Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman Book Review

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, Humor
Authors: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Date Published: May 1, 1991
Publisher: Corgi
Edition: paperback
ISBN: 0552137030
Size: 416


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...


Review

All I could remember in reading this book is that I'm having plenty of good laughs. Thanks to a post in 9gag for recommending this book as the OP (original poster) deemed it a perfect gag material.

Good Omens is a delightful satire of the Biblical Apocalypse and the funniest religious satire I've encountered so far (alongside the film, Dogma with the famous cousins Ben Affleck and Matt Damon). When I'm not laughing, I had this grin plastered on my face the entire time I read the book. It was so funny that I felt the need to share the parts I find funny to my siblings who could do nothing but frown as I was very incoherent, just drunk from my inner laughs. Good thing, they were just tolerant.

I find it hard to distinguish which parts of the book is Gaiman's and which is Pratchett's. I have read four books by Gaiman and none by Pratchett that for all of the laughs I found, I assume they're all products of the latter as I've never read a funny book by Gaiman.

I did find scraps of dry and black humor in American Gods but still, I couldn't see a shadow of Gaiman's writing style in this book. So perhaps that's a good thing. Have the names of the authors weren't put in the book, I wouldn't even know that it's written by two people. And that is evidently a perfect marriage of two great authors (or would-be great as they weren't famous yet when the book was first published on 1990).

The story kicks off with two celestial beings—Aziraphale (an angel whom people from Earth would describe as gay which is not entirely true as angels are sexless, and part-time book hoarder) and Crawly (a serpent who was then thinking of changing his name as Crawly was not hint; so now let's settle at calling him Crowley, a demon, rather An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards)—talking after Adam fell from Grace in the garden of Eden.

The universe was just 7 days old and the demon was already beginning to question God's motives.
"You've got to admit it's a bit of a pantomime, though," said Crawly. "I mean, pointing out the Tree and saying 'Don't Touch' in big letters. Not very subtle, is it? I mean, why not put it on top of a high mountain or a long way off? Makes you wonder what He's really planning."
The angel on the other hand began his first somewhat-disobedience when he has given up his sword so Adam may be able to protect his family, what with Eve expecting already. Hence, the start of a friendship of two polar opposites that would span the entire age of the human existence (when the Bible is concerned).

So 6 millenia has passed and the End of the World is scheduled in 11 years. It is Crowley's duty to deliver the Antichrist, Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness to his destined human parents so he may fulfill his destiny, that is to bring about the prophesied Apocalypse.

The two have spent all their ethereal lives on Earth (and love their lifestyles) that they're not sure they'd want the Apocalypse, the End of the World, the Great War, The Ineffable Plan to happen.

Lucky for them, a scatterbrain of a satanistic nun has misplaced the Antichrist.

Crowley was the best thing that happened in this story. He's quirky, funny, and idiosyncratic (all cassette tapes slapped into his player would transform into Queen). He's marked with up-to-dateness that his flat is of minimalist design and his plants are the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London, also the most terrified when he scares them to death when one shows signs of wilting. He also has a perfect grasp of the idea of networking. When the likes of Ligur and Hastur (two other demons) would secure souls for hell in long painstaking singular manner, he'd rather bugger people off using the telephone system so these people may blow off steam on others and therefore, buying their own tickets to hell.

I especially liked the transformation of the Hellhound (who used to chase lost souls in hell) into a typical dog named "Dog". He'd rather trade his strong sinister abilities with figuring out cats, chasing rabits and smelling other dogs. After all, there are no bitches in hell.

I love the P's in the story. When the four horsemen assembled for war, Pestilence was long substituted by Pollution while muttering about Penicillin on his exit on 1936.

I also enjoyed the parts of Them with the fun, adventures and quirk of kids. Those who can't appreciate them may have no imagination as a kid… although they sound too childish when 11-year-olds are concerned. Their line of thinking is that of a 7 or 6-year-old. Ergo, their mindset are too immature. But despite all that, I found myself rooting for the Antichrist for whatever was its worth.

Adam Young is promising even when you subtract his identity as the Antichrist. Perhaps it was because he was described as a prepubescent Greek god by Agnes Nutter's Professional Descendant. Nah, even before that part, I already find myself drawn to him. And for this, I must say I must be nuts.

There are many other funny characters and many other funny things that I might be able to write my own book if I don't stop writing now.

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