Title: Good Omens
Authors: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
I must start by saying that I had never read anything by either of these authors before. Honestly, I was kind of intimidated because they both have such a strong, loyal following and have had great influence. Yet, Good Omens was the perfect introduction for me.
This book is delightful. There isn’t any other way to put it.
It has one of those irreverent, self-aware, and witty tones that are rare to find. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this novel. If you, like me, have a sense of humor that was shaped by shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’ll probably find this funny too. Also the jokes have a very dry, dark quality to them that came across as incredibly British to me. That said, not all jokes have aged well after 26 years. Still one of the best examples can be found on the following two character descriptions at the very beginning of the novel:
Crowley (An Angel who did not Fall as much as Vaguely Saunter Downwards)
Dog (Satanical hellhound and cat-worrier)
There is ton of research put into the apocalyptic parts, with all kind of hidden references and jokes for those that know the history. Mixed with this, as it is to be expect from these two authors, is a lot of originality as the mythology is adapted to late eighties culture. So mcuh that it left me wanting to read Gaiman’s American Gods.
However, the book can feel a bit unfocused at times. Going in, I was expecting it to be Crowley and Aziraphale’s story and it is not. The novel has a huge cast filled with quirky, fun characters. Some land better than others, though, which makes some parts drag a little. I found myself getting a bit bored with the Them sections, for example. With so many characters, it was bound to happen.