Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition
Publication date 28 Nov 2006
Ever need a fun read to get you out of a rut?
I read Good Omens for the first time over 20 years ago. So when I heard that it was coming out as an Amazon Prime special, I knew it was time for a re-read.
Good Omens is the story of Armageddon. Sort of. Well, the Antichrist, the Four Horsemen, a witch, a witch hunter, and an angel and a demon who are quite frankly on far better terms than one would expect, are all there, so one would certainly think it’s the apocalypse.
Picture if you will: a man writes the first half of a story, but he doesn’t know how to finish it. So he calls up a friend, and they hash it out back and forth over a few months, all before email was really a thing. Full of inside jokes which have to be explained, plenty of what one could, if one so desired, call blasphemy, and frankly quite a bit more silliness that anyone would expect in an apocalyptic novel of nearly 500 pages, the book was, of course, an outrageous success.
Crowley, the demon, is put in charge of keeping an eye on the Antichrist. But in a mix up that was entirely due to the ineptitude of one very chatty satanist, the Antichrist is switched at birth with the wrong baby, and goes off to live a perfectly normal wholesome childhood in Lower Tadfield, while everyone is left chasing a perfectly normal child whom they name Warlock.
Crowley and his friend Aziraphale, the angel and rare book collector, devise a plan to thwart the apocalypse, because they like the world just like it is thank you very much, and anyway since they are planning it and God is ineffable, their plan must be part of his plan...
This is one of those books you could come back to a thousand times. It’s lighthearted and funny despite, even sometimes because of, it’s very serious theme. There’s something very Monty Python / Douglas Adams about the almost ridiculous comedy of this book. I am drawn to these like a moth to a flame, because sometimes I need a break from the dramatic flare of the modern day novel. You won’t cry, you won’t gasp, well, not unless it’s to catch your breath from a laugh.
If I ever get around to making a “Top 100 Books to Read Before You Die,” this book would be on it. I’ll probably never get around to it though, because, let’s face it, there are just too many books to read and I’d never be able to narrow it down. But this one, 100%, on the list.
5/5, now let’s watch the show!