Friday 18 November 2022

Good Omens


Ah, loved this. 

Terry Pratchett was one of the first adult authors I tried to read as a kid. I turned up to my reading session aged ten with a copy of The Light Fantastic because I liked the woman with big boobs on the front. I think I was hoping to shock my teacher with the cover art and my ability to read out loud. Kind of worked. I had a very good vocabulary for my age, I was an avid reader, but I have to admit I had no real idea what was going on in the story. In my teens, I think I devoured almost all of the Discworld books, and I was privileged to get to see Pratchett speak at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2012. The guy was a legend, as is Neil Gaiman. Loved MirrorMask, The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, The Graveyard Book, Sandman adaptation... what's not to love?

It's been years since I've read Pratchett though. I've heard so much about this one, so when it came up on Audible I went for it. It was just what you'd expect of a Pratchett-Gaiman collaboration. Wonderfully silly at every turn.

Satan (A Fallen Angel; the Adversary)

Beelzebub (A Likewise Fallen Angel and Prince of Hell)

Hastur (A Fallen Angel and Duke of Hell)

Ligur (Likewise a Fallen Angel and Duke of Hell)

Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards)


They always are. That's the whole point. Two of them lurked in the ruined graveyard. Two shadowy figures, one hunched and squat, the other lean and menacing, both of them Olympic-grade lurkers. If Bruce Springsteen had ever recorded "Born to Lurk," these two would have been on the album cover.


At night, Nanny Ashtoreth sang nursery rhymes to Warlock.

Oh, the grand old Duke of York
He had Ten Thousand Men
He Marched them Up To The Top of The Hill
And Crushed all the nations of the world and brought them
under the rule of Satan our master.


It might have interested Newt to know that, of the thirty-nine thousand women tested with the pin during the centuries of witch-hunting, twenty-nine thousand said "ouch," nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine didn't feel anything because of the use of the aforesaid retractable pins, and one witch declared that it had miraculously cleared up the arthritis in her leg.


London was not designed for cars. Come to that, it wasn't designed for people. It just sort of happened. This created problems, and the solutions that were implemented became the next problems, five or ten or a hundred years down the line.


A screaming, glowing ribbon of pain and dark light. [NB: Not actually an oxymoron. It's the color past ultra-violet. The technical term for it is infra-black. It can be seen quite easily under experimental conditions. To perform the experiment simply select a healthy brick wall with a good run-up, and, lowering your head, charge. The color that flashes in bursts behind your eyes, behind the pain, just before you die, is infra-black.]

It is now my ambition to learn to lean like an attractive yawn on legs.

The only thing is, when you've been away from that type of wit for so long, it's so fast-paced you sometimes miss large chunks, especially as an audiobook. There's some clever wordplay and a pun every few sentences. Even though it's a comedy, it's not one of those you can easily drift in and out of and keep the thread, so maybe best in book format, though it was very well narrated. Really enjoyed it.

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