Good Omens

Maybe it’s just my corner of the Internet, but Good Omens is everywhere. My entire tumblr feed–normally a mixture of Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, silly cat videos, and other assorted nerdy things–went COMPLETELY Good Omens.

This is, of course, because the mini-series came out on Amazon a little over a week ago, and apparently hit enough people’s buttons that the scifi/fantasy portion of the Internet picked it up and ran with it.

(I’m through episode 4 myself.)

While I’m not done with the mini-series, I am enjoying it. I don’t remember the book terribly well so I’m unsure how close it is to the original story. There’s obvious upgrades to bring the story into the present versus 1990 when the book came out (technology mostly), but beyond that, I just don’t really remember.

I mean, I do remember the book. Or I remember reading the book. It probably was at least a decade ago, if not longer. Books are interesting that way, aren’t they? Some stand out, and you remember them throughout the years. Others just fade away into a vague memory, and you couldn’t remember anything about them if you tried.

I remember Good Omens because it was the last chance I was giving Neil Gaiman. Have you ever run into that? You pick up an author that you should like, but something’s just not working for you. When I picked Good Omens up (and I actually think it was a birthday present or something) I had already read Neverwhere (lovely worldbuilding, lacking on plot and characterization) and Stardust (very different from the movie, more about that in a second) and had not particularly liked either of them, and was about to give Neil Gaiman up as Not For Me.

(I know the saying goes that the book is better than the movie, but I think that, objectively, this isn’t always true. My experience has been that it depends on which you did first, book or movie, and how much you enjoyed the initial version you were introduced to. Jurassic Park, for example. Movie first for me, and then I read the book some time after. It’s a fine book, but I prefer the movie. (The Lost World, however, is far superior in book form.) Stardust is the same for me. I really enjoyed the movie, and the book is very different, so I didn’t like it as much.)

(And then you have Howl’s Moving Castle, where the book and movie are wildly different and I adore both of them.)

But I liked Good Omens. I especially identified with Aziraphale, who basically just wants to be left alone to read his books. And I am glad I did read it, because my logic at the time was that, since I had liked it, and because I hadn’t particularly liked the other things Neil Gaiman had written, I should look more into Terry Pratchett, and the Discworld books are a gift (my favorite that I’ve read thus far is Equal Rites).

(And I eventually read American Gods, so Gaiman’s redeemed for now as well.)

Do I have a point? Not sure. I guess that Good Omens fits onto a short list of books that I remember where their being read affected something in real life. And that the mini-series is worth a look because it feels very true to the book, whether it actually is or not.

Watching the mini-series, squiders? What do you think? (Aziraphale is still my favorite.) Thoughts on Discworld or other Gaiman/Pratchett books?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Good Omens felt to me like 90% Pratchett. I agree, my first exposure to Gaiman was Neverwhere and it didn’t do it for me. As you say, lacking on plot and characterization, and the most passive MC I think I have encountered in some time. I remember listening to the Good Omens audiobook with fondness.

    Reply

  2. I enjoyed Good Omens more than I expected. British humor can annoy me, though, but this one seemed a little more restrained, I suspect, in comparison to the book. Also, from what I understand this series adapted the whole novel? I hope there aren’t plans to continue the series, then. Outliving the source material is often dangerous.

    Reply

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