Books

Book Review – Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Good Omens cover

Sir Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors. I adore his Discworld series and I was so sad when he passed away in March. I was halfway through reading Good Omens when he passed and I unfortunately had to put the novel down for a few months. However, when I picked it up again I was filled with joy because these two wonderful writers created a hilarious book and finishing the book with tears of laughter in my eyes was the best tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett that I could think of. Now, on with the review…

Good Omens is a collaborative novel between Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett about the biblical apocalypse. The book is funny, witty, and includes the most likable demon I’ve ever encountered in literature. Good Omens follows a number of different characters including Crowley, ‘An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards’, Aziraphale, an actual Angel, and Adam, the Antichrist.

The story revolves around the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, and her descendants’ attempts to understand and translate them. Agnes predicted the birth of the Antichrist and the apocalypse before she was put to death in the late 1600s. Crowley and Aziraphale, along with other characters such as Anathema Device, try to stop the apocalypse from happening.

The relationship between Crowley and Aziraphale is really entertaining as they both try to stop the Rapture from happening. Aziraphale owns a book shop full of first editions (I was jealous of this for a moment) and Crowley is too attached to his car for his own good, even though any cassettes that Crowley leaves in his Bentley for more than two weeks convert themselves into Queen albums. They spend their time being rude to each other like best friends do while trying to stop the apocalypse. This unlikely friendship is my favourite part of Good Omens.

I really liked the Four Horsemen too, especially War and Pollution. However, the excessive use of capitals for Death’s speech did annoy me. The Them (Adam and his friends) were a tad annoying at times but they’re obviously meant to be reminiscent of groups like the Famous Five. I just preferred the other story lines and characters. Dog the Hellhound is great though. I just think it’s cute that a hellhound has to act like a dog because he was named Dog by Adam.

I found the ending rather satisfying as it neatly tied up all of the different sub-plots and it dealt with all of the different characters, even Agnes Nutter who had been dead for 400 years.

Out of context these quotes may seem a bit odd but here are a few of my favourite quotes from Good Omens: 

He’d done this with Maud, the missus, before they were married. They’d come here to spoon and, on one memorable occasion, fork. – p.196

Even the pious Scots, locked throughout history in a long-drawn-out battle with their arch-enemies the Scots… – pp.204-205

A demon moves like the British group in the Eurovision Song Contest – p.261

He had FISH across his right hand knuckles and CHIP on the left. – p.270

you great wazzock. – p.295

…strategically, Newt edged off to take a cold shower. – p.297

Not just A Southern Pansy, Sergeant Shadwell. THE Southern Pansy. – p. 299

Good Omens is a new favourite of mine and I can’t believe how long it has taken me to read it. I love it and I can’t wait to read it again.

5/5

Started: 5th March 2015
Completed: 10th June 2015

(Note: I read the UK version. Apparently the US version is rather different.)

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