Good Omens is a lot of fun. The apocalypse is coming, and an angel and a demon decide to work together to try and prevent it. There are old prophecies and new teenagers determining the fate of the universe. The humour is tight, the use of irony really well done (and I am someone who feels irony has become cliche, and too often is a kind of shorthand for the author’s intellectual superiority, or the character’s/audience’s stupidity; it can become cruel or heavy handed so quickly. But that doesn’t happen here, so I digress).
I had strong feelings of Identification with Pepper, a young girl who works very hard to make sure the boys her age accept her as equal. There’s a moment where she tries to pretend she doesn’t play with toy horses. She hides her ‘girly’ magazines and shows off her comic books. In fact, I felt a bit indignant on her behalf. I remember slyly listening to the Spice Girls while publicly ridiculing anyone who had anything to do with them. Same thing: a social pressure to choose ‘boy’ things or ‘girl’ things, and a culture that privileges those ‘boy’ things. Anyhow, while Pepper played the token girl in this group of children, I found her really compelling because of these small moments that showed how hard it can be to fill that role, because it made it clear that being the tough girl is a role and that Pepper has more to her than that. It’s awesome that she’s tough. It’s also awesome that she plays with her stable until it’s worn to bits. It’s also awesome that her name is actually Pippin, because I am the kind of person that would totally inflict that name on a child.
I feel like the authors must have had a good time writing it - there’s a sense of wonder and enthusiasm throughout the book - but it is still very well crafted (there are no jarring jumps in style or awkward transitions that collaborations sometimes contain). Actually, there’s something about this book that makes me think “yes, it would be wonderful to sit down and write a book with someone else,” but that might have as much to do with my current lack of productivity which makes writing something other than my poetry project, anything else, seem like a fantastic idea.
I’m already a Neil Gaiman fan, but I haven’t read Terry Pratchett, and now I think I’m missing out.