This morning, I finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman and only a few days ago, I finished Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. The first time I read anything by either writer– to be honest, the first time I had heard of either writer– was a book called Good Omens. I found it in the upstairs bathroom of my parent’s house. I think my mother wasn’t sure if she should save it or burn it for blasphemy. For the record, it should have been burned for blasphemy, but it was a hell of a ride anyway and I’m glad I read it.
Personally I’m glad she saved it, because I’ve enjoyed being introduced to two very different writers, different at least from most of the pablum that is out there. Of the two authors, I’ve read more Gaiman, with American Gods being my third book by him. The other two are Neverwhere, which was one of my favorites so far this year, and Stardust, which wasn’t as good as the movie with Robert DeNiro. In contrast, Hogfather is my first book by Pratchett, so admittedly it is too soon to judge.
However, that said, from what I’ve heard of Pratchett’s Discworld series, like this one, they are more than a bit scattershot in their approach. To me, it’s like he tosses ideas against the page and see if they stick. Some do, and some don’t. When they do, they really click. When they don’t, they don’t. His writing reminds me a lot of watching Monty Python, flashes of brilliance, followed by moments of “What the hell was that about?” When I told my wife that I didn’t particularly enjoy Hogfather, she said something to the effect that I’m more of a linear reader…
…which brings me to American Gods. At least, this one I could follow, even when Gaiman went off on tangents, I had an inkling of why he was taking the tangents. With Pratchett, I wasn’t so sure. While I don’t think this book was as good as Neverwhere, and from what I’ve heard as good as Anansi Boys, which has some of the same characters in it, I still thought it was a pretty good book. At least, I felt some kind of suspense, wondering what would happen to its main character, Shadow, and the lead up to the battle with the gods. Was the payoff worth it? I’ll let you read it and be the judge.
Almost a month to the day, Mog (is that really your name? 😉 over at Mog’s Blog tagged me with a Bookworm Award, and finally I’m getting to it. Sorry, Mog, but here it is:
Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment.
Turn to page 56….
Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there.
Then pass this lovely little award on to five other people …
The closest book next to me:
The most dramatic contributions were in the areas of weaponry: radar, infrared detection devices, bomber aircraft, long-range rockets, and torpedoes with depth charges. The new weapons were extremely costly, and the military needed mathemiticians to devise new methods for assessing their effectiveness and the most efficient way to use them. Operations research was a systematic way of coming up with the number the miliary wanted. How many tons of explosive force must a bomb release to do a certain amount of damage? Should airplanes be heavily armored or stripped of defenses to fly faster?
The book? The answer is here.
The only post I had this past week here was my Monday’s Memory on A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. If you haven’t read the book (especially to your children) or listened to Thomas read it yourself, I highly encourage it.
Mostly I’ve been goofing on one of my other blogs: Unfinished Rambler. Highlight (?): WTF (Mostly But Not Wordless) Wednesday #8: My Little Pony Felicity, which is what I discovered in my wife’s company van (and we have no children, weird, huh?).