There have been some sustained quakes of excitement amongst the type of people who count Discworld as one of their favourite holiday destinations. Yes, Terry Pratchett fans, I’m talking about you.
Excitement can be tinged with anxiety when such a beloved book is adapted to the screen, whether big and silver or small (though have you seen the size of home television screens these days?). I’ve read a lot of Terry Pratchett (and I met him once, a red letter day!). But I hadn’t actually read the title in question.
‘Good Omens’ is the 1990 collaboration between Terry Pratchett and the equally famous for having a devoted fandom, Neil Gaiman. The new television series adaptation of their novel has attracted some seriously wonderful actors. I was tempted to dive right in. Only I felt I should read the ‘source material’ first.
I’m not sure where that urge comes from. It’s not the first time I’ve headed off to do some pre-reading. I’m worried it smacks of some entrenched work ethic: do your homework before you can settle down in front of the TV. Read before passively watching.
But that implies reading is the work part, the veggies before the dessert of the technicolour screen. Which reading most definitely is not!
Especially reading ‘Good Omens.’ For a story about the coming Apocalypse, it’s a rocking and rollicking good time. Gobbled down effortlessly in a few sittings.
Interestingly, having partaken of the excited anticipation for the adaptation and knowing the actors involved, David Tennant was in my head every time the demon Crowley spoke on the page, and ditto Michael Sheen when it came to the angel Aziraphale. Good casting. Or I’m particularly susceptible to suggestion.
And now – also interestingly – that I’ve read the book, I’m not so hell-bent (insider allusion) on tracking down the Amazon/BBC version as glorious as it looks in the trailers. I’m already happily satisfied.
Satisfied, though a little worried about the world. Move over the Anti-Christ, humanity is scary:
‘You know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don’t you?’ (p. 209).
Feature Image: Another angel. ‘Stevenson Memorial,’ 1903, by Abbott Handerson Thayer to commemorate the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, whose novels, and the various adaptations of said novels, I have enjoyed over the years.