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Are You Ready to Romp Through the Apocalypse?
on May 28, 2014
The Perfect Summer Read
Are you looking for a fun, quirky book to read? Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witchby Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is an oldie but goody.
If it’s an oldie, why write a review?
Because I keep running into people who haven’t read this gem, and most of all, because I love this book. The satire is at once silly and hysterical with some honest-to-goodness wit thrown into the mix. It’s a zany romp that only the young at heart should take. There’s enough British wit and humor to satisfy anyone who likes that sort of thing, and it’s genuinely crazy enough to amuse most people. If you’re a Douglas Adams fan, well, then you’ve probably read Good Omens.
Warning: if you have no sense of humor or if you hate silly, stop reading this review.
Satan and God have a huge problem: the Antichrist has gone missing, and they need him for the apocalypse. It turns out that when the lad was born, some evil nuns gave him to the wrong couple, and he grew up in a sleepy English suburb. Expect for his untapped “evil” power, he’s an ordinary kid rather like Kevin McCallister, the kid in Home Alone .
Because they happen to like earth and don’t want it destroyed, Aziraphale (an angel) and Crowley (a demon) team up to stop the apocalypse; they are much like a British version of the Odd Couple who are trying to save the world from inevitable doom—Crowley, of course, lives life wildly and fully, while Aziraphale is quiet and refined. While everyone (God, Satan, angels, demons, and humans) searches for the Antichrist, the Four “Bikers” of the Apocalypse gather. And, yes, the Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch are important.
Pratchett and Gaiman have created a diverse and eccentric cast of characters. The impending doom is told through multiple points of view as everyone races to save or destroy the world. As any reader would expect, they all come crashing together at the end of the book.
Why do I like it?
This may be one of the funniest books I’ve read. First, Pratchett and Gaiman turn the story of the apocalypse inside-out, then, they turn it sideways, and finally, they manage to make the end of the world riotous and entertaining. Along the way, they poke and prod at the ordinary, the crass, and the sacred.
I’ll admit there is a great deal of silliness about the book, and some of the motifs have been used before, but Gaiman and Pratchett take those motifs and spin them with enduring flare. After all, the book was published in 1990 and is still going strong.
I’m always excited when someone I know reads Good Omens for the first time.
So my friend, take a break from the real world, put aside all serious thoughts, get comfortable, and read this delicious book.