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Good Omens CD Audio CD – Audiobook, November 10, 2009
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From the Back Cover
The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.
About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.
Martin Jarvis' career ranges from award-winning London theatre productions of Ayckbourn, Pinter and Wilde to Murder, She Wrote and James Cameron's Titanic in the U.S. He has twice received the British Talkies Award.
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This was quirky and a little on the odd side but totally fun. Heaven and Hell have basically been in a cold war for well forever it seems. Ever since Lucifer “An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards.” became the bad guy the final show down has been in the works. But now, finally Satan’s son has been born and the prophecies all say that when he is Eleven the end of the world will finally come about.
The humor in this is really incredibly fun and I loved Aziraphale, the Angel who wasn’t necessarily all good, and Crowley the demon who really wasn’t that bad of a guy. Even more I enjoyed the friendship between them and how they worked both together and against each other.
“Hell wasn't a major reservoir of evil, any more then Heaven, in Crowley's opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.”
This had an extensive cast that included the four horsemen (one was a woman) of the apocalypse, a witch or two, some Satanists (they weren’t really bad people), a gang of kids, a witchhunter and a dog.
There are a ton of funny little snippets here and there and I really enjoyed the cut and paste together style that had the reader jumping from group of characters to groups of characters as we go through the countdown to the final days.
This is supposed to be a tv series soon and it will be interesting to see how that goes. I think it will be a good time and lets face it at the end of the world you might as well have a good time.
Perfect for when you just want a good laugh and some ridiculousness in your life.
The only characters I enjoyed were the angel and the demon, who happen to be unlikely buddies, and their interaction is usually entertaining. The 4 bikers of the Apocalypse are also a fresh take on the classic horsemen. Other than that, I really didn't care much about anyone else, with some of the other characters (the witch hunters in particular) being right down obnoxious. I also couldn't bring myself to care about the end of the world, and if you can't make me care even a little bit about the most catastrophic event possible, you know you didn't do it right. In fact, when I start hoping the end does come and wipes out these obnoxious people, you probably missed the mark by a long shot.
I think I'll take a break from Gainman for a bit, since it seems every book I read is worse than the previous.
Top international reviews
But on the urgings of a friend, I have now, and for the first time, read one of the novels that he wrote in collaboration with another writer. I’d always resisted that inclination in the past, driven by a sense that I wanted my Terry Pratchett unadulterated or not at all. Ask a Scotsman what the best thing is to add to a whisky and he’ll tell you, “another whisky.” Nothing mixes better with Pratchett than another Pratchett.
After <i>Good Omens</i>, I’ve had to revise that view. It isn’t a Pratchett novel. It isn’t set on the Discworld, for instance, but on Earth. Nonetheless, behind the wit that hums through the book, some of it no doubt down to the co-author Neil Gaiman, there are occasional gleams of pure Pratchett: in the ageing dominatrix, for instance, who is essentially motherly and decorates her boudoir of sin with fluffy toys, or the suggestion that nothing Hell could come up with as a torment would rival what mankind can dream up on its own.
The theme is a parody of the film <i>Omen</i>. A son has been born to Satan. His agents, notably the demon Crowley who is coordinating the whole venture, have arranged that an American diplomat’s wife will give birth that very night to a son in an obscure hospital in the English countryside, which happens to be staffed by nuns from a Satanist order. This will allow a switch to be performed, leading to the devil’s child being brought up in a family which will provide him with the opportunity to plunge the world into the chaos that leads to Armageddon.
Alas, however, even infernal agents, like humans, are inclined to err. The switch is mishandled. So, eleven years later, as the forces of hell and those of heaven prepare to fight their last battle to the destruction of the Earth and the human species, nothing goes to plan.
Which isn’t such a bad thing for Crowley, and his opposite number, the angel Aziraphale. The two of them have grown used to life on earth and have come to enjoy it. No more antique bookshops? No more elegant cocktail bars? (I leave it to you to decide which is to the taste of which of these two). The prospect leaves them both distraught and, having come close to being friends down the centuries through which they have competed with each other, they collaborate to see if they can find a way of preventing Armageddon while avoiding the likely retribution of their respective heavenly and infernal hierarchies.
Throw into the mix a modern witch, who happens to be a descendant of Agnes Nutter, author of some “nice and accurate prophecies” which, are indeed, astonishingly accurate though sadly not always comprehensible until after the events have happened, and then include a misfit of a young man who becomes a witchfinder, and you have all the ingredients for a rollicking, funny and engaging tale. Since the ending is both satisfying and pointed, with the destruction of an object we might have expected to be treated as sacred, the novel has everything one could hope for to amuse and entertain.
Well worth it if you’re at a loose end and want some entertainment written with talent. And, like me, you're regretting the loss of Terry Pratchett. Enhanced, far from diminished, by Neil Gaiman.
You might think a collaboration between two authors, particularly two with such distinctive styles, would read like cut-and-paste, but the story flows along like a Lennon-McCartney composition. Knowing there can now never be anything quite like it again makes it all the more poignant.
Things really do look dire. Except, someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. And the angel and demon who have been keeping an eye on things since mankind were evicted from Eden? Well, they’ve become rather comfy with the way things are. And as they countdown continues, mayhem on an earth-shaking scale begins to unravel their best laid plans.
As familiar as an old pair of gloves; or perhaps the walking boots you’ve used for years.
That’s what it feels like to read this gem of a story from two of the most eccentric writers you will ever meet. Inventive; out there; wickedly funny; heavenly.
A superb recipe for disaster. I didn’t stop grinning from beginning to end.
A short summary? An angel and a demon team up to try to stop the Apocalypse from happening when the Anti Christ reaches the correct age. Basically, it's a bit of a spoof on the movie The Omen except can you still consider a work in that parody category when it's arguably better written that it's source? Pratchett and Gaiman's styles of writing complement each other beautifully, bringing out the best in both and removing any perceived weakness someone could somehow relate to either. The characters are incredibly well rounded, and the humor of the book is such that it stands up to multiple re-readings and you will still find yourself gigging over sections.
The story is more than simply engaging, it's enveloping. The pace moves along at the correct speed, keeping you engrossed with each new word. You can't help but care about these characters, about the stakes that they are going through. Not just because the stakes are the end of the world but because we care about the characters and that is far more important, really.
Honestly? Good Omens is one of those books that I recommend to everyone. Because it is simply that good. It's a forever favourite and more people need to read it, really. Because Ineffability.
The story is a rather irreverent take on Armageddon, at a surface inspection it’s clearly a parody of a very well known film but it’s easily arguably so so very much better than the film...isn’t that always the way? What the story is actually about is the eternal battle between good and evil as seen from a child’s point of view, it’s about human nature, immortal forces, life and hope.
I don’t leave reviews often, only when it really matters. Hand on heart I’m telling you that if you haven’t already then you need to discover these authors who mesh so well together in this book. Sir Terry Pratchett is sorely missed by millions but his legacy continues in print. I hope you find the review helpful, I wrote it from memory, now I’m off to reread this book.....
Armageddon approaches rapidly in a quiet unchanging idyllic corner of the British countryside, the AntiChrist has risen or Adam to his friends is accompanied by his faithful adorable Hellhound and it’s almost teatime. The end times are nigh, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse meet up in a motorway cafe but an Angel; Aziraphael and a Demon; Crowley (of M25 infamy) are giving their all to stop that which was writ in Revelations as well as in The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter (Witch). The Witchfinder Army (both of them) are on the move but this time they’re working alongside a witch who not coincidentally happens to be a descendant of Agnes Nutter.
Just hope the adaptation keeps that scene! The Four horsemen of the apocalypse gather in the Happy Porker Cafe to catch up on old times & play a round of trivial pursuit. What could be better!
Both these authors are great writers and it shows. Both their careers were taking off around this point in time and you can see why, they were at the top of their game. It's laugh out loud one minute, then quite dark in another, but always with a point and some observation on the somewhat absurdity of existence. Little things I noticed this time around. The great foresight of changing Pestilence to Pollution. It seems even more relevant to now than it was then. I also enjoyed the disconnect that Azirophale and Crowley have to their superiors. As somebody who is a drone in a large corporation I understand this much better now.
A TV adaption is about to be released on Amazon in a couple of days so it's the perfect time to dig into this. It's a relatively small book and the pace is swift with no filler so the story fairly whips along. If you haven't read this before I thoroughly recommend it.
So I finally got round to reading it just in time for the new TV series to come out at the end of this month!
I got it on my Kindle Paperwhite and it looks great as you can see from the cover in the attached photo.
It's typical hilarious Terry Pratchett's and humourous but dark Neil Gaiman - I thought I could tell some of the parts which were written by each but don't want to spoil them so will let you guess for yourself.
If you're reading this review you'll already have read synopses of the book so I'll just say to go ahead and read it! I've only marked it as 4 rather than 5 stars as I would have preferred more Aziraphale and Crowley and a bit less of Adam and his friends who were a bit boring at times. But all in all I highly recommend Good Omens and am looking forward to the TV show.
What I found was an almost incomprehensible book trying to be a mix of Hitch hikers meets Spike Milligan. Both of these are first class..Good Omens isn't.
I almost gave up on it 5 times but thought no it's got to get better...It didn't.
Most of the book to me felt like I was reading random words thrown together in unconnected sentences.
Absolutely in my Top 5 Worst Ever Books....Sorry TP&NG...
I struggled to give it 1 star.
The whole thing was incredibly disjointed and jumping all over the place. One minute we’re in one place, the next we’re completely else where. Far to many characters, who at difficult to keep track of.
Half the time I had no idea what was going on, who was who, where they where. I also felt like the storyline and plot got completely lost in most of the places. Very poorly executed and written by two great authors
This book emphasizes the positivity of humanity and how even when left to our own devices we can do great things. Even Crowley the demon fails to do anything spectacularly bad, there will always be traffic jams on the M25 and who hasn’t been plagued with loss of a mobile phone signal when the network goes down.
The four horsemen (one is actually a woman) are perhaps a little more sinister. They take pride in disaster and the humans who try to emulate them are just farcical and, in this sense, it diminishes the horsemen’s impact.
The church's response, in the shape of Shadwell, Witchfinder General, shows a man both deluded with his own grandeur and ineptly funny in the execution of his duties. I don’t think he is meant to represent the modern church, more a sense of superstition and clinging to the past. After all, he has not read beyond Exodus and the fact that God will not suffer a witch to live.
My favourite character has to be Aziraphale, the book-loving Angel who always tries to do the right thing. When they accidentally knock Anathema Device off her bike, Aziraphale restores and embellishes the bike to the point where she almost does not recognize it. Then he accidentally steals her most prized possession, her book of prophecy. His love of good food brings him and Crowley together in a form of social bonding.
Crowley like Aziraphale suffers from the same angelic hierarchy and has to resort to unpleasant tactics to silence his critics. The idea of losing Aziraphale shows compassion not normal among demons and is a very human trait. Like all fairy tales, everything is restored in the end and life returns to normal. No Christian would recognize this as a true telling of Armageddon and no unbeliever should think it would ever be that easy to divert. It is just a harmless, humorous tale.
I did find it went off the boil a little bit towards to the end - a bit too much Newt Pulsifer and not enough Aziraphale or Crowley, but that is a minor niggle. But it does point to the fact that it was the back and forth between the Angel and the Demon that made this one for me. Having spent so long putting up with Humanity on the Earth they have become rather fond of them and don't really want to see them destroyed so when the call comes in from their diametrically opposed Heads Of Department that Armageddon is due both of them feel a sinking sense of disappointment and get their heads together to see if they can divert the ineffability of it all. Fortunately, thanks to Sister Mary Locquacious, the Anti-Christ seems to have gone missing and without him things are going to be a bit tricky to get going. Still, the Four Bikers Of The Apocalypse are primed and ready so there's that going for the Great Plan.
I could spend hours dissecting this book and reeling off favourite passages and little tics that pleased me. I shall, for once, refrain. Apart from saying that the fact The Devil gets the M25, Manchester and Glasgow makes an awful lot of sense - I work in the Transport Industry and the M25 strikes dread in to all our hearts; I'm from Lancashire and Manchester is, well, Manchester (enough said); I'm married to a Glaswegian. Finally it makes sense, it's all Crowley's fault!
The interplay between the characters is superbly written and the story sucks you right in. I am sure there is much I missed as I didn't so much read this book as absorb it over two sittings. Sadly these two sittings were a week apart.
My big issue now is whether or not to watch the serialisation of the book.
It's a satire on The Omen written with a 'Just William' vibe.
It was written when both authors were relatively unknown and Pratchett "didn't even have an Author hat"
So, nature or nurture? Due to a mistake by satanic nuns ( who can't resist babies' "tosie wosies") The Antichrist is brought up in a rather old- fashioned English village. You can read the result of this error for yourself dear reader. Everyone is there, the modern version of the horsemen of the apocalypse. An angel and a fallen angel. Lots of satire, and also insight.It seems to be a book that readers either love or hate, and I am firmly in the first category. I will add my usual warning about Pratchett books, take care if reading in public as you may laugh out loud so much that you will recieve worried looks from members of the said public. I can't recommend this book enough :)
*my friend was actually a librarian and the book that accidentally caught fire was unfortunately next to quite a few other books!