Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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[Edit: Originally published January 7, 2017]

A delightfully funny and entertaining read. An angel and demon who are kind of friends, a misplaced anti-christ, the four horse persons of the apocalypse, and the one single prophetess who was actually right with her predictions. 

It’s got a pretty large cast of characters, which are helpfully listed in a “Dramatis Personae” section at the beginning of the book. Despite the cast sized it’s pretty easy to keep track of all the story lines in the book. Except for one small section that involves playing the cup and ball game with three babies. I found it a bit confusing to read, but much easier to understand when listened to once I got my hands on the audiobook.

There isn’t a moment that you’re bored as Aziraphale and Crowley (the aforementioned angel and demon), and the rest of the cast work, their way through the days leading up to the apocalypse that they’re trying to stop. Though Aziraphale and Crowley aren’t actually supposed to be trying to stop it, ineffability and all that.

A few notes about the audiobook specifically. I really enjoyed the way the narrator, Martin Jarvis, did the voices for everyone. Each character had their own specific voice and they were really good and fit the characters really well. My only complaint would be that I didn’t think Pollution’s voice was quite slimy enough, however, that’s on me, because I’m very picky about anything regarding Pollution since he’s my favorite character. 

Martin Jarvis was also very clear with his speaking and was very easy to understand. I found his voice very pleasant to listen to. For readers who enjoy and/or prefer audiobooks, I would really recommend this one. It’s very good.

Warnings: 

There are some sexist, racist, and one homophobic comment(s). These however reflect the opinions of specific characters and not the book in general. 

The homophobic remark really caught me off guard when I was listening, because I’d forgotten about it. It’s a miscommunication about the word “faggot.” One character is using it in the very archaic sense to mean, a bundle of wood the person he’s talking to assumes it’s meant as the slur. I found it tasteless, but all in all it’s really the only even semi-large beef I have with the book. 

You can find the book here.

Related Reviews: The Graveyard Book

No snaps, because audiobook. I will however, leave you with a quote, because I love it so much. 

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions. (This is not actually true. The road to Hell is paved with frozen door-to-door salesmen. On weekends, many of the younger demons go ice skating down it.)” – Good Omens

They Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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[Edit: Originally published May 21, 2016]

Nobody Owens, a boy raised by ghosts. When a baby is the only survivor of a family brutally murdered in their homes, he’s taken under the wing of the ghosts of an old cemetery near his house. He is named Nobody by Mrs. Owens, the wife of Mr. Owens, and self appointed mother of Nobody, or Bod for short.

Now, with the man who killed his family still at large, Bod is, for most of his early life, confined to the graveyard. He has teachers in some of the other ghosts, and then there’s his mysterious guardian Silas as well. Silas can leave the graveyard while the other ghosts can’t, so he’s the one who’s charged with getting Bod food, among other things.

Bod has many adventures in and out of the graveyard. He has encounters with ghouls, discovers the guardian of the oldest grave in the cemetery, makes friends with a girl who comes to the graveyard, and even sneaks out of the graveyard in order to try to get a headstone for his witch friend.

This is, thus far, the only Neil Gaiman book I’ve read outside of Good Omens, which is of course, a combined effort of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Therefore, I can’t really say how The Graveyard Book compares to other things that Neil Gaiman has written on his own. 

I greatly enjoyed the book. It’s creepy in the way that visiting a cemetery after dark is creepy. It’s a fun creepy that makes you want to explore more, you want to know exactly what happens to Bod, and despite the apprehension you might feel (there were several sections that had me very anxious about what would happen to Bod), you keep going.

I will always enjoy a book that has a male/female friendship that doesn’t end in romance, and Neil Gaiman delivers that in the friendship between Bod and Scarlett who visits the cemetery on a number of occasions throughout Bod’s life. At the end of the book, when Bod finally leaves the graveyard. It’s not with her, or for her. He’s just going out on his own to have his own life and adventures in the outside world. I was very pleased by that.

@neil-gaiman​

The book can be found here.

Snaps:

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