Alexis: I might have just finished watching the Good Omens show, only six days after I finished reading the book, but hey. It’s only six episodes!
I knew I was going to love this show and I was right! Neil Gaiman actually wrote the show, so he did a fantastic job. So many of the lines are straight from the book. And I actually loved any of the changes that were made; they actually enhanced the story.
I highly recommend watching it! David Tennant and Michael Sheen do an amazing job.
Good Omens is a satirical book about the Apocalypse. When a demon named Crowley realizes he’s misplaced the Antichrist, an eleven-year-old boy named Adam, he teams up with his old enemy turned friend, an angel named Aziraphale. Together, they try to find Adam so that they can save Earth before the Apocalypse starts.
While I really enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it. I did love the beginning. The writing is brilliant and satirical, and it makes fun of everything. The book is full of religious scripture and religious references. Every line is witty, out there, and full of British humor.
I really enjoyed reading about Crowley and Aziraphale, and I wish that the majority of the book was from their point of view. I did like reading about the Four Horsemen, but some of the other characters were tedious to read about. My biggest complaint with the book is that there is a huge cast of characters, and the book jumps around a lot. It’s also a little too slow-paced.
If you like Supernatural, the two share a lot of names and qualities. I’m excited to watch the Good Omens show on Amazon Prime, however; I think it will come across really well on screen!
VERDICT: 3.5 stars
I definitely recommend knowing modern Chinese history, especially The Cultural Revolution, before diving into China Dream by Ma Jian.
In modern day China, totalianarism is on the rise. Main character Ma Daode is the director of the China Dream Bureau, which aims to use a device to replace people’s dreams with the China Dream of the Communisty Party by directing the China Dream directly into their brains. But Ma begins to struggle with recurrent nightmarish memories of the Cultural Revolution. Soon, he feels like he’s two separate people: his past self, and his current self, and he begins to worry he will lose his job and status.
I struggled to read the first chapter, which mostly focused on introducing Ma’s character by talking about his many affairs, and by having Ma talk to other people at his work to establish the ideology of the China Dream.
But after the first chapter, I found this an intriguing satire about the Chinese government. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Ma’s past with his present. The writing itself is straightforward and a little stilted, although that probably has to do with the translation. The further you get into the book, the more absurd it becomes as Ma struggles to keep a grip on reality.
I definitely recommend reading the Afterword, where Ma discusses his motive for writing the book.
Overall, this is a well-done, often brutal and violent satire that reveals the dangers of a totalitarian government, and what happens when you suppress the truth.
VERDICT: 4 stars