Mindy Kaling is the woman that every girl wants to be best friends with. She is to the celebrity world what a unicorn is to the animal kingdom- a succMindy Kaling is the woman that every girl wants to be best friends with. She is to the celebrity world what a unicorn is to the animal kingdom- a successful, pretty, funny woman that women still like.
I only recently discovered the delight that is Mindy Kaling. The US Office largely passed by me unnoticed and my first exposure to her brilliance was via her show The Mindy Project (which I only stumbled across because it was advertised after New Girl (It's vastly better than New Girl, you should watch it if you haven't already).
Mindy's book is a collection of essays. I really love this kind of stream of conciousness writing, particularly when it comes from somebody I already know I find hilarious and super interesting (Nora Ephron, Tina Fey and Miranda Hart all have similar books which I've devoured). I would go so far as to say that this kind of memoir/collection of essays is my favourite kind of book to read when I'm looking for an easy relaxing read. Mindy's writing has the added bonus of making me feel like she's actually talking to me as one of her best friends, hanging out in Hollywood with her rather than lying on my sofa in an oversized T-shirt and bed socks with a cup of tea.
Her essays vary from focusing on her hobbies (dieting)to her impressive career, to her fashion sense. Mindy is a real girly girl with an ego and belief in herself which makes her thick skinned enough to handle the career she has.
My favourite chapter, without a doubt, was the one dedicated to the narcissistic and embarrassing selfie pictures she has stored on her Blackberry. Like a lot of girls (me included) she takes pictures of herself in place of a mirror when she's on her way out to check her hair, her make up, her cleavage... the fact that she shared these pictures in her book just made me love her more- and it's completely something you would only share with your best friends. Which actually makes US best friends now, right?
I never would have picked this book up if I hadn’t been made to read it for my book group. I wonder how many people say that, and how often it resultsI never would have picked this book up if I hadn’t been made to read it for my book group. I wonder how many people say that, and how often it results in them finding a book that they loved. In any case, it’s true for me with this book.
I’d read Neil Gaiman before and been left cold by the writing. I’d read Terry Pratchett before and been left cold by the plot. Good Omens is a triumphant mix of these two writer’s styles; the genius of Gaiman’s imagination and the hilarious wicked humour of Pratchett.
Initially a short story thought up by Gaiman, this story really found its soul when it was passed to Pratchett for help in finding an ending for it. Both writers were initially clueless as to where the story should go, but after bouncing ideas off each for long enough they finally found their way.
Terry Pratchett has been quoted as saying he wrote over two thirds of this book and I think that is obvious when reading this book. The Month Python-esque wicked humour and larger than life characters such as demon Crowley and Madame Tracey (prostitute dominatrix-come-clairvoyant) are classic examples of the style Pratchett has become adored for by hoards of fans. However, there is no denying that Gaiman’s genius adds a focus to this book that is often lacking in Pratchett’s writing.
The book begins with the placing of the antichrist (in the form of a newborn baby) on earth in preparation for the coming apocalypse. We meet Aziraphale (originally the angel of the Garden of Eden) and Crowley (a demon formerly known as Crawley, the serpent from the Garden of Eden) whose job it is to carry out the work of heaven and hell (respectively) on Earth and who have formed an unlikely friendship over the centuries they have worked alongside each other.
Having grown quite attached to Earth they mutually decide to keep an eye on the antichrist to ensure he is exposed to an equal amount of good and evil, thus postponing the end of the world indefinitely.
Unfortunately, the child they think is the antichrist is in fact a bog standard human boy who was mixed up with the antichrist at birth. The actual antichrist, named Adam, is completely unaware of his powers, other than the fact he is aware that he is a natural leader of his gang of chums and can do pretty much whatever he wants whenever he wants in the little village he lives in.
Much to Aziraphale and Crowley’s dismay the powers that be make it clear that the apocalypse is still well on its way and they, along with a witch following the prophecies of her (nutty) descendent who forewarned the apocalypse , rush to the Adam’s small village in a last ditch attempt to save the Earth.
I lost count of the amount of times I belly laughed whilst reading this book. It's hilarious and throughly engaging. My only criticism would be that it seems to lose its thread towards the end. Whether this is a remnant of the authors’ problem in finding the ending to this story, or whether it’s a personal preference for not liking an ending that I felt simply... tailed off, I’m not sure. However, as lacking as I felt the ending was my overall enjoyment of this book was not affected. I loved the characters so much by the end that I just wanted to read about their lives, regardless of the plot.
I think it’s time to revisit some more Pratchett and Gaiman books and see if my eyes have been opened to their genius now! ...more