the globe. You don’t get as clear a sense that the narrator in the book is God as was apparent in the TV show, but that doesn’t detract from the role. Satan isn’t as big a presence, either, but nothing is lost from that omission. The book does a bit better at showcasing the (lack of) need for divine or other interference in the way of the world, I think. On the other hand, I think the desperation and frustration in Crowley and Aziraphale when it looks like they have failed comes across better on TV. Different media with different strengths.

All in all, there were differences, omissions and additions on both sides, and neither is the less for it. If you enjoy Pratchett and/or Gaiman, satire, stories that take a very irreverent view of religion and prophecy with a bit of a message about leaving well enough alone, you might want to pick this one up (if you haven’t already)

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