Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Neverwhere: A Novel
2003, by Neil Gaiman, paperback
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
1990, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, paperback, from the library
2007, by Terry Pratchett, hardback, from the library
You should know
Bit by bit, I’m trying to increase my geek cred.
Fantasy, satire, subtle cultural references, and British humor packaged for export. Yeah, I’m a fan. It’s taken me a while to get into the works of these two authors, but I’m chipping away at their works. When I got a chance to get my hands on a copy of Good Omens, I was in.
From the top: Neverwhere is the story of a normal, unremarkable man who wakes up in a fascinating world of London Below, that he had never noticed. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, his primary goal is getting back to his normal life. Meanwhile, he has to help a young lady named Door protect herself and find out what happened to her slain family. Good guys, bad guys, and morally ambiguous guys add excitement to their quest.
Good Omens is about the end of the world. At least, it’s supposed to be. An angel, a demon, and the Antichrist are all too human for the good of the Almighty’s Plan, so nothing happens quite the way it’s supposed to – or does it? That depends on whether you can interpret the titular prophesies, as a young witch and clueless witch hunter attempt to do.
Making Money is the sequel to Going Postal, featuring the return of semi-reformed con man Moist von Lipwig. Having successfully revitalized the Post Office by inventing postage stamps, Moist is now faced with the charge of saving the Bank – which he sets out to do by inventing paper money and going off the gold standard. He also has to negotiate with necromancers and save Golems while protecting himself from a spoiled, wealthy family, one of whose members is convinced he’s turning into Lord Vetinari.
Check them out
Now, if you find you don’t like either Gaiman or Pratchett, of course you’ll want to avoid these novels; they are good examples of each author’s style. And Making Money might be easier to follow if you read Going Postal first. But overall, all three of these books were good, entertaining reads that I’m happy to recommend.
The rest of the Internet
The Wikipedia page for Neverwhere.
Neil Gaiman’s website.
A review at CNN.com.
A Neverwherereading guide from HarperCollins.
More Neverwhere questions at BookBlog.
A positive review from Heather at Beside the Norm.
The Good Omens Wikipedia page.
The Good Omens Lexicon is a guide to all the characters, places, and objects in the novel.
Good Omens in under a minute.
Philip Carlsson at Wonderful Comics analyzes Good Omens.
What character from Good Omens are you? (I'm Aziraphale)
Macshaggy at Shaggy Logic was not thrilled with Good Omens.
An enthusiastic review of Good Omens at Wanderlust.
Crawley and Aziraphale's New Year's Resolutions.
The Making Money Wikipedia page.
Corey Doctorow at Boing Boing reviews Making Money.
The Wikipedia pages for Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
If you haven't already heard: the recent bad news about Pratchett (open note to Matt: here's a chance to bone up on a Great while he's still producing).
Awesome link of the week
The Daily Puppy has become my go-to site at the end of the day. Each day, the site features a series of photos of an adorable puppy – many different breeds are represented, as are designer mixes and proper mutts. Chris has repeatedly expressed his desire to steal Savannah Mae, although I have to admit to a bias towards Elton and Peanut. If it's been a rough day, nothing cheers you up like a puppy.