“New York Times Bestselling authors, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett”
Personification/humanization of otherworldly creatures
Purchased after reading American Gods a few years ago. And under the assumption that Terry Pratchett, who was highly recommended by a trusted book friend, would suit my tastes as well as Neil Gaiman, unexpectedly, had. Good Omens did not disappoint.
Pratchett and Gaiman are seamless. If I had to pick the pieces written by whom, I wouldn’t be able to. The story, characters, and plot flow so well together that it’s as if they shared the same brain, writing space, and vision. Lucky for me, the edition I own has a section at the end where each writer talks about working with the other and a little Q&A.
Collaboration in writing can be daunting. As a “writer” myself, I have other writer friends, but only one or two I would trust to help me complete anything. Mostly because I don’t fear that they’ll steal my idea(s) or try to pawn their work off as my own. It’s a sort of mutual respect and understanding that exists between writers who work together. That we’re all brilliant and a little insane; and just because you thought up this crazy idea before I did, doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of it.
Good Omens is beautifully written, funny, and thoughtful. An angel and demon who have come to love this Earth over 4000 years aren’t looking forward to the coming Rapture. The Antichrist is an eleven-year-old boy who has no idea he’s the Antichrist, or anything other than an eleven-year-old boy. And when he does begin to realize there’s something different, he can’t pinpoint it and is nearly sucked in by the darkness that lives within.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are right on target with the consumerist world we live in (even if Gaiman and Pratchett wrote it 1985). Famine is a brilliant businessman who has created a food enterprise that could easily be a satirical McDonald’s; honestly, the description isn’t too far off as far as I’m concerned. Pollution is a boy who rides a scooter and just makes a hot mess wherever he goes. War is a beautiful journalist, war correspondent to be exact, who is always in the thick of it before anyone even knows tensions exist. Death is a Hell’s Angel.
In the end, the world that Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett managed to create is merely a farce of the real world. Things are bit more extreme, perhaps, but ultimately relatable. While both are genre writers through and through, in my humble opinion, their scifi/fantasy isn’t really a leap for the imagination. And unlike some SciFi writers/novels the sense of disappoint in humanity isn’t just disappoint or disdain, it is gently cradled in a nice, warm, snuggly blanket of hope.