Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good Omens

Cue the soundtrack for this novel: "It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine." Well, more than fine actually, because the more I read, the more I grin, and as I expected, the Gaiman/Pratchett combo is utterly irresistible. If only I could figure out why R.E.M keeps morphing into Queen...

This is a book about the apocalypse, told from the points of view of various characters, angelic, demonic, witch-ish (witchly?) and human. Central to the book is the unlikely alliance between Crowley (a.k.a. the original serpent) and Aziraphale (the angel of the flaming sword) - sure, they stand on opposite sides. But really, neither of them can think of any good reason why the world should come to an end. The antichrist has been born, it's true, but maybe with the right kind of upbringing, the catastrophe can be averted. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for them, there was a bit of a baby mix-up at the hospital...

Stephen Briggs, who narrates this audio book, is an unbelievable reader. I don't think I'll ever read a Pratchett novel to myself without Briggs' voice sounding in my head- and I certainly won't mind that one bit. With twists and turns, hilarious asides, and unforgettable characters, the book explores faith, fate, and the human spirit. Highly recommended.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman; narrated by Stephen Briggs (ISIS Audio Books, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
Bookshelves of Doom: "I think that Neil Gaiman really tempered Terry Pratchett's usually outrageousness, which was why I ended up liking it so much more than any of Pratchett's solo books. Together, they actually really, really reminded me of Douglas Adams."
Eclectic/Eccentric: "The writing is a fantastic mix of Pratchett and Gaiman, who themselves declare that they aren't sure who wrote what and are convinced that at some point the book started spontaneously producing its own text."
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic: "The end of the world doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. It can be positively hilarious!"
The Written World: "It may seem about the Apocalypse, but there are many other things at play in the novel. I will not list them here, I will leave you to find them out for yourself because this is a book I STRONGLY RECOMMEND!!!!!"

12 comments:

  1. I love this book! I am scared to think about the review, though, because it was back in early blogging days! Anyway, I might not be the biggest Gaiman fan in the world, but I like him whenever I think of this book!

    So happy you enjoyed!

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  2. I love this book! I love the copies they put out recently, the matching black and white hardbacks with Crowley and Aziraphale on them. Actually I should reread this - I love the part when the angel and the demon are both drunk and telling each other about dolphins and whales.

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  3. Kailana - I loved your review - and it was fun reading an early one. I know mine have certainly morphed (and probably still are) since I started the blog.

    Jenny - Those covers are great! That was a funny part - particularly when they decided it was time to sober up. :-)

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  4. I too absolutely love this book! And lol, the song does fit it perfectly.

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  5. it's been several years since i've read this book, but i was fairly let down.
    i thought it started off great - with a delightfully Adamsian tone - and then it just lost my interest. i've thought about giving it a second shot, a time or two, but my reaction was so "meh," that i've just let it go. i really wanted to like the book; everything about it seems right up my alley. but, for me, it ended up being like the one-week relationship in high school with the hot guy you pined after for years: the reality fell far short of the anticipation.
    this is the only stuff by either author i've read, though i'm interested in reading Gaiman alone, some time.

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  6. Nymeth - I seriously had that song stuck in my head the entire time I was reading the book! :-)

    Molly - I'm sorry this one didn't do it for you. I really enjoyed it, as you can tell. I do hope you'll give Pratchett and Gaiman another try, though, with something else. They are among my very favorites.

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  7. I just knew this would be good when I heard of it. I really got to pick it up...

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  8. Ladytink - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :-)

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  9. I'm listening to A Hat Full of Sky in my car at the moment read by Tony Robinson who does a great job as well. Again this is on my list to read this year. I am really looking forward to it.

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  10. Rhinoa - Be careful that you don't drive off the road, laughing. That was a risk for me when I was listening to it! :-p

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  11. I added your review to mine which can be found here: here.

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  12. Trisha - Thanks for the link - I enjoyed reading your review! I've added yours to mine, too.

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