Good Omens (1990) – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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So I dove into another Gaiman novel, and while I recognized some of it, I don’t think I ever finished the tale, so something must have happened to stop me from reading it.

Anyway, this time, Gaiman pairs up with the author of the Discworld series of novels, and brings to life a humorous look at the approaching end of days, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the anti-Christ, and an angel and a demon caught in the middle of it all.

Aziraphale, the angel has been around since Eden, in fact he guarded the East gate, Crawly, a demon, was the original snake in that Garden, and since that time, the two of them have had a working relationship, like spies on opposite sides, but with a healthy respect for one another, and after millennia followed by millennia, a bit of a friendship. Not to mention that they rather like Earth, and those who call it home.

Unfortunately, the anti-Christ has been born, and named Adam, despite some urging by Satanic nurses to name him Damien, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, War, Famine, Pollution (Pestilence retired after the invention of penicillin) and Death are riding, and the Nice and Accurate Predictions of Agnes Nutter predict the end of the world, in just a few short days.

Filled with a lot of laughs, hilarious foot notes, and just a lot of fun, the two authors have taken a run at the End Times, and made it a highly enjoyable read, alternately quirky, thoughtful, and thrilling.

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Adam, surrounded by his mates, a gang called Them, live in a small picturesque village that is almost perfect, but things start to happen, fish falling from the sky, tunnels dug by Tibetans popping up all over, UFOs landing with strange messages of peace. No one understands it, but Aziraphale and Crawly both know that something more is going on, and each side is gearing up for the final confrontation of the ineffable plan. Neither one of them wants to be involved in it, however.

Throw in a Witchfinder, a witch, and a cast of supernatural and natural beings, and you have a brilliant read that had me chuckling throughout.

It’s no secret I’m a huge Gaiman fan, and reading this tale, you can sense his touch on it, as well as Pratchett’s love for absurdity, and I quite enjoyed the combination. Though it did start my brain racing about who I would love to see Gaiman pair up with, and honestly, I’d love to see he and Clive Barker pair up and right the ultimate magical horror fairy tale of something of that ilk.

Good Omens, despite its large cast of characters, reads quickly and easily, and shows two authors having a great time together, and obviously enjoying what they are doing. And if the End of Days were to exist, and actually be occurring, I think I would like for it to happen this way.

Have you read this one?

 

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