“There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look, we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes.” – p 34

I’ll just throw it out there – I didn’t particularly care for this book. Sure it was funny, hilarious at parts, but from the first few pages it simply struck a bad note with me that continued to resonate to the very drawn out end.

This isn’t because it tends to make a mockery of spiritual things and glorify humanity above divinity at all.

Well, possibly just a bit. I can handle just a bit of it, but not in overwhelming doses such as this. I could tell it was tongue-in-cheek, which is what saved the book from being reshelved permanently.

I was appreciative of the character of the Anti-Christ, oddly enough. I liked Adam. I thought the entire plot device of “losing” the son of Satan was faintly funny. However, the majority of the rest of the characters simply annoyed, confused, or perturbed me. While this was definitely published, created, dreamt up before Jonathan Stroud came out with the Bartimeus Trilogy – I could hear echoes of the BM through this entire novel. Not just because of the quirky footnotes, further explaining certain (usually unneccesary) points. Nor the sarcastic and soft-hearted demons, either. It was the tone, the build up to something which you expect to be spectacular as the climax. This book delivered a bit better than the BM Trilogy, in this reader’s opinion.

I have still not given up on Neil Gaiman as an author. So far, the books I’ve read by him have all had legitimate excuses for their inability to live up to the standards other readers have set for him as an author (first novel, was first a tv series, is a collaboration with another author, etc). So sometime in the future I hope I will pick up a Gaiman novel and be completely flabbergasted with it’s wonderful-ness.

This book was published in 1990 and co-written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

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