Good Omens

The adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s pre-apocalyptic story on the events of the book of Revelation makes for an interesting story, and an even better audio drama. It was produced by Dirk Maggs, who also worked on the Neverwhere audio drama, and like the underground city of London, it adds life and complexity to this co-authored work of fiction.

If you haven’t experienced the story before in its original form, this audio drama will be that much more effective, I feel. Having never read the book, I was going into this story blind. What sets this story apart from other apocalypse stories is the humor. It’s hilarious, but at the same time unlike the usual comedic dribble movies released every couple of months. At times the humor is juvenile, sure, but there’s only one example of that and it’s kind of running gag, so it’s okay.

Author Brandon Sanderson said it best on a recent Tor.com blog post on Terry Pratchett’s death this year:

Pratchett is transcendent. There are lots of funny writers. Some are hilarious. A few are good at making you think at the same time. But most humorists, while brilliant, have trouble with story. If I put their book down, I remember the laughter, but feel no urgency to return.

That “transcendence” is what most  comedies by Pratchett have in spades. He also delivers a style unique to him and almost universal to all (there’s always going to be haters). Of course, let’s not forget Neil Gaiman, whose own literary skill can be found in spades, despite Pratchett’s comedic and storytelling genius.

If there was a gateway drug for both Gaiman or Pratchett work, this would be as popular as a commonly used anti-depressant. All I can say is I’m going to my local library and checking out a few Pratchett books, because now I see what all the fuss is about.

You can find it on audible.com. It’s well worth the credit or price you pay.

5/5 Stars

Neverwhere

When you have the star of BBC’s Sherlock and a young Charles Xavier from X-men: First Class as part of the cast, the possibilities are endless. You don’t see the words “all-star cast” in audio dramas too much, but this deserves it. I’m just talking about the production value now. Don’t get me started on the story. I feel like I’ve reviewed Dirk Maggs’ work before on the site. Or at least, I’ve heard that name somewhere before.

The story is simple and at times, filled with too many tropes—at least in the first episode. That’s not to say they’re cliche, however. When they introduced the majority of the characters in that first episode, the main problem was that I could see the almighty hand of either the author or the person adapting the work for audio. For example, they make the protagonist be nice to everyone right from the start. That’s a good way to make a reader like a character, because we’re being shown who the character is, rather than being told. In an audio drama however, this feels a little awkward. I thought this throughout the first episode, but once episode two came along, I forgot all about it. That has to be my only complaint about this six part BBC Radio 4 production of Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” (that and it’s no longer available). 🙁