The Best of Omens ★★★★★
This was my 26th book of 2012, and my World Book Night book.
I love Neil Gaiman's work, I have written about him before (American Gods, The Graveyard Book) but I had never read any Terry Pratchett. I had had him recommended to me time and time again, but had simply never got around to reading his work. The writing in this novel is fascinating as both authors collaborate and manage to create a story that is both hilariouisly funny and a gripping adventure at the same time. They manage to do so while making sure they read as one voice, and it has inspired me to pick up more of Pratchett's work.
The story follows a slightly suspect bunch of characters, a demon, an angel, a witchfinder, a witch, the four bikers of the apocolypse and the eleven year old anti-christ as they all either help to or fight to stop armageddon from occuring some time after tea next saturday. As you can imagine it is fraught with adventure and hilarious circumstances. I especially loved the use of the stereo as a means for communication between the firey depths of hell and the surface.
The story took me quite a long time to read, though this does not by any means suggest I didnt like it, in fact i loved it and would happily read it again now. It is quirky and funny and also very complex, there is a lot of information packed into each paragraph, with pop culture references and historical and religious references too. The story reminds me of the film Dogma, but better. I love that there are multiple story lines with multiple groups of characters that all come together at the end, it really does help to create the feeling of impending armageddon.
The novel was a great choice for World Book Night as it is something a bit different being of the fantasy genre. It is something i believe many would never pick up by themselves, but if they enjoyed it could open a whole new genre up for them to try.