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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 by in 4 stars, Book Reviews | 0 comments

Good Omens:  The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Author:  Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Format:  Paperback
Date Released:  1990
Dates Read:  February 11-18, 2012

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.

Put New York Times bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett together . . . and all Hell breaks loose.

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a good long while, but I never got around to reading it.  I bought this book along with several other Gaiman novels several years ago, shortly after I read Neverwhere and realized how much I like his writing.  Reading the excerpt of this book, I thought it sounded quite interesting, very absurd, and like it would be a book I would rather enjoy.  So why did it take me so long to read it?  I guess I just don’t read a lot of straight-up humor books.  However, I decided to try something different after the heaping dose of angst I’d gotten from many of the other books I’d read recently.

I can’t say that I regret my decision — Good Omens is great fun.  Within the first few pages, I found myself thinking that I had found Monty Python in book form.  In short, Good Omens is a story an angel, Aziraphale and a demon, Crowley, unlikely friends since the incident in the Garden of Eden, who are none too eager for the coming apocalypse.  Things go quite pear-shaped when an unwitting loquacious Satanic nun accidentally misplaces the Antichrist.  Peppered with appreciable British humor, Good Omens is at once slyly funny and cleverly pokes at the mores of religion and society in general.

There were so many little touches in this book that I appreciated.  However, it is not flawless.  There were points in the middle of the novel where the humor slowed down almost to a stop.  Some passages seemed a bit tedious, and others just didn’t make very much sense to me.  I will admit, I have never read any Terry Pratchett before, so I am unsure if it is a symptom of me not liking or not being used to his writing, or if it is simply due to the fact that this is a collaboration of two (from what I understand) quite different authors.  Overall, though, Good Omens is a rollicking good time, and I’d recommend it to fans of British humor that need a good cheering up.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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