Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (1990)

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So this book is beloved, a cult book, one of those books that people in the know discover each other and talk about madly and passionately.  And up until last night, I thought I was one of those people too!  My memory is playing tricks on me, I guess, because re-reading it, I wasn't quite so enamored.  I worship at the temple of Neil Gaiman, and think he's one of the best writers writing today; I can't think of a Pratchett I haven't come away with utterly amazed.  And yet, Good Omens, it just didn't click for me this re-read.  Perhaps Gaiman and Pratchett have matured, like cheese, they've aged and become finer (and smellier?).  I feel awful to admit this, but for bit chunks of the book I was sort of bored.  I seemed to trudge along, and occasionally collapse under the weight of its own cleverness, its own Pratchett-ness.  Gaiman hovers over Good Omens, and occasionally dives in, but there isn't the haunting feeling you get when you are reading a Neil Gaiman book.  This seems pure Pratchett to me, and perhaps - again, I hate to say this because I adore and admire and respect and love Terry Pratchett, that's the problem with the book.  There are later books (or earlier books?  I'm still not exactly sure where this fits into the Pratchett chronology) that are so much, much better, where the Pratchet-ness - the jokes, the asides, the I can't believe he just said thats, the slap yourself in the heads because you were so surpriseds, Death -is honed sharp.   There are better books by Pratchet and Gaiman to read out there (any of the Witches books; The Graveyard Book).  Although one SHOULD read this book; and maybe if it's your first time, you'll be amazed.  Read it twice; you may feel differently.


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"Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide."  I had forgotten this quote was from Good Omens!

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