Are you looking for a fun, quirky book to read? Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witchby Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is an oldie but goody.
If it’s an oldie, why write a review?
Because I keep running into people who haven’t read this gem, and most of all, because I love this book. The satire is at once silly and hysterical with some honest-to-goodness wit thrown into the mix. It’s a zany romp that only the young at heart should take. There’s enough British wit and humor to satisfy anyone who likes that sort of thing, and it’s genuinely crazy enough to amuse most people. If you’re a Douglas Adams fan, well, then you’ve probably read Good Omens.
Warning: if you have no sense of humor or if you hate silly, stop reading this review.
Satan and God have a huge problem: the Antichrist has gone missing, and they need him for the apocalypse. It turns out that when the lad was born, some evil nuns gave him to the wrong couple, and he grew up in a sleepy English suburb. Expect for his untapped “evil” power, he’s an ordinary kid rather like Kevin McCallister, the kid in Home Alone .
Because they happen to like earth and don’t want it destroyed, Aziraphale (an angel) and Crowley (a demon) team up to stop the apocalypse; they are much like a British version of the Odd Couple who are trying to save the world from inevitable doom��"Crowley, of course, lives life wildly and fully, while Aziraphale is quiet and refined. While everyone (God, Satan, angels, demons, and humans) searches for the Antichrist, the Four “Bikers” of the Apocalypse gather. And, yes, the Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch are important.
Pratchett and Gaiman have created a diverse and eccentric cast of characters. The impending doom is told through multiple points of view as everyone races to save or destroy the world. As any reader would expect, they all come crashing together at the end of the book.
Why do I like it?
This may be one of the funniest books I’ve read. First, Pratchett and Gaiman turn the story of the apocalypse inside-out, then, they turn it sideways, and finally, they manage to make the end of the world riotous and entertaining. Along the way, they poke and prod at the ordinary, the crass, and the sacred.
I’ll admit there is a great deal of silliness about the book, and some of the motifs have been used before, but Gaiman and Pratchett take those motifs and spin them with enduring flare. After all, the book was published in 1990 and is still going strong.
I’m always excited when someone I know reads Good Omens for the first time.
So my friend, take a break from the real world, put aside all serious thoughts, get comfortable, and read this delicious book.
dawn betts-green, August 20, 2007 (view all comments by dawn betts-green)
separately, neil gaiman and terry pratchett are fabulous...together, cataclismically funny! this book is a great read for anyone, but especially those in love with the discworld series and gaiman's anasi boys.
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Michelleyevshky, June 4, 2007 (view all comments by Michelleyevshky)
Laugh out loud fun and games with both heaven and hell. The battle of good and evil isn't all about the sword of truth and demon dances, there are moments of treaty and beneath that white flag both demon and angel peer bewilderdly into the fog and flummery of humanity.
Add to this the mistakes of the divine, the mix-up of the satanic, the baying hound of hell and you've got some Gaiman-y goodness and Pratchett-y prose you won't soon forget.
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Chirpee, March 31, 2007 (view all comments by Chirpee)
This is the best book about the apocolypse ever! Pratchett and Gaiman make a great team. Their whole take on the end times is irreverantly hilarious, from the bungling of the baby-switch of the anti-Christ, to the four motorcyclists of the apocolypse, to the demon and angel who are pals, and really kind of like the earth, and don't particularly want it to end. I had to be talked into reading this book the first time, but it has since become one of my favorites.
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