Is ‘Good Omens’ Coming A Good Omen?

… apparently yes - moreover -

Graham is delighted…

Image: Illustration of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for BBC Radio 4’s Good Omens. Yes, illustrated for radio.

… (not an expression he commonly uses, so it must be good) — that “Good Omens,” the seminal Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman collaboration, is finally to be filmed, with a script by Gaiman. This “comedy about the apocalypse” was one of Graham’s intros to Pratchett’s oeuvre of some 41 novels, and to Gaiman as a writer with a lighter side. (Well worth checking out Gaiman’s “American Gods” and its sequels, BTW.) Alongside the expected wild imagination and scenarios, there are sly parodies of “Exorcist” and “Omen,” coupled with (a Pratchett signature) some deeper philosophy – a witty look at how long-term sworn foes reach a modus operandi to protect each of them from their real enemies –  zealots, and Head Office.

Pratchett was, grieves Graham, too often dismissed (at least in early years, before he became a National Treasure) as a fantasist or fabulist. In reality, he was a satirist in Swiftian vein, hidden away in quasi-science fantasy garb. This comes out in both good and bad in the movies (typically made as mini-series or TV specials) of his work. The first one, “Color of Magic/The Light Fantastic” centres on an incompetent wizard and a sickeningly optimistic, oblivious-to-all-danger tourist with much more money than sense. The underlying books are fun, fluffy, brimming with ideas – but the 2-part movie stretches them far too thin and fails to bring out the underlying satire.

By contrast, “Hogfather,” Pratchett’s romp around Christmas, Father Christmas, and the Tooth Fairy, is much darker and more complex. It digs (knowledgeably) into Yuletide mythology, adding a flavouring of a psychotic assassin and a side of the bloody origins of the season.

But it’s also very funny, even with Death being the main character – a touching, sympathetic and even slightly naive figure, trying hard to help out humanity, and voiced by Christopher Lee  – and featuring Death’s granddaughter … Graham would even conclude the darker the material, the better the movies have been. Meatier, if you like.

John quibbles

“Donald Trump won the election to President of the USA” …. is also … “not an expression he commonly uses”  … but he would not claim that “so it must be good.”

John thinks that ‘the other chap’ needs to be a little more careful with use of the English Language … but is handing out a pass for now.

Why - because Neil is married to Amanda Palmer. Who? Amanda Palmer .. and if you track some of the other stuff that John rambles on about, you will know that he is a big admirer of said Amanda. Take this link on just one of his other blogs for example.

So … anything us chaps can do to promote the success of that particular family - well, count me in.

But there’s more.

As you might have gathered here, John knows he is going to enjoy Pratchett and to be discovering, even more, books that have the potential of exploring fantastical worlds - well - that other chap can have a double pass … just don’t push it Graham!

Oh - and dare I raise … Robert Rankin who refers to his style as

‘Far Fetched Fiction’ in the hope that bookshops will let him have a section to himself.

Suffice to say - if you have not yet sampled then stop reading this post and go check out ‘The Brentford Trilogy’.

Graham scoffs…

Pshaw. I use the term “delighted” rarely, so when I do say it, I do mean it. A reasonable reading, I submit.

But I’ll see your Robert Rankin (just ordered Antipope, thank you!) and raise you a Christopher Moore

John likes the cut of Christopher Moore’s jib …

… having just quickly scanned the first chapter of his new yet to be released book. Hawaii and San Francisco you say. (Actually - his bio says). Seems like I should know him.

January 27, 2017