Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

June 14, 2018

3 / 5 Stars 

 

I really struggled with this one.

I originally read this book in my late teens (yes, admittedly a long time ago). I didn't like it back then, and as such, avoided re-reading it for many years.

Recently, my husband bought me a copy, unaware that it was one I'd already read it. So I thought 'let's give it a go again. Maturity and a chance of perception might make me suddenly love this book!'

 
Alas it wasn't to be (and judging by everyone else's reviews online, I'm the only one who feels like this...)

Good Omens feels like the writerly equivalent of someone scooping up a massive pile of characters, gathering a load of mad events, then throwing them randomly across the pages. Seriously, it's a headache trying to keep up with what's going on. We've got devil children, demons who are quite nice, the four 'horsemen' of the apocalypse, nuns, random kids, witches, witch-hunters - every character associated with the occult seemed to have been pushed into this novel, to the detriment of the plot in my opinion. 

The writing is also chaotic. There are many moments when Neil Gaiman's humour comes soaring out (an obvious highlight), and times when Terry Pratchett's irreverent style shines through. But combine the two and you've got a hot mess of waffling words, which could have done with a serious edit. Reading the book, I felt a sense of bewilderment, because it was almost as though the two writers were competing to shine through. 

What's to love about this book? It's an original idea - but then, you'd expect nothing less from two fantasy writers at the top of their games (or at least, until the point of their deaths in the case of Pratchett). It's wild and wacky, and that's always good fun to read. But for me, it misses the mark fairly massively. 

I can safely say that I won't be reading this one for a third time - sorry to both the authors, I still love all your other stuff!

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