Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Good Omens is the book that’s been on my mind since I first read Neil Gaiman and became hooked. It’s a novel about the end of the world and two supernatural entities who don’t want it to happen. Crowley is a demon and Aziraphale is an angel, but the two get along well enough because Crowley has “a spark of goodness in him,” and Aziraphale is “just enough of a bastard to be likable.” In 1655, a (probably) mortal woman named Agnes Nutter prophesied everything that would happen between her death and the end of the world, including exactly when and how that end would come about. She wrote it all down in a book called “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch,” which has been passed down through her descendants for three-hundred years, each of them dedicating their existence to cracking the eccentric witch’s codes.

It’s a very difficult book to summarize.

Also, eleven years ago two babies were born. One of them was switched with the Antichrist. Now the Antichrist is supposed to set off Armageddon, only he doesn’t really want to, either. And also no one knows where he is. And he has no idea that he’s the Antichrist, because how would he know? (Fun fact: WordPress only recognizes the words ‘antichrist’ and ‘armageddon’ if you capitalize them.)

So that all happened. And also it was quite funny. I didn’t spend all that much time laughing out loud, as certain friends of mine have, but there were parts that got me and the entire thing is undeniably brilliant. You know by now that I have a metaphorical literary ladyboner for Neil Gaiman, but I’ve never been able to finish a Terry Pratchett book. I don’t even really remember which ones I’ve tried to read. Wee Free Men, I think. I got about forty pages in and then I just sort of couldn’t go any further. I didn’t expect that to be a problem with this one, though, and it certainly wasn’t. Half of the time I’m reading, even if I’m not laughing or expressing it outwardly, I’m melting internally into a frenzy of fantastic writing.

The copy of the book I read (the cover of which resembles the white half of that picture there, with more acclamations) also included a short interview with the authors, and then two short essays; “Neil Gaiman on Terry Pratchett,” and “Terry Pratchett on Neil Gaiman.” These last goodies had me laughing harder than the book.

I just finished this a few minutes ago, and I’m stuck in this very giggly sort of mood. I’m not entirely sensible. It should also be said that this one came straight from Val’s rec list, so it’s another one I can cross off. There’s nothing quite so satisfying.

Published in: on October 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ok, you’ve convinced me. I’d like to read this one.

    • Shall I bring it around this weekend? I’m off Sunday, I was thinking Max and I would go over for dinner.

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