Good Omens
An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found hereAccording to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

Good Omens Details

TitleGood Omens
Author
FormatMass Market Paperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 28th, 2006
PublisherHarperTorch
ISBN0060853980
ISBN-139780060853983
Number of pages430 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Humor, Urban Fantasy, Comedy, Science Fiction Fantasy, Funny, Science Fiction, Religion, Audiobook

Good Omens Review

  • Jeremy Zerbe
    May 28, 2008
    Remember back when funny books were funny? Back before you went to college and found out that Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen weren't funny after all, but Samuel Beckett and Charles Dickens were hilarious? Remember when the words on the page didn't just make you smile wryly and shake your head in shame for humanity, but actually made you laugh out loud? Well, that's the kind of humor that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's 1990 release Good Omens brims with, and it is so damn good.The two British aut Remember back when funny books were funny? Back before you went to college and found out that Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen weren't funny after all, but Samuel Beckett and Charles Dickens were hilarious? Remember when the words on the page didn't just make you smile wryly and shake your head in shame for humanity, but actually made you laugh out loud? Well, that's the kind of humor that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's 1990 release Good Omens brims with, and it is so damn good.The two British authors were both relatively unknown at the time of their partnership, having met when Gaiman (working as a journalist at the time) interviewed Pratchett on the success of his first major novel, The Colour of Magic. The two became quick friends and proceeded to write the 398 pages of the now cult classic novel by sending floppy disks through the mail and calling each other on the phone. Of course, that story is all explained in the appendix, provided you don't pick up an original printing of the book (if you do do that, however, you can probably sell it for quite a bit of change, so don't be discouraged by your lack of author interviews).But the real story at hand is, of course, the narrative of Good Omens itself--the tale of two friends, a demon named Crowley and an angel named Aziraphale who have spent all of human existence on earth and have rather come to like it, so when it comes time for the Apocalypse, they try to do whatever is in their powers to stop it. The cast of co-stars can only described as "vast," with some characters only popping in long enough for Aziraphale to take over their body or to go on a shooting rampage. The main other characters though, include: the Antichrist himself, a young boy named Adam, and his gang of friends; a witchfinder named Newton Pulsifer and his love interest, Anathema Device, who just happens to be a witch (and one whose ancestor, Agnes Nutter was burned at the stake by Newton's great-great-etc. grandfather, Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer.Perhaps you're beginning to pick up on that sense of humor I mentioned?That's what makes this book so great. I'm sort of a sucker for religious humor (and religious horror movies), and I've read a lot of books about the End Days. This one has to rank near the top, maybe even as the downright finest. It's humor ranges from simple little comedic bits to social commentary on religion and the human race--but no matter how big or small the joke is, every one of them is attended to equally, and they are all funny because of that. Though some of the British jokes and references flew by me (a problem the authors usually account for in their humorous footnotes), I really did enjoy this book, all the way from the plot down to how it was written. It really is an impressive feat for a co-authored book to feel so seemless (this honestly almost puts shame to the excellent Stephen King/Peter Straub double-ups, The Talisman and Black House).So let down your guard, pack away that condescension that your professors poured into you Lit class after Lit class, and resist the urge to turn up your nose at any novel you can buy in trade paperback form in airports for $7.99 (but higher in Canada--oh wait, not anymore!). I actually laughed out loud as I read Good Omens. A few times, to be completely honest. And that's pretty impressive for a cynical, jaded old bastard like me.
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  • Manny
    March 30, 2010
    I somehow ended up reading them both simultaneously. So I couldn't help wonderingWhat Madam Bovary Might Have Thought Of Good OmensThree days later, a package arrived; there was no return address, but she immediately recognised Rodolphe's hand. It contained a paperback novel, whose title was Good Omens. Feverishly, she cast herself over it. Her English was poor, but, with the aid of a dictionary, she persevered and soon made great progress.The more she read, the greater her bewilderment became. I somehow ended up reading them both simultaneously. So I couldn't help wonderingWhat Madam Bovary Might Have Thought Of Good OmensThree days later, a package arrived; there was no return address, but she immediately recognised Rodolphe's hand. It contained a paperback novel, whose title was Good Omens. Feverishly, she cast herself over it. Her English was poor, but, with the aid of a dictionary, she persevered and soon made great progress.The more she read, the greater her bewilderment became. The book at first reminded her of Candide, which she had surreptitiously read at the convent, but M. Voltaire's ésprit had been replaced by another ingredient she was unable to name; she suspected that it must be the strange English invention they called humour. All the personages were well-meaning and agreeable; the witches, the torturers of witches, the prostitutes, even the Demons of Hell; they were filled with kindness and compassion, and their worst faults amounted to an occasional mild irritability. Where were the indifference and thoughtless cruelty that surrounded her, and which had now become the very air she breathed? She did not know whether Rodolphe had sent her the book to comfort her or to mock her in her despair, and her futile attempts to resolve this question gradually resulted in an agonising headache. Her husband prescribed an infusion of valerian, and persuaded her to retire for the night; she lay sleepless in her bed a long time, until the drug finally took effect just as the sky was beginning to lighten. She dreamed of apocalyptic prophecies, red-headed women wielding swords, endless circles of horseless carriages, young boys with dogs.In the morning, she remembered that she should purchase some arsenic.__________________________________It seemed unfair for this to be one-way. So, in the spirit of granting a right of reply, here's What Good Omens Might Have Thought Of Madam Bovary"I saw this smashin' film yesterday on TV," said Adam, as the Them listened attentively. "It was called Madam Bovver-Boy -""She was a lady skinhead?" interrupted Brian."No, stupid," said Adam. "It's a French name. Bovver-Boy. By Flow-Bear.""You mean Madame Bovary, by Flaubert," said Wensleydale. "I read about it in The Encyclopaedia of World Literature."Adam gave him a withering glance. "That's what I said," he continued. "Madam Bovver-Boy, by Flow-Bear. She's married to this doctor, and he's dead borin', so she starts hangin' around with these two lovers, and then she maxes out her credit card, so she eats arsernick and poisons herself. The bit where she's dyin' of the arsernick is dead good. Her tongue's hanging out and she's screamin' -""Why did she max out her credit card?" asked Pepper."She was buying presents for her lovers," said Adam. "Roses an' boxes of chocolates an' stuff like that -""I thought the lovers were supposed to give her presents?" said Brian dubiously. "My sister's boyfriend gave her this huge bunch of roses on Valentine's Day, and a box of Quality Street, and a balloon with -""She gave them presents instead because it was a proto-feminist novel," explained Wensleydale authoritatively. "That's what The Encyclopaedia of World Literature says."Adam felt that his control of the situation was slipping, and decided to up the stakes. "It's all true," he said, in an exegetical move that would have had Flaubert scholars around the world clutching their foreheads. "Based on a true story," he added prudently, in case the The Encyclopaedia of World Literature happened to have opinions on the subject. Behind the bushes, Aziraphale raised an eyebrow. Crowley looked defensive. "Very loosely based," he whispered hastily. "I mean, I tempted her, it's my job you know, but Gustave changed the ending for dramatic purposes. Said it didn't work to have Rodolphe sort out her debts and then settle down in a cozy ménage à quatre with her, Léon and her husband. I told him that's what actually happened, but he insisted the arsenic worked better..."
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  • Nataliya
    May 26, 2010
    In my personal hierarchy of books, this one comes a close second after Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. What can I say - like (diabolical) father, like (infernal) son. "It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."In a way, I can view this book as my own personal therapy session - that is, in addition to it being a h In my personal hierarchy of books, this one comes a close second after Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. What can I say - like (diabolical) father, like (infernal) son. "It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."In a way, I can view this book as my own personal therapy session¹ - that is, in addition to it being a hilarious dry-humor take on Armageddon and the ever-dual nature of humanity, its highs and lows and our ability to be both, frequently almost at the same time.¹ As a kid, I had a habit of getting into the books clearly not meant for my age - like, for instance, The Omen, featuring the world's most infamous tricycle. My eight-year-old self was petrified. For months, I had nightmares, was scared of dogs, mistrustful of tricycles and had an irrational dislike of the number "666". Eight-year-olds with overactive imaginations were really NOT the intended audience of *that* book, after all.WARNING: THERE WILL BE MILD SPOILERS. BECAUSE I CAN.As predicted by the titular 17th century witch Agnes Nutter in her extremely nice accurate book of prophecies, handed down through centuries to her last living "professional descendant" Anathema Device, Armageddon is quickly approaching. The four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse have set out on their way, and that must mean things are getting serious. - You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"[...]- REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.-----------“Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield. And Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People travelled with them.” And this upcoming major event is a source of some serious worry for eternal-enemies-turned-reluctant-friends Aziraphale (An angel, and a part-time rare book dealer) and Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards), the duo who, after six thousand years, have "gone native" and would infinitely prefer this world to the future where either side wins - the future (oh the horror!) without good music or bookshops or sushi restaurants. And so the unlikely allies decide to band together to prevent the end of the world."That's how it goes, you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you." Except things do not go as planned....(The lovely images above can be seen here and here).You see, the young 'Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness', due to an unforeseen turn of circumstances, happens to grow up outside of the influence of either celestial/underworld force. Aptly named Adam, he grows up - as his name suggests - perfectly human, in a little corner of paradise - the English village of Lower Tadfield. But Agnes Nutter is never wrong, and as her prophesies suggest, shortly after Adam's eleventh birthday (on which he DOES get a much wanted Hellhound Dog) the events of the end of the world are set in their inevitable, ineffable motion. But Adam's essential humanity puts a new spin on this old story:"Something was happening inside his head.It was aching. Thoughts were arriving there without him having to think them. Something was saying, You can do something, Adam Young. You can make it all better. You can do anything you want. And what was saying this to him was ... him. Part of him, deep down. Part of him that had been attached to him all these years and not really noticed, like a shadow. It was saying: yes, it's a rotten world. It could have been great. But now it's rotten, and it's time to do something about it. That's what you're here for. To make it all better."The problem with the Antichrist Adam is that he, a human eleven-year-old boy, is fueled - unexpectedly - by Love and righteous indignation. He loves this world, and he, coming into his power, wants a very human thing - he wants to make it better. Don't we all? But do (and can?) his good intentions make any difference in the way things have been prophesied to go? "It's like you said the other day," said Adam. "You grow up readin' about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus' when you think the world's all full of amazin' things, they tell you it's really all dead whales and chopped-down forests and nucular waste hangin' about for millions of years. 'Snot worth growin' up for, if you ask my opinion."If there is one thing this book gets through it's the belief in humanity. Not in its wickedness or goodness or anything like that. Just humanity, in all the multifaceted nature of it, in its righteousness and wretchedness, love and cruelty, strengths and weaknesses, stupidity and wisdom. "And just when you'd think they were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they could occasionally show more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. Often the same individual was involved. It was this free-will thing, of course. It was a bugger."Sometimes, maybe, when left to our own devices, when not preached to in one way or another, we can perhaps develop into flawed but hopefully decent beings - like Adam, named after the first human in the prophetic fashion, after all. Because what makes life interesting, as a particular angel and demon would loudly attest to, is precisely the combination of good and evil, nice and nasty, mean and kind that we all possess, in the precarious and miraculous balance that is the true treasure of humanity. Because it makes us act like people."I don't see what's so triflic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset 'cos they act like people,” said Adam severely. “Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive."And maybe, just maybe, due to our always-balancing nature on the borderline between two conflicting universes that we, humans, inhabit, we will be able to eventually figure it out - without anyone messing with our heads, filling them with the Good or the Evil, endlessly preaching what they believe to be true - but simple letting us be ourselves. Maybe we will figure things out on our own."Adam stood smiling at the two of them, a small figure perfectly poised exactly between Heaven and Hell.Crowley grabbed Aziraphale's arm. "You know what happened?" he hissed excitedly. "He was left alone! He grew up human! He's not Evil Incarnate or Good Incarnate, he's just ... a human incarnate."==============================........The brilliant Pratchett/Gaiman duo provides everything these two authors are famous for - easy readability, dry intelligent sarcasm-infused humor, seamless plot that pushes the limits of imagination while staying perfectly grounded in (albeit fantastical) reality, and first and foremost, very apt observations about human nature, as well as (in a true Pratchett-like way) a complete irreverence for the set-in-stone beliefs and ideas. At times it's easy for those familiar with their respective styles to tell which one of them penned which part, at times it's impossible - but it doesn't matter as their writing styles blend together so well, so seamlessly, so seemingly effortlessly.This is an excellent book - both funny and serious, at times utterly unpredictable, at times baffling, at times logical. It's a pleasure to read, and a pleasure to seriously reflect upon after having a good laugh. And for all of that it gets the ineffable five stars. He stared down at the golden curls of the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness."You know," he concluded, after a while, "I think he actually looks like an Adam." --------June 2013: I just listened to this one on audiobook - AGAIN. I love it more and more with each time I do. I have to advise - if you plan to listen to this one, please get the British version with Stephen Briggs as the narrator (Isis Publishing) - it is lightyears better than Harper Audio. Stephen Briggs is amazing!
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  • Derek
    February 7, 2008
    Overall, this book was a huge disappointment for me. I’d heard so many good things about it and had been meaning to read it for years. When I finally started it, I was about 20 pages into it and thought, “Yes! This is going to be one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read.” It was like reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide for the first time again. It was witty and fast-paced and had so many brilliant things to say about society and religion. And then about halfway through, I realized that I jus Overall, this book was a huge disappointment for me. I’d heard so many good things about it and had been meaning to read it for years. When I finally started it, I was about 20 pages into it and thought, “Yes! This is going to be one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read.” It was like reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide for the first time again. It was witty and fast-paced and had so many brilliant things to say about society and religion. And then about halfway through, I realized that I just wasn't really laughing as much anymore. The story seemed to get bogged down with characters that weren’t that interesting for me to read about and who I often found a bit annoying. Most notably, the 11-year-old Antichrist and his friends seemed really out of place in the book. They felt like they would have been at home in a Norman Rockwell painting (or British equivalent)—a ragtag bunch of kids with slingshots and backyard adventures. I think that I was supposed to find them and their inane conversations entertaining, maybe even a little bit cute, but every time they came around, which felt like quite a bit, I thought that the book just screeched to a halt.Most of the other characters in the book were great fun to read—the demon and the angel and their strange sort of friendship was easily the best part of the book for me. The four horsemen of the apocalypse were also a lot of fun, at least most of the time. Overall, the premise was brilliant. What a disappointment for me that it just couldn’t keep it together throughout. The ending seemed contrived and the resolution was just unsatisfying for me. I know that so many people loved this book. I wish that I could have enjoyed it as much as they did.
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  • Cecily
    April 29, 2016
    Don’t be misled by those who class this as fantasy, humour, or just fiction. This is actually a profound philosophical and theological treatise, exploring good and evil, nature versus nurture, free will, war, pollution, and organised religion. But it’s cleverly disguised as a madcap caper featuring angels, demons, the M25 motorway, Manchester, raining fish, dolphins, Atlantis, aliens, the Apocalypse, the young Antichrist, Americans, footnotes for Americans, tunnelling Tibetans, witches, witch-fi Don’t be misled by those who class this as fantasy, humour, or just fiction. This is actually a profound philosophical and theological treatise, exploring good and evil, nature versus nurture, free will, war, pollution, and organised religion. But it’s cleverly disguised as a madcap caper featuring angels, demons, the M25 motorway, Manchester, raining fish, dolphins, Atlantis, aliens, the Apocalypse, the young Antichrist, Americans, footnotes for Americans, tunnelling Tibetans, witches, witch-finders, whales, Hell's Angels, Queen and Freddie Mercury, junk food made of junk, nuclear power, a flaming car, satanic nuns, an inadvertent baby-swap, a book of prophecy, and more besides. Lots of ineffability, too.The writing is so like Douglas Adams that it could be mistaken for a missing volume of Hitchhiker's, except for the pages of Just William slipped in, Calvino style.The Heavy StuffInscription from Terry: “We made the Devil do it…”It echoes a line in the book: “The Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything. He didn’t have to.” The weight is smuggled into a plot that is simultaneously simple, complicated, and counter-intuitive. The Antichrist is born, but accidentally goes to a boringly normal, rural couple, rather than the intended satanists. With the Apocalypse due around his 11th birthday, opposing forces try to ensure they’ll win, which requires first realising there’s been a mix up - and then fixing it. On that simple trunk, a plethora of sub-plots and an even larger number of larger-than-life characters twist, and climb, and intertwine.Amidst the chaos and the warring factions, the fundamental question is whether Adam, the young Antichrist, will fulfil his destiny, whether “Birth is just the start.. Upbringing is everything”. After all, the Devil started off as an angel.The Odd CoupleAziraphale (angel) and Crowley (demon) have been on Earth a long time, developed a grudging fondness for it, its inhabitants, and even each other. Their tetchily co-operative, affectionately teasing relationship is central to the plot, the philosophy, and the humour.They’ve reached an “Arrangement” after realising “they have more in common with their immediate opponent than their remote allies… tacit non-interference… made certain that while neither really won, also neither really lost.” Heaven wants to win the war; humanised Aziraphale comes to realise that he would prefer to avoid it.Bibliophilia“Aziraphale was an angel, but he also worshiped books.” “Aziraphale collected books. If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them. He was not unusual in this. In order to maintain his cover as a typical second-hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase. Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours - he was incredibly good at it.”Near where where Pratchett spent much of his life, is a cottage given over to second hand books. There are no unpleasant smells, but opening hours are limited, as are payment methods. Books are piled high and deep (double/triple) and vaguely sorted by category, but not by author... except for Pratchett. Here it is: There’s a larger version in my GR photos HERE. Quotes - Religion* “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”I particularly like the fact the last phrase is emphasised with italics, even though, in a pitch-dark room, it’s barely relevant. * “When it came to avoiding going to church, the church he solidly avoided going to was… no-nonsense Church of England.”* “Being brought up as a Satanist tended to take the edge off it. A Saturday thing.”* Crowley is embarrassed by the enthusiasm of satanists, just as a “Vietnam veteran would feel about someone who wears combat gear to Neighbourhood Watch meetings”. * “Voodoun is a very interesting religion for the whole family, even those members of it who are dead.”* “Marvin got religion. Not the quiet, personal kind, that involves doing good deeds and living a better life; not even the kind that involves putting on a suit and ringing people’s door bells; but the kind that involves having your own TV network and getting people to send you money.”Quotes - Good and Evil* “Most demons weren’t deep down evil” but like “tax inspectors - doing an unpopular job, maybe, but essential to the overall operation”.* Often, the difference between good and evil isn’t obvious: some of the world leaders Aziraphale thinks good are assumed to be evil by Crowley.* “If we beat them we’d have to be our own deadly enemies… it’s no good anyone winning”. So, “You just had to decide who your friends really were.” Quotes - Destiny versus Free WillSlightly spoilery.* “You can’t refuse to be who you are… Your birth and destiny are part of the Great Plan.”...“I don’t see why it matters what is written… It can always be crossed out.”* “He was left alone! He grew up human! He’s not Evil Incarnate or Good Incarnate, he’s just… a human incarnate.”* “No one around Adam was ever in full control of their own mind”.Quotes - Time* “The future came and went in the mildly discouraging way that futures do.”* “Memory… works backwards as well as forwards… Agnes didn’t see the future. That’s just a metaphor. She remembered it.”* “On the cusp of recollection, a memory of things that hadn’t happened.”* Accurate predictions are little use if they’re too narrow and specific. For example, “Do notte buye Betamacks” was only meaningful for a few short years.* “DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”Quotes - People and Relationships* “Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.”* “Courting is always difficult when… an elderly female relative in the house… It’s much worse when the relative has been dead for three hundred years.”* “Newt had indeed been harbouring certain thoughts about Anathema; not just harbouring them, in fact, but dry-docking them, refitting them, giving them a good coat of paint and scraping the barnacles off their bottom.”* “Pollution [one of the Apocalyptic Horsepersons], while still walking, nevertheless gave the impression of oozing.”Quotes - Other* “A rain-swept courtyard full of righteous dustbins.”* “Leaping gratefully onto this new ice floe in the bewildering stream of consciousness.”* “Her spelling… was not so much appalling as three hundred years too late.” Similarly, if anyone questions something my father says or writes, he claims it’s just archaic; impossible to disprove!* “Every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf.”Quote - Best One-LinerA Hell’s Angel asks one of the biking Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse what chapter they belong to: “REVELATIONS, he said. CHAPTER SIX. ‘Verses two to eight’, added the boy… helpfully.”Image source of cover art of M25 hell:http://www.michaela.it/pratchett/prat...
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  • Felicia
    March 21, 2009
    One of my all-time favorite books. Up there with Hitchhiker's Guide.
  • Kyle Nakamura
    March 12, 2008
    This has got to be one of the funniest satires I've ever read. I suppose the closest comparison I could make is to describe it as a literary sibling to Dogma, but filtered through a distinctly British lense. That description doesn't really do the story justice, but that film definitely hits me in the same place as the book. The whole premise, and I'm not giving much away here, begins with the accidental "mis-placement" of the infant Antichrist during a complex baby-swapping procedure intended t This has got to be one of the funniest satires I've ever read. I suppose the closest comparison I could make is to describe it as a literary sibling to Dogma, but filtered through a distinctly British lense. That description doesn't really do the story justice, but that film definitely hits me in the same place as the book. The whole premise, and I'm not giving much away here, begins with the accidental "mis-placement" of the infant Antichrist during a complex baby-swapping procedure intended to kick off the Apocalypse. It's all down hill from there. This book is funny, irreverent, and at times surprisingly insightful. While some parts of the book may seem cliched or even kitschy, the book never puts up the pretense of being revolutionary or edgy. The characters, like any melodrama, are intended to be archetypal, so even the relatively predictable changes that occur seem appropriate in the context of the story. The surprises are really in the details, and in that regard the execution is brilliant. To give you an example, the devil Crowly drives a car in which the tape-deck will transform any tape placed in it into a copy of "Queen's Greatest Hits" within a very short period of time after one hits the play button. Now I love "Bohemian Rhapsody" as much as the next guy, but an eternity of nothing but THAT particular album?! That's the kind of devilry that works on many levels.
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  • Lyn
    December 15, 2014
    The year is 2114 and in an upstairs apartment in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire, England four people – Marge, Ron, Neville and Madam Tracey – sit around a table. They are gathered for a séance.Madam Tracey: I can feel my spirit guide approaching.Marge: Ooooo, this is exciting!Madam Tracey: [In a dark brown voice] How! [Then in her normal voice] Geronimo is that you? [And again in the deep voice] Yes, this’n is me.Neville: This is just like in that old book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good O The year is 2114 and in an upstairs apartment in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire, England four people – Marge, Ron, Neville and Madam Tracey – sit around a table. They are gathered for a séance.Madam Tracey: I can feel my spirit guide approaching.Marge: Ooooo, this is exciting!Madam Tracey: [In a dark brown voice] How! [Then in her normal voice] Geronimo is that you? [And again in the deep voice] Yes, this’n is me.Neville: This is just like in that old book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, I mean JUST like it!Madam Tracey: [In the Geronimo voice] How you mean?Ron: I read that book, you’re right; there is a spiritual medium who pretends to be led into the spirit world by Geronimo!Madam Tracey: Eh, gentlemen, please, you must concentrate … Um, hey, wait a minute; I really am feeling a presence!Freddy Mercury: [singing] Can anybody find me, somebody to love?Neville: What?? Who’s that? Where did that voice come from, is that Freddy Mercury?Freddy: Yes, Neville, it is I, Freddy Mercury, coming to you from the Great Beyond! This séance has created a paranormal gateway by the mention of Pratchett and Gaiman’s collaboration.Terry Pratchett: Hello! What have we here?Neil Gaiman: It appears that we have intruded upon a séance, I feel invited, don’t you?Terry: I do, as well, Neil, and how is everyone tonight?[the table sits in stunned, awkward silence]Freddy: Onstage, I was a devil. But I was hardly a social reject, may we be included in your séance, you were attempting to contact the spirit world weren’t you?Marge: Um, well, I wanted to speak to my deceased sister Pamela.Terry: Now there’s a lovely girl, dear, dear Pamela.Neville: Wait! I see, we mentioned your book Good Omens and we are here with Madam Tracey, and …Neil: And here we are, lovely to join you, also nice to see Lower Tadfield still standing after all this time, and that you remember us. Yes, Good Omens was a first-rate occult book, full of catchy prophecies and witty Pratchett sayings.Terry: Yes, indeed, like this one: “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”Neil: Yes, that was a good one, and pivotal for that story. Also, here was one that I very much liked: “Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.” Isn’t that right, Madam Tracey?Madam Tracey: Um, er, ah …Ron: What was so special about Good Omens that could create a spiritual gateway to open up and visit us here?Terry: Good Omens was about the end of the world, about a spiritual conflict, but mainly about being human, and how even angels and demons, yes even the Anti-Christ can find happiness here on earth and so we should too, or some such balderdash, I recall it selling rather well.Neville: The end of the world? Is it coming?Freddy: Sooner than you would think, Neville, but then I’m just a musical prostitute, my dear.Neil: Armageddon is scheduled to begin next week.[The table sits in horrified silence]Neil: Naaah! Just messing with you! [All the ghosts laugh]H.P. Lovecraft: Hi guys, interrupting a séance? Can I join in? Good Omens was great, by the way.Terry: Well, thank you, Yank, that mean’s a lot coming from an old spook like you …Madam Tracey: OK, EVERYBODY OUT!! This is MY séanceNeil: Really?? How rude, Madam Tracey. Fine, we’re leaving; I hear there’s a Wiccan coven meeting over in Berkshire. By the way, “Madam” Tracey – who’s real name is Marjory Potts, and who is fooling you three here for money – I’ll be letting the real Geronimo know about your needing a spiritual guide, I’m sure he would love to oblige, ta ta!
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  • J.G. Keely
    May 24, 2007
    I read this book before I tried to tackle Pratchett on his own merit, so I may have to retroactively skew this review based upon what I now know. The book is enjoyable, but may suffer from the fact that it represents its two authors at what seems to be their most basic states.There is no question as to the recognizability of both Gaiman's and Pratchett's respective styles here, but neither seems to add anything to the other. One of Gaiman's weaknesses is surely his general lack of humor. Anythin I read this book before I tried to tackle Pratchett on his own merit, so I may have to retroactively skew this review based upon what I now know. The book is enjoyable, but may suffer from the fact that it represents its two authors at what seems to be their most basic states.There is no question as to the recognizability of both Gaiman's and Pratchett's respective styles here, but neither seems to add anything to the other. One of Gaiman's weaknesses is surely his general lack of humor. Anything that makes you laugh in his books isn't likely to qualify as a joke. While this could have been remedied by Pratchett's collaboration, his humor tends to be more groan-worthy than profound.It seemed to me that, by collaborating, both authors felt a need to simplify and de-personalize their respective styles, which for Gaiman meant an unfortunate loss of much of his dark charm, and for Pratchett that he was even more watered down than usual.I know a lot of people, especially fantasy fans, love this book, and I will admit that it is romp-y, easily digestible, and certainly doesn't betray the inclinations of either author. Unfortunately, it also doesn't surpass them or create anything new or interesting. The whole is less than the sum of its respective parts. However, certainly worth a read; if only to get a fix of Gaiman while waiting for him to actually finish his next book.UPDATE: After reading Gaiman's Anansi Boys, I have come to find that he can be quite uproariously and side-splittingly funny. I am now unsure just what part Pratchett played in Good Omens at all.My Fantasy Book Suggestions
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  • Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
    July 22, 2012
    No getting around it, it IS funny! Clever satire that’s harmlessly irreverent. I wasn’t rolling on the floor or anything but I had 4 (I counted) laugh-out-loud moments, a few good giggles & a smile on my face throughout. A great story that moves along very nicely, as Good and Evil (as represented by the angel Aziraphale & the demon Crowley) join forces to try & avert the apocalypse. Definitely held my interest. The interplay between these two was what really made the story, liked it No getting around it, it IS funny! Clever satire that’s harmlessly irreverent. I wasn’t rolling on the floor or anything but I had 4 (I counted) laugh-out-loud moments, a few good giggles & a smile on my face throughout. A great story that moves along very nicely, as Good and Evil (as represented by the angel Aziraphale & the demon Crowley) join forces to try & avert the apocalypse. Definitely held my interest. The interplay between these two was what really made the story, liked it when they put their differences aside & just hung out. Another highlight was the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse; Death, War, Famine & Pollution (yes pollution...I know, it’s supposed to be Pestilence - read the book:)) who make their appearance as Hell’s Angels. Actually the book is loaded with great characters, there's even a cute little dog, The Hound from Hell morphed into a cat chasing mongrel. Literature defined. Simple enough to grasp but complex enough to inspire thought. Yeh, it’s that. You might find yourself contemplating some pretty deep stuff, like "the big ineffable plan" or the murky line defining mankind as basicly good or evil. Or maybe not, I’ve been over-thinking everything lately."Crowley found devil worshippers a little embarrassing. You couldn’t actually be rude to them, but you couldn’t help feeling about them the same way that, say, a Vietnam vet would feel about someone who wears combat gear to Neighborhood Watch meetings."As Fantasy / Humor – 5 well deserved stars
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  • Jen
    August 11, 2007
    I actually feel a little bad giving this 2 stars, since I see so many reviews of people who loved this book. Unfortunately, I'm just not one of them. I usually like Pratchett's work, and there are a few comic touches that I liked here, but overall the unbelievably slow pace of the latter half of this story nearly drove me bonkers. It skips over about 10 years in a few chapters, and then camps out at 6 hours 'til doomsday for hundreds of pages. The dialogue of the children was tiresome, and the o I actually feel a little bad giving this 2 stars, since I see so many reviews of people who loved this book. Unfortunately, I'm just not one of them. I usually like Pratchett's work, and there are a few comic touches that I liked here, but overall the unbelievably slow pace of the latter half of this story nearly drove me bonkers. It skips over about 10 years in a few chapters, and then camps out at 6 hours 'til doomsday for hundreds of pages. The dialogue of the children was tiresome, and the only character remotely 3-dimensional was the demon Crowley. I began skimming pages before giving up altogether on it a few chapters from the end. I would say it's not my style of book, but that's not true: again, I like Pratchett's other works, and I'm a Douglas Adams fan as well. This one just didn't hit my funny bone, I guess.
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  • Lena
    January 21, 2008
    I find if very difficult not to like a book about how plans for Armageddon hit a snag when a scatterbrained Satanic nun misplaces the Antichrist. Many of the reviews of Good Omens compare it to Douglas Adams. There are some similarities in that much of the story occurs outside the bounds of normal reality, it's genuinely funny, and very British. But I found the overall tone to be softer, less snarky, and more intentionally philosophical in nature. While the book is very entertaining, it also ask I find if very difficult not to like a book about how plans for Armageddon hit a snag when a scatterbrained Satanic nun misplaces the Antichrist. Many of the reviews of Good Omens compare it to Douglas Adams. There are some similarities in that much of the story occurs outside the bounds of normal reality, it's genuinely funny, and very British. But I found the overall tone to be softer, less snarky, and more intentionally philosophical in nature. While the book is very entertaining, it also asks some exceedingly interesting questions. In particular: does the Antichrist have free will?
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  • Anne
    January 11, 2009
    Reread 2014I read American Gods not too long ago, and while I liked it, it didn't turn out to be a favorite. So I wondered if maybe I shouldn't go back and check this one out. You know, see if it was really as good as I remembered?Huh.It was actually better. Hilarious! The 5 star rating stands!Original review 2009Good Omens is going to have to go down as one of my favorites! I wouldn't say that I laughed out loud, but I snorted once or twice and smiled the whole way through! Who would have thoug Reread 2014I read American Gods not too long ago, and while I liked it, it didn't turn out to be a favorite. So I wondered if maybe I shouldn't go back and check this one out. You know, see if it was really as good as I remembered?Huh.It was actually better. Hilarious! The 5 star rating stands!Original review 2009Good Omens is going to have to go down as one of my favorites! I wouldn't say that I laughed out loud, but I snorted once or twice and smiled the whole way through! Who would have thought the apocalypse could be so funny?! Evidently Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Personally, I thought it was a great "coming of age" story about a boy named Adam Young. Warning: If you are one of those people who wear a "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelet and believe that the purple teletubby really is gay, this is not the book for you. Just put it down and grab something by C.S. Lewis.The story centers around an angel and a demon who have spent thousands of years on earth together, and have quite a good working relationship. Everything is running along smoothly until Crowley (the demon) is charged with delivering the antichrist to his new family. In other words, handing over the Spawn of Hell to a bunch of (satanic) nuns who will switch him out with a human baby who has just been born. Once the deed is done, Crowley decides to enlist Aziraphale (the angel) to help him stop the coming apocalypse. They have eleven years before the boy reaches his "full potential"...
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  • Helen 2.0
    January 13, 2016
    -----7/1-----Good Omens is a book about the Antichrist and the end of the world. But don't worry, it's not all sad! In fact, most of it is hilarious. The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are each tasked with finding the Antichrist as a baby and swaying him over to their respective sides; heaven or hell. However, through a misunderstanding they lose the Antichrist and he grows up to be a normal human boy. As a result, Armageddon goes off with a few hitches.It was just as good as I expected -----7/1-----Good Omens is a book about the Antichrist and the end of the world. But don't worry, it's not all sad! In fact, most of it is hilarious. The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are each tasked with finding the Antichrist as a baby and swaying him over to their respective sides; heaven or hell. However, through a misunderstanding they lose the Antichrist and he grows up to be a normal human boy. As a result, Armageddon goes off with a few hitches.It was just as good as I expected it to be! The characters - Aziraphale, Crowley, Anathema, Newt, Shadwell, the Them - were all understandable, real (despite the fact some on that list aren't human), and just the right amount of ridiculous.Shadwell was especially funny. All his lines were read in my mind with a really bad Scottish accent, it made every scene with Shadwell awesome :D-----6/26-----One pressing issue: has anyone here watched Supernatural?The instant Crowley was mentioned I thought of Supernatural. Their characters are so similar!Some quotes in particular stood out as very "Supernatural"-Crowley-like: "Crowley had dark hair and good cheekbones and wore snakeskin shoes"or"Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn't have any alternative. But he'd hoped it would be a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was a major failing in a demon."or"Aziraphale. The Enemy, of course. But an enemy for six thousand years now, which made him a sort of friend."See the similarities? They're glaring me in the face!
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  • Buffy
    September 23, 2010
    I can't for the life of me understand the good reviews that this book has received. I consider myself a person with a great sense of humour. Though I found Crowley an extremely enjoyable character, I could not bring myself to finish this book. All of these characters thrown in and abrupt switches of storyline annoyed me and made me refuse to finish it. This book tries way too hard to be "wacky". There is no naturalness to the flow of the humor. Speaking of which, there is no naturalness to the p I can't for the life of me understand the good reviews that this book has received. I consider myself a person with a great sense of humour. Though I found Crowley an extremely enjoyable character, I could not bring myself to finish this book. All of these characters thrown in and abrupt switches of storyline annoyed me and made me refuse to finish it. This book tries way too hard to be "wacky". There is no naturalness to the flow of the humor. Speaking of which, there is no naturalness to the pivotal character, "the anti-christ". They write "Adam" and his three friends extremely poorly. They write them as how adults, who haven't seen a kid since they were one, think a wacky pack of seven year olds might act (they are eleven, but the authors put them at the maturity level of seven year olds). I would not recommend this book. EVER. Not even to my worse enemy.
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  • Samantha
    August 14, 2007
    Oh. My. God.This was one of the funniest books I have ever read. The writing was phenomenal and I could see myself and others I know in many of the quirky characters.Good and Evil's earthly representatives discover that the time for the Apocalyse has arrived and they're not too happy about it. You see, they've grown to like life on Earth. And besides, Evil (with a capital 'E') itself couldn't possibly do worse things to mankind than what mankind does to itself.And the antichrist's name is Adam, Oh. My. God.This was one of the funniest books I have ever read. The writing was phenomenal and I could see myself and others I know in many of the quirky characters.Good and Evil's earthly representatives discover that the time for the Apocalyse has arrived and they're not too happy about it. You see, they've grown to like life on Earth. And besides, Evil (with a capital 'E') itself couldn't possibly do worse things to mankind than what mankind does to itself.And the antichrist's name is Adam, for cryin' out loud! (Not to mention that his trusty sidekick, aptly named "Dog", rather likes being a real dog and doesn't want to go back to being a hellhound; he'd miss the smells!)My favorite line (and it was a tough decision, believe me!):"This is how Newton Pulsifer looked as a man: if he went into a phone booth and changed, he might manage to come out looking like Clark Kent." And don't forget the other Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - especially Treading in Dogshit (formerly All Foreigners Especially the French, formerly Things Not Working Properly Even When You've Given Them a Good Thumping, never actually No Alcohol Lager, briefly Embarrassing Personal Problems, formerly known as Skuzz). By the way, he ended up, after an unfortunate accident, calling himself People Covered in Fish.I was a little disappointed with the ending, though. It seemed a little too neat and easy. So that's why it didn't get that fifth star from me.Great book! The friend who suggested Clan of the Cave Bear to me (you know who you are!) has totally redeemed herself with this one.
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  • Nikoleta
    February 21, 2017
    Εντάξει, αυτό το βιβλίο μπορεί να μην είναι η γρήγορη περιπέτεια, με την έντονη δράση, αλλά είναι η πιο κεφάτη και αστεία εκδοχή για τον Αρμαγεδδώνα, που μπορεί να δει ή να διαβάσει άνθρωπος!Αυτή η ζωηρή, τσαχπίνικη, καυστική και φλύαρη αφήγηση που κάνει «μπαμ» ότι έχει βάλει το χεράκι του ο αείμνηστος Pratchett, θα μου μείνει αξέχαστη.«Πρέπει να το παραδεχτείς πάντως, ήταν λίγο φάρσα το πράγμα», είπε ο Κρώλυ. «Θέλω να πω, δείχνεις το Δέντρο και λες "Μην αγγίζετε" με μεγάλα γράμματα. Δεν είναι κ Εντάξει, αυτό το βιβλίο μπορεί να μην είναι η γρήγορη περιπέτεια, με την έντονη δράση, αλλά είναι η πιο κεφάτη και αστεία εκδοχή για τον Αρμαγεδδώνα, που μπορεί να δει ή να διαβάσει άνθρωπος!Αυτή η ζωηρή, τσαχπίνικη, καυστική και φλύαρη αφήγηση που κάνει «μπαμ» ότι έχει βάλει το χεράκι του ο αείμνηστος Pratchett, θα μου μείνει αξέχαστη.«Πρέπει να το παραδεχτείς πάντως, ήταν λίγο φάρσα το πράγμα», είπε ο Κρώλυ. «Θέλω να πω, δείχνεις το Δέντρο και λες "Μην αγγίζετε" με μεγάλα γράμματα. Δεν είναι και τόσο διακριτικό, έτσι; Δηλαδή, γιατί δεν το βάζεις στην κορυφή ενός ψηλού βουνού, ή κάπου πολύ μακριά; Σε κάνει ν’ αναρωτιέσαι τι σχέδιο έχει στο μυαλό Του.»Quote by Κρόουλυ (Άγγελος που δεν Εξέπεσε ακριβώς, αλλά μάλλον Σεργιάνισε προς τα Κάτω) ήρωας του βιβλίου, σελ. 11.
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  • Mario
    April 21, 2015
    “I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset cos' they act like people", said Adam severely. "Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.” Neil Gaiman + Terry Pratchett = PerfectionLet me start this review with saying that if you're not so open minded hardcore religious person. do yourself a favor and don't read this book 'cause you might end up really, really hating “I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset cos' they act like people", said Adam severely. "Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.” Neil Gaiman + Terry Pratchett = PerfectionLet me start this review with saying that if you're not so open minded hardcore religious person. do yourself a favor and don't read this book 'cause you might end up really, really hating it.Now off to the real review.I can positively say that (at least in my opinion) this is one of the best books ever written (okay, maybe I'm being a little subjective).I feel like when reading Gaiman's books, there is always a positive and a negative thing (at least in my case). The positive is: The book you are reading might just be one of the best book you've ever read. And a negative is: That book has to finish, and when it does, you don't have a clue what to do with your life. And I feel that the humor Pratchett brought to the story, just made it that much harder to finish the book and say goodbye to this brilliant story.Like I already said, this book was brilliant. I can easily say that a book never made me laugh as hard as this one did (I physically laughed my ass off multiple times while reading). But apart from that, this book was also very dark (and I didn't realize that until the very end). There are quotes in this book that just make you stop reading and think for a second. I feel like that through humor, they made some really good points about religion.And also, this book had one of the best characters ever created. Crowley: A demon who always wear glasses, drives a Bentley and listens to Queen. I mean, whats not to love?! I also loved chemistry between Crowley and Aziraphale. Actually, Aziraphale was my second favorite character.This was my first Pratchett's book (now I feel ashamed to say that), but it certainly won't be my last. I can already say that Pratchett was as big of a genius as Gaiman is. I don't think that there's anything else to say, except that if you haven't read this book but you like either Gaiman or Pratchett, do yourself a favor and go read it. I can guarantee that you won't regret it.
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  • E.H.
    September 15, 2007
    So, funny story. I was reading this book (re-reading, really) during a recent training session for my job (a fairly tedious process - the training, that is - which involves sitting in front of a computer for long hours listening to boring presentations about the software). The guy who was sitting next to me was reasonably attractive and rather chatty, and he looked over and said, "What are you reading?""Good Omens," I said, and seeing that he obviously had no idea what it was, I added, "It's abo So, funny story. I was reading this book (re-reading, really) during a recent training session for my job (a fairly tedious process - the training, that is - which involves sitting in front of a computer for long hours listening to boring presentations about the software). The guy who was sitting next to me was reasonably attractive and rather chatty, and he looked over and said, "What are you reading?""Good Omens," I said, and seeing that he obviously had no idea what it was, I added, "It's about the end of the world. It's really funny.""Cool," he said.A bit later I was busy making myself motion sick by spinning in my chair (because I am totally a grownup) and when I got bored, I asked him, "So how'd you wind up here?""Oh, [company we work for] recruits heavily from my school.""Where's that?""Brigham Young University."I had a sudden revelation re my chances of getting a date burst across the inside of my frontal lobes, but I still needed to come up with something intelligent to say to this. "I heard the CIA recruits from there a lot." (This is my version of intelligent, I guess.)"Yeah. But you have to travel all over the world for the CIA and I just got married, so I couldn't."I nodded like this all totally made sense and went back to my book, which is much funnier and yet somehow less surreal than my day-to-day life.
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  • Negativni
    January 11, 2017
    Genijalno! Što drugo reći?Pratchett i Gaiman su se očito zabavljali dok su pisali ovaj roman i utrpali su u njega valjda sve čega su se mogli sjetiti, što povremeno remeti dinamiku i guši radnju, ali s druge strane, svaka rečenica je prožeta odličnim humorom ili genijalnim kritikama društva* tako da je ovo bio užitak za čitanje. Ismijali su: religijske dogme, nelogičnosti u Bibliji, predviđanje budućnosti, koncept sudbine, tv propovjednike, ljudsku prirodu, razne predrasude, špijune, kompjutere Genijalno! Što drugo reći?Pratchett i Gaiman su se očito zabavljali dok su pisali ovaj roman i utrpali su u njega valjda sve čega su se mogli sjetiti, što povremeno remeti dinamiku i guši radnju, ali s druge strane, svaka rečenica je prožeta odličnim humorom ili genijalnim kritikama društva* tako da je ovo bio užitak za čitanje. Ismijali su: religijske dogme, nelogičnosti u Bibliji, predviđanje budućnosti, koncept sudbine, tv propovjednike, ljudsku prirodu, razne predrasude, špijune, kompjutere i povezane tehnologije (koje su u trenutku pisanja romana, 1990., bile u povojima) i sve ostalo što postoji ili je postojalo ili će postojati. Uglavnom, da ne dužim, uzeti i pročitati!* čak su i fusnote koje to nisu zabavne
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  • Ken
    April 12, 2008
    It is really hard to write good literary satire. Simple fact is that often satire goes too far over to the side of parody. When it crosses that line, it becomes bad mimicry rather than true satire. Think what This Is Spinal Tap would have been like if Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer just did an impression of the guys from Saxon – it would be funny for five minutes (if you actually knew who Saxon was) but ultimately the joke would get old. Over-parody leads to a stale joke an It is really hard to write good literary satire. Simple fact is that often satire goes too far over to the side of parody. When it crosses that line, it becomes bad mimicry rather than true satire. Think what This Is Spinal Tap would have been like if Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer just did an impression of the guys from Saxon – it would be funny for five minutes (if you actually knew who Saxon was) but ultimately the joke would get old. Over-parody leads to a stale joke and then you have an author who is just winking at his readers. After all, is Rich Little really that funny? Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch could’ve descended into a really bad parody, especially considering that co-authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett originally intended it as a send-up of Richard Crompton’s William books (ask your friends from the UK). The initial title they had conceived was William the Antichrist. But Gaiman and Pratchett took the joke farther out -- much farther out -- satirizing everything from the Bible to The Omen to modern English society. The cast of characters includes a sect of extremely loquacious nuns secretly in the employ of hell (The Chattering Order of Saint Beryl), Pollution as the replacement for a now retired Pestilence (thanks to the invention of Penicillin), a bibliophile Angel (known as Aziraphale) who is not so sure he wants heaven to win, a Demon who is more concerned with his antique Bentley than stealing souls, the slacker descendents of Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder, and even Agnes Nutter who lives up to her name. This makes for a concoction that is rife with sharp, pinpointed jokes that still hold up and still retain their bite.Simply put, it is amazing satire. It the equivalent to reading a Monty Python film and comes as close to matching the sheer genius The Life of Brian as one could get in a novel. In an opening sequence, we’re introduced to Crowley, a demon who has come to enjoy his life on earth and is not particularly enthralled with the idea of Armageddon. The only thing that irks him more is having to show up for the daily counting of the deeds with two other demons at a dreary cemetery at midnight. Never mind the traffic getting out of London, the real frustration for Crowley arises when he cannot explain to his fellow hellspawn that blocking all portable phone systems in central London will do more good for Satan than tempting a politician or a priest.“But you couldn’t tell that to demons like Hastur and Ligur. Fourteenth-century minds, the lot of them. Spending years picking away at one soul. Admittedly it was craftsmanship, but you had to think differently these days. Not big, but wide. With five billion people in the world you couldn’t pick the buggers off one by one any more; you had to spread your effort. But demons like Ligur and Hastur wouldn’t understand. They’d never thought up Welsh-language television for example. Or value-added tax. Or Manchester.”Manchester is of course Crowley’s proudest achievement as a demon. Or there is the slight episode where the mighty Kraken rises from the sea once more, directly under a whaling ship. “There is a tiny metal thing above it. The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance.”Chapters such as that keep Good Omens chugging along at great pace. What is most obvious is that Pratchett and Gaiman had an absolute hoot writing the book. The interplay is fantastic, a grand piling on of ideas, where ultimately it doesn’t matter who originally conceived of which bits (much like the Pythons). If you could level any criticism at the book it is that the ending is so bloody nice. The writers literally pull the final punch and leave the reader with a very saccharine outcome after pages and pages of skewering most of modern society (from the 17th century onward). You come to this very perfectly resolved, somewhat hopeful ending, feeling as the writers feared appearing a little too cynical. Picture The Empire Strikes Back if Luke just suddenly strikes down Darth Vader rather than losing his hand (and discovering the true identity of his father).This is mostly due to the original concept of William the Antichrist -- or rather the character of Adam. While the character is an interesting parody of Damian from The Omen, he tends to drag the action down, giving the book a YA bent that it doesn’t need. After all, the cast of memorable characters is overloaded as it is and the book is simply much funnier when Adam is not around to slow up the pace. One could argue this was a necessary device, a way to cut the more biting parts of the book in order to have some contrast. But in the end, you can’t help but feel that the character could’ve been reduced to a minor one with the emphasis kept on Crowley and Aziraphale’s attempts to thwart their respective sides during the ensuing Armageddon.It is however somewhat of a nitpick because that flaw is greatly diminished by the overall wit and surgical skewering of all things the Apocalypse in Good Omens. About the only thing funnier is The Left Behind series, but those books are not intentionally humorous.
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  • Maggie Stiefvater
    June 17, 2008
    This novel spoof of THE OMEN is absolutely hilarious. From the four bikers of the apocalypse to adorable hell hounds, it's my absolute favorite offering from Terry Pratchett -- his humor mixed with Neil Gaiman's is absolute win in my opinion. ***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew This novel spoof of THE OMEN is absolutely hilarious. From the four bikers of the apocalypse to adorable hell hounds, it's my absolute favorite offering from Terry Pratchett -- his humor mixed with Neil Gaiman's is absolute win in my opinion. ***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.****
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  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    January 1, 2012
    I read Good Omens shortly after joining GR but never bothered to write a review for it. I loved the book but don't remember a thing about it so there is no way I could review it now.Following the recent "let's bump reviews" situation, some of us decided we'd had enough. Being on GR doesn't mean competing for 'likes'. I, for one, am only here for the wine. But I digress. Kat made an awesome little badge and Kelly came up with a brilliant idea: let's all bump our friends' reviews instead of ou I read Good Omens shortly after joining GR but never bothered to write a review for it. I loved the book but don't remember a thing about it so there is no way I could review it now.Following the recent "let's bump reviews" situation, some of us decided we'd had enough. Being on GR doesn't mean competing for 'likes'. I, for one, am only here for the wine. But I digress. Kat made an awesome little badge and Kelly came up with a brilliant idea: let's all bump our friends' reviews instead of our own! Pretty cool huh?!So you want to read a review for Good Omens? Check out Anne's . She loved the book as much as I did and is one of the coolest chicks around. She might even have a few endearing qualities (don't tell her I said that, it might very well go to her head). Off you go!Spread the love guys, we all deserve to be famous!
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  • Madeline
    July 2, 2014
    After being unimpressed with Neverwhere and dismissing it as Early Gaiman, I was delighted to read Good Omens and find that even though this was written several years before Neverwhere, it's just as good as Gaiman's later works. Possibly this is due to Pratchett's influence - at the end of the book, there's a nice afterword where the two authors talk about the process of creating the story and who was responsible for writing which parts. I've never read anything by Terry Pratchett before this an After being unimpressed with Neverwhere and dismissing it as Early Gaiman, I was delighted to read Good Omens and find that even though this was written several years before Neverwhere, it's just as good as Gaiman's later works. Possibly this is due to Pratchett's influence - at the end of the book, there's a nice afterword where the two authors talk about the process of creating the story and who was responsible for writing which parts. I've never read anything by Terry Pratchett before this and was unfamiliar with his work, but I'm very familiar with Gaiman's writing style by this point, having read five or six of his books. That being said, I was unable to see where Gaiman's writing ended and Pratchett's began, which was ultimately a good thing. If two authors must insist on co-writing a book, they should at least try to mesh their writing so the reader doesn't notice the book has two authors (I'm looking at you, David Levithan and John Green).It's unfair of me to compare this book to the show Supernatural, because for one thing, the book predates the show by over a decade, but throughout the book, I couldn't help thinking what a killer season of Supernatural this book would make. Perhaps the authors could negotiate some kind of crossover? Both works feature a delightful demon named Crowley; the thing practically writes itself. Anyway, the "Prophecies" referred to in the title are a reference to a book written by a seventeenth-century prophet named Agnes Nutter, who wrote down every single (extremely accurate) prophecy she ever had in a book and passed it to her descendents, who have been decoding said prophecies ever since. Her biggest one concerns the coming of the Antichrist and the end of the world, and her descendents aren't the only ones who are involved. Angels and demons are both preparing for a holy war, and our Crowley, the previously-mentioned demon, and Aziraphale, an angel. Through a series of mixups at the hospital, the infant Antichrist is delivered to the wrong family, and neither the angels or the demons realize that there's been a mistake. So the kid intended to bring Hell on earth grows up unaware of his role, and meanwhile the angels and demons are preparing the wrong kid for war, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse are gathering.(Seriously - tell me this wouldn't make the best Supernatural season arc ever. ALthough I doubt the show writers would be interested, because there are very few opportunities for man pain and all the female characters are well-rounded and don't get killed off in service of further man pain, so in that sense this book is actually the polar opposite of Supernatural.)The writing is funny, sharp, and as I said, flows cleanly between the two authors. It's a very lighthearted take on the end of the world, and the humor was very reminiscent of Douglas Adams. My only big complaint was the climax, which takes too long to start (the story switches between multiple POV characters, and we have to check in with ALL of them, repeatedly, when the apocalypse is just starting to get good) and then is over too quickly, with a conclusion that was a little too sugary-sweet for my tastes. But all in all, it was a fun, fast-paced story, and a delightful take on the apocalypse and everyone involved.
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  • Deborah Markus
    August 27, 2013
    Flawless. That is, unless you're deeply and humorlessly religious, in which case you'll want an emergency bucket of holy water nearby to douse this book in after -- or possibly while -- you read it. Do Protestants do holy water, btw? I always thought that was a Catholic thing. Then again, I thought Lent was only for Catholics, too, and then my Proddy friends started mentioning what they gave up for Lent and I was all, "Actually, I think giving up chocolate for a whole month is going a little ove Flawless. That is, unless you're deeply and humorlessly religious, in which case you'll want an emergency bucket of holy water nearby to douse this book in after -- or possibly while -- you read it. Do Protestants do holy water, btw? I always thought that was a Catholic thing. Then again, I thought Lent was only for Catholics, too, and then my Proddy friends started mentioning what they gave up for Lent and I was all, "Actually, I think giving up chocolate for a whole month is going a little overboard, you know? I mean, Jesus suffered, but not like that," and then they stopped talking to me so I never had the chance to ask them about the holy water. Which is sad -- partly because I really want to know, and partly because I just now realized that they might have thought I was being sarcastic about the Lent thing. Which, excuse me, I WASN'T. Chocolate is important. And by important, I mean "why I bother getting up in the morning, when I bother getting up at all." Anyway. My Catholic friends don't have to stock up on holy water if they want to read this book, because my Catholic friends have awesome senses of humor. Ditto my Mormon friends. And my friends who go to hip and groovy Christian churches -- UU, Lutheran, Jesus Thinks You're Awesome So Why Not Return The Favor House Of Worship And Free Coffee. Oh, and my Jewish and Buddhist friends will laugh their bits off reading this book. That's a lot of people, come to think of it. I know I've left someone out of the equation. Is it Southern Baptists who'd set me on fire for admitting I loved a book that features a demon and the anti-Christ as sympathetic characters? I don't know. I can never keep track of everyone who thinks I've got a one-way ticket to Hell. If you're on that list, don't read this book. You'll spend the whole time frowning. Life is hard enough. You don't need that.Anyway. Everybody who has enough of a sense of humor to read a really funny, brilliantly written book about the Biblical end of the world, please grab this. Everybody else, just remember who gave you fair warning.And now I need some chocolate. I mean, I've been awake for almost an hour.
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  • Jonathan
    December 1, 2011
    I have enjoyed Terry Pratchett on his own. I have enjoyed Neil Gaiman writing on his own. But the two of them writing this book together didn't quite work for me personally. I can understand why many other people have loved this book yet there was something not quite likeable about it for me. And no it wasn't the subject matter but rather the writing style adopted and the novel's plot. This book is somewhat similar to, and somewhat different to the quirky style of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the G I have enjoyed Terry Pratchett on his own. I have enjoyed Neil Gaiman writing on his own. But the two of them writing this book together didn't quite work for me personally. I can understand why many other people have loved this book yet there was something not quite likeable about it for me. And no it wasn't the subject matter but rather the writing style adopted and the novel's plot. This book is somewhat similar to, and somewhat different to the quirky style of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but personally not quite so well composed. There were moments I laughed certainly and there were moments I allowed myself a wry smile but the book on the whole ambled off on far too many tangents to create an overall settled plot. I could almost see the book fighting an invisible narrative wanting for it to go off on another direction and hence the friction of two witty authors working together was visible to me. The plot follows two spirits, an angel and a demon, as they set off to help kick-start the apocalypse. An apocalypse prophesied years ago by the mad witch Agnes Nutter. It turns out that the angel and demon were also there at the beginning of the world and have been 'friends' on the opposing sides for millennia. Despite my beliefs I had no problem with the premise as this is a fictional work and not intended to be serious and while I believe in an end of the world I don't necessarily agree with the whole Hollywood apocalypse. Occasionally the two authors prove a little irreverent but that said there was a difference I felt between their poking fun at ideas and openly mocking them. Mocking in my books is never acceptable. A little tongue in cheek humour always is. It depends on how people personally draw the line and I think it's up to the individual making a joke to try not to offend if possible. However you should not be worried about having a laugh about something truly funny for the sake of political correctness.In the end this was a convoluted book much like this review and I thought it was okay but personally I needed to read a version of this with more definition to it. It felt like it was going off on tangents for laughs and then finished weakly with an ending which while it was humorous and made sense in the book's logic it was also rather unsatisfactory. Still I recommend others do try to read this book as I know many other people who have loved it.
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  • Emer
    April 28, 2016
    This book is so very funny. It really is. I was very much enjoying it. At any other time in my life I just know I would have loved this book... But I can't bring myself to keep reading. I can't help but associate this book with a very sad occasion in my life and I need to pause reading it for now. I'm not calling it a DNF. Just a long pause...Dearest book, it's not you it's me. I hope you'll forgive me. "It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and trag This book is so very funny. It really is. I was very much enjoying it. At any other time in my life I just know I would have loved this book... But I can't bring myself to keep reading. I can't help but associate this book with a very sad occasion in my life and I need to pause reading it for now. I'm not calling it a DNF. Just a long pause...Dearest book, it's not you it's me. I hope you'll forgive me. "It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people" --------CAVEATKids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous.Do not attempt it in your own home. I like a good caveat. More books should come with one. Let's see how this pans out...
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  • Uci
    April 13, 2010
    Suatu hari Neil Gaiman dan Terry Pratchett (yang waktu itu katanya belum terkenal) ketemuan. Sambil minum-minum dan ngobrol ngalor ngidul, mereka iseng-iseng melontarkan ide untuk membuat buku bareng. Isinya, tentang segala hal yang bikin mereka jengkel, marah, mikir, senang, sedih, sinis, pokoknya segala hal campur aduk. Lumayan lah, daripada nganggur...+ Tapi harus ada benang merahnya dong, masak cuma ocehan nggak penting?- Hmm..ya udah tentang hari kiamat aja+ Kenapa hari kiamat?- Semua orang Suatu hari Neil Gaiman dan Terry Pratchett (yang waktu itu katanya belum terkenal) ketemuan. Sambil minum-minum dan ngobrol ngalor ngidul, mereka iseng-iseng melontarkan ide untuk membuat buku bareng. Isinya, tentang segala hal yang bikin mereka jengkel, marah, mikir, senang, sedih, sinis, pokoknya segala hal campur aduk. Lumayan lah, daripada nganggur...+ Tapi harus ada benang merahnya dong, masak cuma ocehan nggak penting?- Hmm..ya udah tentang hari kiamat aja+ Kenapa hari kiamat?- Semua orang takut sama hari kiamat..+ Terus?- Semua sibuk jadi orang baik, atau jadi orang jahat, supaya punya tempat di hari kiamat+ Lalu?- Lalu nyalahin iblis dan malaikat + Padahal?- Neraka bukan sumber kejahatan besar, sebagaimana Surga bukanlah mata air kebajikan. Pemeran utamanya, kelemahlembutan sejati dan kejahatan yang sungguh mematikan, berada tepat di dalam pikiran manusia. (hal. 115)+ Wah serius banget lo!- Ya biar ada isinya gitu lho buku ini...+ Oiya, bener, bener. Berarti harus ada 4 Pengendara Kuda tuh...- Perang, Kelaparan, Polusi, Kematian? Ngapain mereka?+ ...karena otak manusia tidak punya kemampuan untuk melihat keempatnya saat mereka tidak ingin dilihat, dan otak manusia sudah begitu mahir untuk tidak melihat, sehingga tetap tidak melihat keempatnya meskipun mereka berkeliaran di mana-mana (hal. 443)- Wuiiih, tambah keren nih buku kita! Pokoknya intinya manusia itu punya kehendak bebas gitu kan?+ Ya begitulah kira-kira. Sepakat ya? - Setujulah saya mah! Eh tapi ada batasan nggak nih, siapa yang boleh dicela siapa yang nggak?+ Alaah, hajar aja bleh! Lagian siapa yang mau baca sih buku nggak karuan begini?- Aah, bener juga lo!Dan akhirnya jadilah buku itu. Judulnya Good Omens, tebalnya (yang edisi bahasa Indonesia) 518 halaman! Mungkin saking nggak ada kerjaannya mereka, atau saking banyaknya hal di dunia yang pingin mereka cela dan mereka gosipin sepuasnya.Gilanya lagi, buku ini laris!!! Bahkan perpustakaan Vatikan pun sampai menyimpan satu kopi, padahal mereka kan cuma bercandaaaa...Denger aja nih pengakuan mereka: Kami hanya dua orang biasa. Kami mengarang buku itu di musim panas. Kami sangat menikmatinya, uangnya kami bagi dua, dan kami bersumpah tidak akan mengulanginya. Menurut kami, buku itu tidak penting. Memang rezeki nggak bakal lari ke mana....
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  • Chesca
    July 10, 2016
    ACTUAL RATING: 4.5 stars Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a hilarious masterpiece that everyone should read at least once in their life.In 1655, Agnes Nutter predicted that the world would end on a Saturday. She wrote a book that was published but never became a best-seller because it had the most exact prophecies unlike those written by others, and in fact, only one copy of it survived through the years. This said copy w ACTUAL RATING: 4.5 stars Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a hilarious masterpiece that everyone should read at least once in their life.In 1655, Agnes Nutter predicted that the world would end on a Saturday. She wrote a book that was published but never became a best-seller because it had the most exact prophecies unlike those written by others, and in fact, only one copy of it survived through the years. This said copy was passed down from generation to generation in the hands of her descendants.Crowley, a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel, have been living on Earth for so long that they became so fond of the lifestyle. They realized, now that the end is near, that they were actually not looking forward to it.Eleven years before, Crowley was given the task to switch the baby Anti-Christ with a human baby. Unfortunately, the child was misplaced, and Aziraphale and Crowley just realized this a few days before Armageddon.I could say that this is my silliest read so far this year. It was an epic adventure. The ideas in it were so random but were weaved together brilliantly.The story and all its characters are amazing and worth my time. My only problem with it was that because of the number of characters, the story became a bit confusing at first and in some of the latter parts of the book. There are a lot of them that you definitely have to follow just so you could keep up with the story. It was actually helpful that the authors included a list of all the main characters so readers could reread those pages in case they forget what someone’s role was.The parts that I had a hard time going with were those about the Four Horsemen, particularly the ones that happened on Saturday, especially when these other four guys started following them. It was funny but there were too many names to take in when these said followers started changing them. I honestly stopped laughing at their chapters when I had enough.My favorite characters are and Anathema Device and Newt Pulsifer. Like Crowley and Aziraphale, I love how they teamed up with each other despite being on opposing sides; Anathema is a witch, occultist, and professional descendant of Agnes Nutter, while Newt was a wages clerk turned Witchfinder Private. I found Newt’s naiveté, and how he followed almost every word of Shadwell really cute. It was so weird but at the same time amusing when he was (view spoiler)[discreetly checking Anathema out for extra nipples (hide spoiler)] just because he was told to be mindful of how many people had on their bodies. What I liked about Anathema is that she was so dedicated to the prophecies that she was living her whole life according to them. It was quite entertaining to reading about the predictions happening right before their eyes, and all the side-notes written by Anathema’s ancestors on the flash-card copies of The Nice and Accurate Prophecies.All I could say about the ending, without spoilers, is that it was different than I expected. It made sense and was appropriate for each of the characters.Do I recommend this? Absolutely, yes! Everyone needs to experience the fun brought by Good Omens.
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  • Alissa
    January 5, 2017
    DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.An angel who collects antiques and runs a bookstore religiously devoid of customers? A demon (“an Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards”) whose car turns every single cassette ('90s here) into a Queen album? Two representatives of Heaven and Hell who are both perfectly fine living on Earth thank you very much but the Armageddon is coming? The same two who lost the Antichrist?“The Kra DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.An angel who collects antiques and runs a bookstore religiously devoid of customers? A demon (“an Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards”) whose car turns every single cassette ('90s here) into a Queen album? Two representatives of Heaven and Hell who are both perfectly fine living on Earth thank you very much but the Armageddon is coming? The same two who lost the Antichrist?“The Kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance.”Add to the mix a creepy gang of normal teenagers, a satanic lapdog, a professional descendant & witch with a New Age upbringing, the integrated and respectable four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX. “Verses two to eight”. More properly, bikers. Because, modernity), the backup Bikers of the Apocalypse, Tibetan sappers, Witchfinders with a Cause, a motherly medium, dolphins and a cast of various&sundry personalities. Throw in some alcohol, give a shake, keep something to smoke handy and enjoy hot or cold.You can't really connect with any of the characters (if you can, I don't want to know), but it is clever, ironic, terrifically humorous, superbly written, sadly contemporary and full of references."A relentlefs blockbufter of a boke; heartily recommended".
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