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2. Eleven Years Ago 
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Post 2. Eleven Years Ago
Eleven Years Ago

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Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:44 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
I must be a prophetess as well because when I mentioned Aziraphale and Crawly acting like drinking buddies in the first chapter, I didn't expect that to actually happen in any of the following chapters. I guess perhaps I should have. All I have to say is that their conversation kept me laughing out loud for a good three pages. I think my favorite mental image is of the bird flying a space ship to sharpen its beak on a mountain at the end of the universe every thousand years.

..."then you still won't have finished watching the Sound of Music." :lol:

And my favorite lines of all:

"Heaven has no taste" ..... "And not one single sushi restaurant." :laugh2:

Of all the drunken conversations I could imagine between an angel and a demon, I don't think I could have ever come up with that one. Epic!!!


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Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:38 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
I'm glad you're enjoying the humor, Seraphim! Believe me, it only gets better!

Yes, an eternity of The Sound of Music would certainly not be Heaven for even the most die hard Julie Andrews fan, but my favorite element in that conversation between Aziraphale and Crowley is their discussion of how many of the best musicians Hell has versus the few musicians Heaven has, and how it all comes down to the fact that Heaven only has two composers -- Elgar and Liszt, and Hell has everyone else - as Crowley says, "Beethoven, Brahms, all the Bachs, Mozart, the lot."

Then Crowley says to Aziraphale:
"Can you imagine an eternity with Elgar?"
Aziraphale shut his eyes. "All too easily," he groaned.


This is particularly funny if you have actually listened to all of these composers, and although I could tolerate Liszt for about a day or so before I started to get bored, I would have to agree that an eternity of Elgar would be truly awful.

Here are some samples of the composers listed in that conversation, courtesy of YouTube, just so that anyone who hasn't heard all of them can understand what would be missing in the "heavenly" music, or gained in the music of those whom Hell has claimed. ;)

Heaven's composers

Edward Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance(played at every graduation ceremony, ever)




Franz Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (for orchestra)




Hell's composers (at least, those whom Crowley named)

Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, Movement 1




Johannes Brahms, Hungarian Dance No. 5 (for orchestra and piano, very unusual)




Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Movement i. Allegro Moderato



(we'll only share one Bach, since there are so many and Johann Sebastian is the one we usually think of when we say "Bach," anyway :-P)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Queen of the Night Aria from The Magic Flute (Mozart's final opera)




...and as Crowley said, "the lot," meaning every other composer but Elgar and Liszt.

Whom would you rather listen to for eternity? I know where I stand, and it isn't in Heaven. :lol:



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Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:41 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
:lol: I loved that part as well with all the musicians. I think I'll be riding shotgun with you to where you're heading if that is how the end of the world will pan out.

There are just so many little things within this chapter that I love, it may take me a while to find them all again. I think one of my favorite details is Gaiman and Pratchett's flair for the dramatics when, each time they mention Baby 'C' (for lack of simple naming), they call him the 'Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of this World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness.' I wait for there to be a 'Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun' sound play out loud each time I finish reading that phrase. And I thought Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was a mouthful!

It's probably sad that my favorite character is one of Satan's minions, but there it is. I really love Crowley. He has some ridiculous and funny lines, and then he has some really thought-provoking ones. My favorite from him this chapter is when he tells Aziraphale that "You don't have to test everything to destruction just to see if you made it right." Sometimes it's good to know the limits of an object, which can often lead to its destruction and the rebuilding process, but with human life and the earth in general, would it really be worth it?

I guess that ties into what God's plan really is, which then segues into the fantastic dialogue about who is really fulfilling God's plan. Is Crowley unknowingly participating in God's plan? As an angel, ultimately, would whatever Aziraphale did, even in opposition to Crowley, be considered God's plan? Are they just large puppets in the grand scheme of things? The do seem to be a bit more free-thinking and free-willed than others, so it'll be interesting to see how things turn out with them. :D


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Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:37 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
I'm glad you're following along with such gusto -- it's exactly how I come at this book no matter how many times I read it. And it's ok -- you're officially given permission to love Crowley. He's pretty awesome. ;)

The naming of things and repeating the entire name every time it is mentioned is very important for dramatic purposes, and will carry through the book in many different ways, so I'm glad it's a point you find amusing. You're also spot on with the "ineffable" plan, and that no matter what Crowley or Aziraphale may do to thwart the plan, it will only further the plan because they are just pawns of either side...or are they? ;) We'll just have to keep reading to find out more. :)

Is anyone else out in the BookTalk world reading with us? Would anyone care to join us in our odd conversations about God's plan, demons and angels working together to thwart the apocalypse, and an aside into the music of Heaven and Hell? Anyone lurking should feel free to join us. We won't bite, after all, this isn't a zombie apocalypse we're talking about, just the normal kind.

Please join us!



Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:09 am
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
I am reading along with you and getting many chuckles.

The complete naming of things and constant repeating makes the names meaningless, like repeating a word many times until it loses all meaning and is only sound, which is, I think, the author's point; the existence of angels and demons is silly.


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Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:17 am
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
Thanks for joining us, Gary!

I agree. The repetition of the titles is not only hilarious, it downplays the importance of the title.

I like that you compare it to repeating a word so many times that it loses all meaning. This used to happen to me quite a bit when I was an adolescent. I remember one time in particular, when I was in junior high. I was studying my music for marching band. I was practicing the flute part without my flute (as mentioned in the Musicophilia thread) for the song "It's a Small World" (the obnoxious Disney one that no one listens to if they can help it :-P), and for some reason, I stopped paying attention to the notes and began to stare at the title. The more I looked at the word "world," the less it looked like a word, and at first I began to question its spelling, which I then noted to be correct, and then its definition, and I said the word out loud over and over, remembering how it sounded, but eventually it just became a collection of letters that made absolutely no sense whatsoever, and was hard even to speak, and my mind could no longer remember the word "world" or why it was on the page or why it was spelled that way. I probably spent a good fifteen minutes reflecting on this notion until my mom called me for something and I snapped out of it.

This still happens occasionally, when I stare at a word for too long (especially the word "world," even now), but I try to shake it off quickly and not get sucked into the void of non-understanding. It's almost trance-like, and is very strange. "World" is the worst word for this purpose, followed only secondly by the word "spaghetti." Seriously, that's a tough word to break down and lose all concept of. So weird. And don't test it, it's really not pleasant. Just take my word for it (which I know you won't, because we're all very curious and at least one of you is going to try to make the word "spaghetti" lose all meaning :-P).

So I completely understand what you mean, Gary, about the titles eventually losing their significance, and the humanness of the angel and demon does seem to suggest to us that the existence of such beings is ridiculous, because when it boils down to it, they're just like us. That may have happened from spending too many centuries among humans, but if the "ineffable" plan really called for angels and demons to live among humans long enough to act and feel as humans do, then it makes you wonder about the nature of the "ineffable" plan and the existence of angels and demons, doesn't it? ;)

I know it certainly makes me wonder.



Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:39 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
Isn't that the "human" way...to love the bad guys? However, it sounds as if C has been corrupted by humans instead of the other way around. I really enjoy his appreciation for the latest in high tech gadgets and fine living.

Does anyone else feel that the handling of the baby switch is symbolmatic of how there really is no organized plan in the universe?



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Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:48 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
lindad_amato wrote:
Isn't that the "human" way...to love the bad guys? However, it sounds as if C has been corrupted by humans instead of the other way around. I really enjoy his appreciation for the latest in high tech gadgets and fine living.

Does anyone else feel that the handling of the baby switch is symbolmatic of how there really is no organized plan in the universe?


I agree with you about Crowley -- spending that much time on Earth has definitely softened him up, even if he won't admit it, especially if you compare him to Hastur, the Duke of Hell that torches the nunnery once the baby switch has been completed. Crowley doesn't agree with his methods, and Hastur doesn't understand anything about Earth and how life on it works, and it is interesting to read their interaction, and the disdain each one has for the other.

I also agree with you about the baby switch -- I was going to ask what everyone thought of it, but thanks for getting there first! :)

The baby switch is an interesting case to look at, because Sister Mary, the nun who switches the babies, is never told which parents are which, and so she assumes that Mr. Young is the ambassador without even asking, and then tries to convince him to name the baby something Satanic (and the switched child who probably is Mr. Young's real baby will be called Warlock and raised to be the Antichrist), and all the while Mr. Young thinking she's just odd, and Sister Mary thinking she's talking to the father of the Antichrist. It's like a Gilbert and Sullivan opera without the singing. :lol:

I definitely agree that it is symbolic of the real chaos that controls the universe, and that the ineffable plan of either side is not really ineffable, as we will come to repeat over and over during the course of the novel.

Everyone's sharing such wonderful ideas, and it's only gonna get better! Thanks, guys! :)



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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
Is anyone ready to discuss Wednesday? I really enjoyed the corporate conference descriptions. I spent quite a few years in the corporate world and this really had me rolling around laughing.



Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:12 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
I'm ready and waiting. :)



Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:12 am
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
bleachededen wrote:
Is anyone else out in the BookTalk world reading with us? Would anyone care to join us in our odd conversations about God's plan, demons and angels working together to thwart the apocalypse, and an aside into the music of Heaven and Hell? Anyone lurking should feel free to join us. We won't bite, after all, this isn't a zombie apocalypse we're talking about, just the normal kind.

Please join us!


I think this post is a month old, but I just wanted to mention that I picked up the book and have started into it. I knew from this thread about the basic setup, so I'm just going along for the ride at this point. I read kind of slowly, so it might take me a while to post here, but I'm enjoying the book so far.



Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:22 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
I'm glad you're enjoying it! I'll still be around to respond to discussion in this forum. I really do love this book. :)



Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:30 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
Is there something wrong with me, if I'm not finding the book funny?

I might just not have the type of sense of humor you need for this book. I think I've smiled a couple of times, but I haven't laughed yet. I'm only about 30 pages in, though, so I'm just starting. But still, I figure I "should've" laughed by now, in a book that everyone says is so funny.



Last edited by Anderson on Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:57 pm
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Post Re: 2. Eleven Years Ago
Funny is subjective. If you don't find it funny, there's nothing at all wrong with you. There's never a point where you "should" laugh, you either do or you don't, and no one will fault you if you don't. Not everyone has the same sense of humor. No worries. :)



Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:11 am
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