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261 of 267 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James DeWitt said it best
SYNOPSIS:
The Antichrist is coming. The world's about to end. The only problem is the "rank and file" angels and demons (who've begun to enjoy each other's company and understand each other over the eons) aren't so sure they want Armageddon to come.

MY TAKE:
I'll keep this short. I adore Douglas Adams and the twisted wry humour found in both his...
Published on February 7, 2005 by Greg Brady

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The prophecies are a bit off track.
I've read several of Gaiman's books before, and I've read one of Pratchett's. This books is well within both of their styles, so you might like it better if you're more of a fan of their books than I am.

Characters

The beginning of the book centers on Crowley, who is a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel. These two have been on opposing sides over the...
Published on April 24, 2011 by Blizzerd03


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261 of 267 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James DeWitt said it best, February 7, 2005
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
SYNOPSIS:
The Antichrist is coming. The world's about to end. The only problem is the "rank and file" angels and demons (who've begun to enjoy each other's company and understand each other over the eons) aren't so sure they want Armageddon to come.

MY TAKE:
I'll keep this short. I adore Douglas Adams and the twisted wry humour found in both his "Hitchhiker's Trilogy" and the books of the Dirk Gently series. The blurb said it was similar. I gave it a try. It was.

You will especially enjoy this if you have:
1) a DECENT working knowledge of Christianity (to get some of the subtle digs)
2) a knowledge of pop culture depictions of evil (the Exorcist movies and the like)
3) the ability to laugh at your own religious perspectives

I consider myself an evangelical and thought this was laugh out loud outrageous. But if you're of the mindset that God can't take a joke, well, you're probably better off with a different book...
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358 of 376 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, September 30, 2000
By 
James D. DeWitt "Alaska Fan" (Fairbanks, AK United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
Bad news. The Apocalypse is coming. Soon. Luckily, Heaven and Hell have left the business with the Anti-Christ in the hands of Crowley and Aziraphale, demon and angel respectively. Now they have misplaced the Anti-Christ and pretty much decided they really like humanity a lot more than their either of their bosses.
In the first edition, the full title of this book was "The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch." "Nice," in this context, meaning precisely correct. Agnes saw it all coming, from her being burned alive as a witch to the air force base where Armageddon will begin ("Peas is our professiune."). Agnes, her descendant, Anathema, the Four Horseman - Horsepersons - and the Other Four Horseman (a different chapter of Hell's Angels); it all comes together with the serried ranks of angels and demons gathered overhead.
Yes, this is an hysterically funny book. A satire and a parody, it lampoons everything in sight. From Elvis sightings to televangelists to the destruction of all intelligent life ("nothing left but dust and fundamentalists."), little escapes the scathing wit of Gaiman and Pratchett.
Of course the demon, Crowley, drives a 1926 Bentley. Of course any tape left in its glove box for more than two weeks turns into something by Queen. Of course the flaming sword used by War is delivered to her by International Express.
And what happens to the telephone solicitor, Lisa Morrow? Come on now, you secretly thought all telephone solicitors deserved it, right?
In the tradition of Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain, the satire makes a point. That point may be unpalatable to the religiously inflexible, or to those whose sense of righteousness hampers their sense of humor. Critics of Swift and Twain would find much to criticize in Good Omens. But Pratchett and Gaiman demonstrate that we don't need Heaven or Hell to have Good and Evil in the world; we have all we need in ourselves. It's the humanity of Adam Young, the Adversary, the Angel of the Bottomless Pit, etc., it's his human-ness that ultimately makes all the difference.
Don't read this book in bed; you'll keep your spouse awake, laughing out loud. But there's nothing else bad that can be said about it. Ineffability may be beyond our understanding, but humor, even humor in the face of the End of the World, we can understand.
Try this book. I will predict, with Agnes, you'll like it.
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426 of 464 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Vacation Fun, March 27, 2001
By 
Elderbear (Loma Linda, Aztlan) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
A couple years ago we did a lot of driving during vacation. My wife read this book to me while I drove, and the kids (11 & 6) listened in. (Soon after vacation, we got a second black cat. As we already had one named Aleister, this one got named Aziraphale. She's sitting on my lap, begging for attenion right now!)
This is a comedy of errors about the eschaton, the Antichrist, and Armageddon. My wife & I grew up taking the Apocalypse quite seriously. That served only to make this book funnier. Our children, who couldn't tell an antichrist from an anti-Chrystler, found the book entertaining as well.
Fast read. Lots of fun. If you've read all of Douglas Adams' books and are hungering for more, this is the book for you! You might consider following it with Terry Prachett's Small Gods.
(If you enjoyed this review, please leave positive feedback. To see more of my reviews, click on the "about me" link above. Thanks!)
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My All-Time Favorite Book, August 19, 2003
By 
Ms. Toni L. Carman "shakershrink" (Shaker Heights, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
I really wish there were something above five stars that I could give this novel. It is probably my all-time favorite book. It's a collaboration by two of my favorite authors, and combines the best traits of both -- Pratchett's wonderful sense of the absurd in our daily existance, and Gaiman's extremely dark, somewhat twisted sense of humor. The result is a book that made me laugh until my sides hurt, but also gave me a chance to think about the good and evil that are intrinsic parts of humanity.
Someone recommended this to me as "a funny book about the Apocalypse", and I was a little nervous -- I've never read the Bible, so would I not "get" the jokes? But an in-depth insight into religion is not needed; all you need is a sense of humor and a knowledge of the most basic points of Christian theology/culture (angels, devils, nuns, etc.).
The book centers around the actions of Aziraphale, an angel and part-time rare book dealer, and Crowley, a demon who's in love with his black vintage Bentley. Both have been on Earth since "the Beginning," which has produced something of a sense of camaraderie, although their respective supervisors fear that the two are "going native." The Apocolypse is scheduled to begin soon, but, alas, Crowley seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. Armed with little else than "Best of Queen" tapes and a rare book of obtuse prophecies, they race to track down the Antichrist before he gains the use of his powers. Joining in the fight are a witch and a wages clerk/Witchfinder Private. Sound odd? It does to them too. But one thing's for sure: once the Four Bikers (nee Horsepeople -- War's a woman) of the Apocolypse ride out, all is lost...
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the only book I bought twice, April 7, 2000
By 
Jürgen Klecker (Würzburg, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Good Omens (Paperback)
I once lent this book to I don't remember who, never got it back - but I wasn't angry. I was actually GLAD that somebody else obviously loved it as much as I do.
well, the thing is, everything has been said. I just read all the reviews, and was glad to see I'm not the only one who loved the horsepersons of the apocalypse. But I think old Agnes Nutter (witch), the delivery guy and Thou-shalt-not-commit-adultery Pulsifer deserve at least some honorary mention. I mean, all the characters are hilarious! Pratchett and Gaiman know where it's at! They answer fundamental questions, like
...what happens when a US-tv preacher actually meets a real archangel?
...how can answering machines help a fallen angel in his fight against the dukes of hell?
... who is responsible for Milton Keynes?
... what does the hellhound look like?
... what's the plan behind London transport?
And for those who compare this to Douglas Adams' hitch-hikers series: you are clueless. I mean, you might as well state that Finnegan's Wake was inferior to Mickey Mouse, or that Bach's concertos don't quite live up to "Cats" .
Good Omens has genuine esprit. Intellectuals can enjoy it. But my 86-year old, working class, staunchly catholic grandma enjoyed it, too.
Try to beat that.
So: read it!
I once had the fortune to attend a lecture held by Terry Pratchett. That was before I read "Good Omens" (back then, I only knes his discworld books). If I ever meet him again, I'll buy him all the banana daiquiries he asks for.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angels, Demons, Death, and Witches--What More Can You Want?, March 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
"Good Omens" is one of the funniest books I have ever had the good fortune to find on a library search engine, and that's something considering that I've read nearly all of Mr. Pratchett's wonderful Discworld novels. I especially enjoyed how, in usual PTerry style, the story had several plots going at once that are constantly interrupted by each other but that somehow all come together in the end. Crowley and Aziraphale are just about the coolest demon/angel team I've ever heard of, the Them were fabulous "kid" characters, and of course our four horsemen (excuse me--horsePEOPLE) made their few cameo appearances quite hilarious. (I'm a little prejudiced when it comes to this area--DEATH has always been my favorite Pratchett character and I was absolutely thrilled when I read the "Cast List" and found Him on it) Anyone who loves to laugh at human nature and of course at the Book of Revelations will find "Good Omens" to be a great read. Terry and Neil, you should get together more often! ^_^
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read. Seriously., December 2, 2002
By 
Benjamin (ATLANTA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
God, this was intelligent. God, this was funny. God, this was well-plotted. God, this was the Apocalypse.
I suppose I should say more. Here goes:
Crowley, the snake who initially tempts Eve in the Garden of Eden, decides, along with the angel who initially watched over them, that the human race isn't all that bad. Though the Apocalypse is on them, complete with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding Harleys and a switched-at-birth Antichrist who doesn't realize that he's the Antichrist, perhaps the world shouldn't end after all.
Crowley is an intensely cool character, neither completely bad nor completely good. He takes his job of condemning souls to Hell not too seriously, for he realized a couple centuries ago that human beings faced with enough daily aggravations could condemn themselves.
The angel Arizaphale, I believe his name was, runs a bookstore collecting rare books and, most aptly, prophecy Bibles. (This and the footnotes in the book are the funniest, most "Hitchhiker's Guide" moments in it.) Arizaphale realized that human beings should be allowed to continue on in order to keep making art.
So the two team up with witches, parents and other veddy British personalities to save the world from its supposed end.
This is very funny.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of both worlds., January 9, 2006
By 
Neil Taylor "NTPix" (South Bend, Indiana) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
This book represents the best of both worlds in so many ways. The best work of both Pratchett and Gaiman, The best of dark comedy. The best of parody and originality. It is a book that's laugh out loud funny and extremely intelligent and thought provoking. And internally the best of both heaven (Aziraphale) and hell (Crowley).

This is a story about the biblical armageddon. Well it's supposed to be. Unfortumately the Anti-Christ gets mixed up at birth and is raised by an exceptionally moderate rural English family so instead of being raised to a sense of rank and privilege and righteous power he's raised as humble and thoughtful as an 11 year old can be (which isn't that much, admittedly).

On the surface the book is a parody of The Omen. But that's just the starting point. It takes the concept and runs of in a totally different direction following its own internal plot instead of trying to parallel the movie.

And it's an excellent plot. It has no glaring holes, no jarringly ridiculous coincidences and, despite being part of the central theme, no precisely accurate profecies pushing the storyline around. They're there of course, but since Agnes Nutter didn't understand what she was seeing her descriptions of the modern world from a medieval viewpoint are difficult to decipher so they're only rarely understood before the event they describe (although "Don't buy Beta Macks" was surprisingly helpful).

The characters are all brilliantly conceived and sympathetic. The anthropomorphic personifications of the four horsemen were hysterically funny. I particularly liked Famine, with his wry sense of humour; starving the rich by inventing Nouvelle Quisine and writing diet books and starving the poor by inventing burger chains where the food had so much fat and carbohydrate and so little nutritional value that people could get fat and still die of malnutrition.

I've read the book several times and it bears repeated reading very well. Some minor cracks show up, but more importantly new insights are gained. The parallels between Adam and his 3 buddies and the four horsemen (and even the "other" four horsemen) took a couple of reading to really register; for instance.

The humour IS very English. Deadpan, often sarcastic, and deeply wrapped up into the plotline. This isn't a Monty Python or Fawlty Towers type farce, this is more like a Spinal Tap, a story that feels real and allows the humour to rise unforced out of the story.

Douglas Adams is the humourist that is closest to this stylistically and comparisons are often made, although I think both Pratchett and Gaiman are better storytellers. If you didn't like Adams's style of humour you might not like this book. If you liked Adam's humour but thought his storytelling was a bit weak then you'll LOVE these authors and this book in particular.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hysterical, wonderful plot, March 6, 2002
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
Most science fiction & fantasy readers will kind of tilt their heads like confused puppies at a pairing such as Gaiman & Pratchett - Gaiman is notoriously dark, and Pratchett equally notoriously light-hearted; however, these two have worked together to create an entirely brilliant piece of work.
As Clive Barker notes on the cover of this book, "The Apocalypse has never been funnier;" he's totally correct in that assessment. The basic plot is that the Antichrist has been misplaced, and the respective minions of heaven and hell actually find themselves liking people in general, and are somewhat reluctant to bring us all to our demise.
There are lines in this book that are so funny, I occasionally had difficulty breathing from laughing too hard; this duo's clever, twisted silliness is just right up my alley. Some of the passages are so wicked, so briliant, they'll leave the reader wiping tears of mirth. Being a fan of much British humor, there was a veritable plethora of chuckles in such references as Milton Keynes, England's highway system, and in the delightful idioms. The idea of heaven and hell being run by beaurocracy is amusing as well.
Devout Christian practioners may find this book to be sacreligious, if they are unable to take their religion lightly. Apart from those folks, I'd imagine that most people will really enjoy this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The prophecies are a bit off track., April 24, 2011
I've read several of Gaiman's books before, and I've read one of Pratchett's. This books is well within both of their styles, so you might like it better if you're more of a fan of their books than I am.

Characters

The beginning of the book centers on Crowley, who is a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel. These two have been on opposing sides over the past 6,000 years that the world has existed, and over that time they've developed a friendship of sorts. At the very least they try not to interfere with each other. Along with these two, the book also shows several humans as they interact with each other and the events going on in the world.

Setting

The book is set in England around the time it was written. Late 1980's or early 1990's.

Plot

This is the brilliant idea of the book. The basic premise is that instead of being raised by satanists who will push him towards the evil he was intended to do, the antichrist (named Adam in the book) is raised by a regular family in a small suburban town. The book takes place in the days leading up to Armageddon. We follow Aziraphale, Crowley, Adam, and several other characters as they deal with some very strange things happening in the world.

Enjoyment

The book had a wonderful premise, but in a lot of ways just never worked for me as well as I think it could've. There were a lot of funny parts (Crowley fighting off two other demons, killing one with holy water and trapping the other one in an answering machine tape was fun), but ultimately the way the story was told was odd. All of the primary viewpoint characters ultimately end up being very tangental to the overall plot. There were also a lot of times when the humor in the book seemed stretched to me. If you've read Pratchett before, you know that he uses footnotes in his books, while these aren't necessarily bad, in this book they really varied from amazingly entertaining to me asking why I even bothered to read them.

Overall Grade

Some good, some bad, if you're a fan of Pratchett or Gaiman, go for it, otherwise I can't say I'd give this book too much of a recommendation.

6/10
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Good Omens
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman (Mass Market Paperback - May 1, 1996)
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