Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens examines the apocalypse with a sense of humor. I have not previously read any Terry Pratchett, but Neil Gaiman’s books, especially The Graveyard Book, have been favorites. So… exactly what would happen if the Antichrist wasn’t terribly invested in making Armageddon happen?
The novel begins with an introduction of Crawly (later Crowley), a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel—unlikely friends present at the fall of man (Crowley was the serpent) who remain on earth until the fulfillment of God’s ineffable plan. The thing is, they like it a little too much and make an unlikely team as they try to prevent the apocalypse. Meanwhile, Adam Young grows up in the small English town of Tadfield, the leader of a small gang of children, not knowing his destiny is to bring about the end of times. His neighbor, Anathema Device, is the descendant of Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies are so accurate they’re very nearly useless, moves to Tadfield to be in place as Armageddon unfolds. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—Death, War, Famine, and Pollution (Pestilence retired, muttering something about penicillin)—descend on Tadfield.
I found the book entertaining, and Martin Jarvis is a good narrator. The book seemed to go fast. It was funny—some moments of genuine laugh-out-loud humor. I particularly liked the characterization of Death as being technologically illiterate. The characters are likable, especially Crowley and Aziraphale. In the end, however, the book felt more like a snack than a meal—light fun, but ultimately not terribly memorable.Rating:
This book brings me one book closer to meeting the “Bob’s Your Uncle” level (six books) for the Typically British Reading Challenge.
6 thoughts on “Good Omens”
It's maybe not the most memorable of all Neil Gaiman's books, but there are bits of it I always remember, like the drunken conversation Crowley and Aziraphale have about whales. Just a fun read. 🙂
I agree! A fun read. I think Neil Gaiman has a real feel for how kids really interact. I loved Warlock's birthday party when Aziraphale was trying to entertain the kids. They reacted pretty much how kids would. Not sure who wrote that part, but based on reading The Graveyard Book, it seems like it has Neil Gaiman's stamp on it.
I've been meaning to read this book for ages. Perhaps this summer I will be able to pull it off the shelf and indulge. I love both Gaiman and Pratchett so I am curious to see how the two work together.
Stefanie, I honestly couldn't have told Neil Gaiman didn't write the whole thing. My guess is that they share a sense of humor. They worked well together.
I read this book many years ago, and is the only Pratchett I've read to this point. You are right in that there are some real laugh out loud moments in the book. I found myself doing that often when something struck me as particularly funny. I've read comments from both authors that say their fans would be surprised to learn which parts were written by which author as they supposedly mimicked each other fairly well during the creative process. I consider it recommended reading for Gaiman fans, for sure. Great fun.
I can believe that. One thing I did decide after reading it is that I want to read more Pratchett.
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