I read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett more than four months ago, in early November. I’d had the book for more than a year, borrowed from my friend Chelle and due to the length of time I kept it, even Chelle’s partner noticed the absence.
Now, my book review for the blog has been languishing for months, and I haven’t updated any books I’ve read subsequently due to my necessity for proper chronology. So, now that the public lashings are done with, on to the review.
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…
The book is easy to get into, straightforward to read, and very silly. There were even parts where I laughed out loud—I remember one particular passage where a minor character had “a head that invited violence”. Although I didn’t laugh as hard as I do reading Christopher Moore, it was still very fun.
I especially liked the Aziraphale (angel) and the Crowley (demon) and their on-going friendship despite being “sworn enemies”. I really enjoyed the four horsemen of the apocalypse: War, Famine, Death and Pollution (who replaced Pestilence in 1936 after the discovery of penicillin). I didn’t really care about the Antichrist, or his accidental replacement.
The foreshadow and plot were expected, but it was a good read and quite a feat for two authors to write a novel by correspondence with floppy discs and telephone calls. Overall, it was fun to imagine Pratchett writing Aziraphale or Crowley, and Gaiman writing the other (which was not what actually happened, but it’s fun to imagine). This was my first foray into both Gaiman and Pratchett, and it certainly won’t be my last.