Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be skeptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea? You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist… 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What a delightful, quirky book! I watched the TV show first (which I’ll get to in a sec) and followed it up with the book, and the absurdist, clever tone in both was a perfect match for my sense of humor.

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons of this book to Douglas Adams’ writing, which is a pretty good comparison in my opinion. But whereas Hitchhiker’s Guide often felt more silly and childish and chock-full of explicit humor, Good Omens reads better for an older audience that’s able to appreciate subtle jokes and nuances. Despite being about the end of the world and the upcoming Apocalypse, it somehow remains light-hearted and like Pratchett and Gaiman are slyly winking at you throughout. I thought it was funny, highly original, and with lots of lovable personalities to boot.

The scenes related to the angels and demons were my favorite; the parallel plots surrounding Adam the Antichrist and Anathema Device (yep, that’s her real name), less so. Not because they’re any less well-written! It’s genuinely only because the cast of supernatural characters is just that endearing that you wanted more of them and less of whatever was happening Earthside.

On the show: it is absolutely wonderful. Even better than the book, in my opinion, and that’s really saying something. It follows the book (thankfully) quite faithfully and even adds a fun twist at the end, and both the casting and directing are great. Speaking of the casting, it’s the chemistry between David Tennant and Charlie Sheen that 100% makes the whole show! Their on-screen banter was hilarious – really bringing to life the dialogue in the book – and their relationship overall was so, so charming. Just two immortal souls on rival teams who keep bumping into each other over the millennia and developing an unlikely but delightful friendship. Gah. I could’ve watched 6 more episodes of just them as they meandered throughout history together, squabbling the entire time.

Is Good Omens for everyone? Oh no, I think there are plenty of people who have more conventional senses of humor and would think this much too ridiculous and not funny at all. If you do have an appreciation for the whimsical though, it’s worth checking out.

One thought on “Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

  1. Mel, I’m embarrassed to admit but I’ve had this book on my nightstand for a year now, and I’ve yet to pick it up 🙈, but I’m not giving up yet 😀

    Like

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