Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, 1990
I need to qualify this review: I am not a Gaiman or Pratchett expert. My intent is always to introduce readers to new material, so I’m providing my first impressions as someone with no prior knowledge of the authors.
This is the story of the end of the world, sort of, as foretold in The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (which is the subtitle of the book). Baby swaps, witches, witchfinders, angels, demons, four horsemen, thunder, lightning, Queen, a scruffy dog, and a gang of eleven-year-olds populate its pages.
I could see where G and/or P fans might eat this book up, and it is a cult classic – but the beginning of the book is inflated with mostly inane (but funny) humor. I kept reading because I was committed to doing so, but I wouldn’t have regretted stopping at the 20% mark.
The story, of course, picks up, and I was interested enough to finish after a certain fiery, thundery, windy event. Still the gratuitous silliness continued. I was tempted to skim, but did not – and I’m glad, because as the tension in the book builds, that goofiness conceals sly allusions that the reader could miss if not paying close attention.
Would I read a sequel? Probably not. Still, even I recognize that it was skillfully written. The Kindle edition has some great extra material at the end including interviews of Gaiman and Pratchet.
There is an Amazon series based on the book.