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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch » User review

From Beginning to End.

  • Sep 14, 2006
Rating:
+3
Crowley is a demon and Aziraphale is an angel. Despite their differences, for example Crowley likes to drive fancy race-cars while blaring rock music (that somehow always turns into a "Best of Queen" album) and Aziraphale prefers more classic vehicles and music, and being on opposing sides of an universal war, Aziraphale and Crowley have remained friends. They've actually been friends since almost the beginning of creation when Crowley took the form of a serpent to tempt the first humans and Aziraphale lost the flaming sword that he was supposed to use in defense of the Garden of Eden. More than each other, they have both become accustomed to the human universe in which they live.

Then Crowley gets the word that the time has come for the arrival of the Anti-Christ. He can't believe it's all going to end, but like a good demon he does his duty. Unbeknownst to him, though the Satanic nuns at the hospital where he delivered the child had a minor mix-up and the Anti-Christ ends up going home with a working class English couple instead of the American diplomat he was supposed to. In this novel, prophecy move along regardless of the circumstances (probably foretold in the "The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch") and neither side discovers the error until eleven years later when a hellhound is released and never appears at the appointed place. By that time things are in a major uproar because the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (who prefer to ride Harley's instead of horses), Death, Pestilence, Famine, and War have already started going about trying to destroy most of the world while most of the hosts Heaven and Hell are preparing for battle in the upcoming Armageddon.

Things don't look very well. Yet, there's an eleven-year-old boy in England who has visions of UFOs, a hollow Earth, and tunneling Tibetans that suddenly start happening. Things just aren't what they used to be. As the only two creatures who seem to have a clue what is going on, it's up to Crowley and Aziraphale to try to put things right before the world ends.

I thoroughly enjoyed GOOD OMENS. The book was full of classic Brittish wit coloured with good-old American humor and pop culture references. I have never read anything by Gaiman (though I have heard of his SANDMAN works) or Pratchett and picked up this novel after hearing that Terry Gilliam was wanting to turn the book into a movie. I've enjoyed many of Gilliam's other works and wanted to stay ahead of the game and read the book ahead of time (the movie is in limbo right now, though).

My only negative complaint is that the book has several characters, so at times it is a bit difficult to keep up with what is happening to whom and where. I know that there are also some who would be offend by the misuse of the Biblical elements used to form the foundation of the story. I usually tend to view things such as the Apocalypse, Armageddon, and the end of the world in a serious light myself. However, I knew before reading this book that these writers weren't going to that and I ended up enjoying the book immensely. It made me laugh many times.

Just watch out for those good omens. They rarely are that good.

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Wiki

The world is going to end next Saturday, just before dinner, but it turns out there are a few problems--the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the representatives from heaven and hell decide that they like the human race, in a new edition of the classic novel, featuring a new afterword from the authors. Read by Martin Jarvis.

***

Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame) may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon) of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both. Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor; the result is a humanist delight to be savored and reread again and again. You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books...
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Details

ISBN-13: 978-0060853983
Author: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Torch
Date Published: December 01, 2006
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