First though, I will note that I forgot about/missed the short "in the beginning" section since it was before the dramatis personae and all that, so I'll just add that in as well.
And if anyone wants a spoiler post as well, lemme know.
Anyhow, yeah, obviously it's a fair point about the forbidden tree. An omnipotent, omniscience god that creates a forbidden tree and then chucks it right in the place with the people he's "keeping it from"? Pull the other one, it's got bells on.
Hopefully there are no creationists reading along with us, since they'd probably be in a froth fairly early, at least unless the humor/sarcasm goes over their poor little heads.
Also, we pretty quickly get into the strict British bits, what with the M25 and all. I guess us Americans will just have to take it for granted that it's a very very annoying stretch of motorway. Likewise some of the other references. (What's wrong with Manchester?)
I'm also wondering who Moey and Chandon are, which I should know since I own (somewhere) a Best of Queen tape (well, okay, Classic Queen and Queen's Greatest Hits, so two of them, since I don't think there is specifically a "Best of Queen"), and I'm assuming it's a mondegreen, but I can't place it. XD
It's also weird to read a book that's not that extremely old, and have a car phone *without wires* be so very modern and technological! Of course, the different references make this a bit odd: the book was written (or at least published) in 1990, so since I don't think there would be any "Best of Queen" type compilations yet and car phones floating around at that point, I'm assuming "eleven years ago" would be more or less the time of the writing of the book, which makes the rest of it in the future. (Well, their future, our past.) Confusing!
I have to agree with Crowley though - why him? Maybe because he's well-versed in the current world and wouldn't be as likely to make a gaffe due to ignorance, but he's also lazy and, well, not as much a traditionalist. Oh well. The voice says that he's earned it, so maybe it's for his work with the motorway, or maybe just the fact that he's been giving all the people the low-grade tarnish treatment.
Gotta love the long footnotes that take up more page space than the rest of the text in some cases... I sense Pratchett's fingerprint on those! As a general note, you can sense each author's input (at least, I think so) in different places. Pratchett's puns and humor tend to draw attention to themselves, and be more blatant, while Gaiman's seems more subtle, something you might skim right past if you're not careful. That could be my imagination though.
And then there's Agnes Nutter, a name with Pratchett stamped all over it...
As a note, I had some of those books that are talked about, where the kids' name and some personalized info are inserted in the story! I loved them. <3
Hah, and I love the comment about the musicians in heaven vs. hell. Probably true too, I mean in terms of where they would end up divvied.
Anyhow, not too much to say since we're still getting warmed up, and I'm still getting back into the swing of things. The two authors do make for an interesting but pleasing blend of humor though, I think. (Pratchett I suppose more for the actual humor, with Gaiman lending more of the sarcasm. Maybe.)
Also: long sections are long!
The lyrics quotes after the ending of Crowley's instructions are, of course, from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
From the world dictionary on dictionary.com: A left-footer is a Roman Catholic, "[C20: from the Northern Irish saying that farm workers in Eire use the left foot to push a spade when digging]"
From Wiki Pete: "A missal is a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year." As opposed to, y'know, a missile.