The angel Aziriphale and demon Crowley are viewing the oncoming Armageddon with trepidation as they both enjoy England despite their contrasting missions. Also, Crowley has “misplaced” the Anti-Christ (spawn of the devil) who will reign triumphant after the apocalypse. The four horsemen of the apocalypse are bikers as added colour. In short, this is a wildly imaginative story; in particular, the author’s capture perfectly the mannerisms of 11-year-old children. This is a gem; thanks, Elliott, for this recommendation.
This is a mixed-bag collection of Gaiman’s non-fiction writings: transcripts of speeches and addresses, introductions to books by favourite authors, newspaper reviews, and other articles on diverse subjects. Not surprisingly, he offers a passionate argument for the value of reading and the importance of libraries and bookshops. He was a precocious reader as a child, reading and then re-reading authors like CS Lewis. He also describes how reading some of the same books to his children has changed his perceptions. He also writes extensively about comics, aka graphic novels, which is a form of writing that has distinct and unique features compared to novels. So, there are some redundancies but overall this is a very good read with lots of favourite author recommendations.
American Gods – Neil Gaiman (the author’s preferred text). This is a fascinating book about America, an imaginative fantasy with old gods and new gods and their conflict. How can you not love a book with a central character named Shadow? Gaiman’s writing reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand (this is meant to be a compliment). Gaiman readily acknowledges that reaction to this book has been mixed: some readers love the book and some hate it! Mark me down in the “loved the book” camp.
- Winter’s End by Mark Helprin;
- The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman;
- Old Filth by Jane Gardam.