“Anyway, if you stop tellin’ people it’s all sorted out after they’re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they’re alive. ”
“She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.”
Wow! Is this book already almost thirty years old? I remember buying the first paperback edition back in the days of Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series. In fact, the author used the Sandman’s letters page to announce Good Omens’ release. I remember that, too. So, this is what getting old feels like.
Good Omens is a black-comedy about Armageddon set at the end of the 1980s. Its main characters are an angel, a demon, a witch, a witch-finder, the antichrist and his friends. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse also feature. It was written by Neil Gaiman, (Sandman, American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book) and Terry Pratchett, (The Discworld series).
Here is a brief synopsis of the story:
‘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 . . .’
This was a long overdue re-read for me. I read it at the end of last year as part of Tor’s Good Omens Reread. I enjoyed it so much that I upped my rating from four to 5 Stars on Goodreads.
Why you should read Good Omens:
- It’s co-written by Gaiman and Pratchett. C’mon, that should be enough by itself!
- It is often laugh-out-loud funny! No, really. I frequently laughed out loud.
- It has a fantastic and entertaining story which is surprisingly moving in parts.
- The story also has some very wise things to say about us humans.
- The characters are extremely well drawn; all of them. So much so, it is difficult to choose a favourite. (On my first read all those years ago, I liked Crowley the best. Now I’m tempted to change to Aziraphale or War.)
- The scenes featuring the Four Horsemen are very memorable – both cool and scary!
This is an Essential Recommend from me. I recommend it to all readers, especially those with a sense of humour and an open mind. If you have any interest in Pratchett’s Discworld stories or Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, then this is for you! It’s a wonderful, witty and wise story written by two authors who turned out to be a match made in heaven (or hell!).