Format: Audio CDs

Well, to kill time on my drive, I decided to join my local public library so I could (hopefully) pick up audiobooks. It wasn’t the greatest selection, but I was able to pick up a couple of books that had been sitting on my fringe “this looks interesting but I feel no compelling urge to read it right now” list.

The first one I listened to was Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know I’ve read a fair amount of Gaiman works already, but Pratchett is new to me, and this is the reason I couldn’t make myself read this book.

When Pratchett passed away, he popped up all over the place among authors I read and places like Buzzfeed stories. Everything was good, but that also led to stories, including comments about Good Omens that even though it’s technically co-authored, Pratchett did the bulk of the writing and editing. And even though all these nice things are said about Pratchett, I couldn’t quite make myself buy the book if it wasn’t really Gaiman’s writing.

I have no logic for this. It just is what it is. Rational thought would tell me this revered work by two great authors should be well worth my time, even if one of the revered authors wasn’t really writing much of the book. But I just couldn’t do it.

And then I spied the audiobook at the library, knocking The Sound and the Fury from its spot on the list. If there’s ever a time to try a book I’m unsure of, it’s with an audiobook.

So spoiler-free review: It’s about the cheeky hijinks of the son of the Devil as he brings about the end of the world, as well as the shenanigans of the angels, demons, etc. contending with the ineffability of the grand plan.

This isn’t an easy book to get into specifics with. It’s very much like Christopher Moore, but since Pratchett is older, I guess Moore is very much like Pratchett.

Side note, I’m treating this as a Pratchett book. I’ve read Gaiman’s work enough to recognize his tone and humor. This is not his humor. So for me, this is a Pratchett book. And that’s good because it means I’ll give more Pratchett books a try.

You’ve got multiple storylines to follow, but there are really three main ones. The one running the whole time is the meddling angel and demon. Then we start dealing with the child of Lucifer and his gang, the Them. And last we have two stories that merge into one with a witch and a witch hunter. There are many other arcs in the book, but these are your core characters.

This is where I see Pratchett’s influence on Moore the most. Moore likes having multiple perspectives and will give bits and pieces to side characters to help round out the stories. But you still have your core arcs to follow. You know they’ll all meet up in the end, but it’s fun to watch how they get there.

For the last part of the review, I’m just going to reiterate the lacking component of audiobooks. They’re fun, but they’re not the same as reading, chiefly because you can miss bits and pieces. When I’m driving in rush hour traffic through a major metropolitan area, I have to acknowledge that some subtleties of the story will pass me by. Unfortunately, for this book, that ended up being much of the climax and end of the book, so I know how it ended, but I missed one or two whys.

There’s also the issue of following a story with multiple points of view. It wasn’t terrible with this book, but it’s a bigger issue with the next audiobook review I’ll be posting once I finish The Night Circus. If you can’t follow details as well and can’t thumb to past chapters, it’s easier to get lost. Luckily, the narrator did a good job of keeping the voices distinct enough.

This just reaffirms my belief in using audiobooks for fringe books, not ones I really want to read. I may also give rereading (well, relistening) a try. I would already know the story, so at this point, I would be listening just to hear the performance.

Well, who knows? Another review will be on the way soon for the other audiobook that kept me company on the drive home. This now concludes disc 1. Please continue to disc 2.

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