Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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Title: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Authors: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Copyright: 1990
Pages: 354
ISBN: 0-575-04800-X (Current: 9780060853976)
Publisher: Workman Publishing (HarperCollins current publisher)
Author Website: www.neilgaiman.com, www.terrypratchettbooks.com
Twitter: @neilhimself, @terryandrob, @HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover
Available: May 1, 1990
Rating: 5/5 stars
Awards: World Fantasy Award nominee for Best Novel, 1991, Locus Award nominee for Best Fantasy Novel, 1991

sigh

I love this book! I really do. It's one of those books I'll pull off the shelf every couple of years to read, and giggle all the way through each and every time, because it's just that funny. Realistically, you'd think a story about the Apocalypse really wouldn't be that funny, but the such capable hands as those of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, it's laugh out loud hysterical.

Aziraphale (the angel protecting the Garden of Eden) and Crowley (once known as Crawley, the infamous snake of Eden) have been living comfortably in modern times, having become fast friends after the whole Adam and Eve thing. When it comes time for the Apocalypse to take place, they decide to maybe try to put it off a couple more years, since they rather like living in the human world. Unfortunately, there was a mix up with the Antichrist when he was born (Warlock, who is thought to be the Antichrist, is a wildly normal young boy, while the real Antichrist, Adam Young, is living in the English countryside with his wildly normal family, not having any idea as to his true nature), and now there is a race on to find the real Antichrist before everything basically goes to hell. The Four Horsemen are trying to find the Antichrist (Pollution has replaced Pestilence since penicillin was discovered), Aziraphale and Crowley are looking for him, and meanwhile all the incredibly accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter are coming true. And what do the Tibetans and aliens have to do with anything?

I think part of what makes the story so funny is that it doesn't try to take itself seriously at all. Gaiman and Pratchett never try to take the story farther that what it is, a comedy, and don't try to make anything really philosophical about it, so regardless of your actual beliefs or feelings about the Apocalypse, this story would be accessible to you and still funny. It is full of Gaiman and Pratchett's trademark wit and cleverness, even though it was written respectively early on in their careers, so it's not always a polished as it could be, which is also part of its charm.

If you're looking for something that you don't really need to think too much about and is funny and clever, I really can't recommend Good Omens enough. Read it. You won't be disappointed.



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