16 September, 2011

Terry Pratchett Month: Book Review: Good Omens



Title: Good Omens
Author: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Genre: Adult/Fantasy

Published: 1990
Page Count: 369
Cover Rating:
 4 out of 5. I like this cover. Though I can't figure out it out. I got one copy from the library that's all black, the one I got on hold is all white, and I guess both are supposed to be set next to each other, since the words at the bottom "The nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch" line up. Maybe it's supposed to get you to buy a second copy? Okay, probably not.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary (from Goodreads):

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to the Divine Plan. 
    Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon--each of whom have lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle--are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him . . .

My Thoughts: This one is not entirely Terry Pratchett, but it has enough of his characteristic quirky style (along with being quite funny and co-written with another great writer) that I thought it deserved a mention. Good Omens is not the first Armageddon story, but it's the best I've read. The cast of characters is an eclectic, surprising mix of angels, demons, Horsemen, and practically every other kind of being, the plot moves fast and takes many turns, and, of course, the writing is excellent. For some reason it took me a while to get into it, but farther on I really wanted to know what happened.

Other: Thematic elements, language, some sex, violence.

Verdict: A humorous, original take on the end of the world, Good Omens is very entertaining and worth the read. Recommended.

Other Terry Pratchett Month Posts:

Discussion Post: On Humorous and Parodic Stories
Book Review: Nation
Discussion Post: Anthropomorphism


-----The Golden Eagle

31 comments:

Budd said...

I think you meant which and not witch at one point but you could have just been being punny. I liked this book, but someone said it doesn't stand up to multiple readings, good thing my to be read list is so long.

Christine Rains said...

I love this book! It's one of my all-time favorites.

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks for the review. I haven't read any of their works but it does sound intersting. And that's different regarding the black and white covers. I haven't seen that one before.

Heather said...

Terry is quite the interesting writer. I've never quite been able to get into his work but he is talented for sure!

Krispy said...

I love this book so much for the humor and writing and the creativity! The cast is awesome. My favorites have to be Aziraphale and Crowley though. :) I agree with you though that it was kind of hard to get into at first. It has sort of a quirky but slow-ish set-up, but then it gets really good.

Carol Kilgore said...

I love the differences in the covers. Very cool. I wonder if one is written from one POV and one from another? Probably not.

Happy Weekend!

L.G.Smith said...

I still haven't read any Terry Pratchett. I have to remedy that soon. This would probably be a good read for me, as I'm a big fan of Neilhimself.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like Gaiman so sounds like a good read.

Sangu said...

Great review - I've been wanting to check this out for ages, and I might just spur myself on now!

M Pax said...

I'll have to add this one to my list. I like Neil Gaiman.

Old Kitty said...

Fab, fab, fab book!! I mean Agnes Nutter!! LOL!!But yes - most definitely slow start but once in - you're in!!! Great story too!! I have to admit I was so sceptical about this book but these two mad writers just worked really well - how they did it I don't know - must google it - great book and collaboration!

Take care
x

Rusty Webb said...

I probably had heard just a touch too much praise for this book before I read it, because it fell a bit flat for me. I wanted to like it, I really did, but it was not my thing, not at all.

But humor is tough. What works for some doesn't for others.

Michelle Merrill said...

That cover is really interesting. But it sounds like a great read. Thanks for the review :)

Michelle Merrill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Love Unawakened said...

Awesome blog!

Flying high in the sky.... said...

very interesting review!! thanks for sharing it with us..

MC Rogerson said...

Read this a long time ago and really enjoyed it.

Also wanted to drop by and present you with a Versatile Blogger Award. Know you've received this many times over, but I really like your blog!

Sarah Pearson said...

I read this because of Terry Pratchett (although I love Gaiman too) and my girls read it because of neil Gaiman.

Everybody was very happy :-)

BornStoryteller said...

I read this when it first came out and really need to re-read it. I remember enjoying it: it's what got me to read Neil outside of Sandman. I picked it up more because I had already been reading Discworld books.

Well worth the time, for two great writers.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Looking forward to your picks for the blogfest on Monday!

Ciara said...

Thanks for the review. The cover is interesting.

Deborah Walker said...

It's been a long time since I read this. But, yay. It was a good one. Was it their only collaboration?

Talli Roland said...

I'm learning so much about Terry this month from you! Thank you for the review.

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

A most excellent book, and I agree it's a fantastic, quirky take on the Apocalypse. But with these two talented, hilarious writers I'd be surprised if it weren't. ;)

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the review. It sounds very interesting.

The Golden Eagle said...

Budd: Um . . . I think that was right. Was it in the Summary?

I'm not dying to re-read it; maybe after a while, once I've forgotten some of the details or want something amusing.

Christine: It's a great story! :)

Stephen: You're welcome!

Me, neither. Except on a book that was a different edition, with a new introduction.

Heather: It's too bad you haven't been able to get into his novels!

Krispy: Same here. :) They must be the most unlikely combination!

Carol: No--though I do like that idea. Maybe if they ever publish Midnight Sun the should do that. :P (Though I dislike Twilight.)

Thanks!

L.G.: I love Neil Gaiman! Except for the screenplay he wrote for Beowulf. The hero as the dragon's dad? That makes no sense.

Alex: It is! :)

Sangu: Thank you!

Hope you enjoy it, if you do read Good Omens. :)

M: He's one of my favorite authors! His YA/MG books are excellent, and I really like the couple Adult books I read by him.

Old Kitty: What a name! :D

There's an afterword in the back of the hardcover copy where the authors write about their thoughts on the story and each other--it's quite amusing to read. :)

Rusty: True. Not all humor is for everyone--it's so subjective.

Michelle: You're very welcome!

Love Unawakened: Hello! I'm glad you like my blog. :)

Flying high: You're welcome! :) Thanks for coming by.

MC: Thank you so much for the award!

I just posted about awards--oops. I'll have to post again later with the Versatile Blogger Award.

Sarah: That's good. :)

Stuart: I've never read Sandman, but I've heard a lot about it--it's on my TBR list!

Alex: They'll be up for sure. I need to write up that list!

Ciara: You're welcome!

Deborah: I think it is. It's too bad--I would love to read something else by Gaiman and Pratchett. :)

Talli: You're welcome!

Thanks! You too. :D

Tricia: Indeed!

Kimberly: You're very welcome. :)

Susan Kane said...

I am with Heather in that I have not been able to connect with his writing. It may not be my genre; but my husband loves his books.

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

This definitely looks like my kind of read - even the cover(s) are quirky and fun!

The Golden Eagle said...

Susan: I can see why the humor wouldn't click with everyone. It is rather unusual. :P

Julie: Hope you enjoy it if you do read Good Omens. :)

Budd said...

actually I was mistaken. You should do a seperate box for your comments as I couldn't go back and look. I did afterwards and saw that it was used correctly.

The Golden Eagle said...

Budd: Thanks for bringing it up, anyway. :) It's helpful to have someone point out things like that, since they're easy to miss.

There should be a "Show original post" at the top of comment pages like this one; that will display the text right next to the comment box. I've thought about switching to pop-up windows, though--I know a lot of other people have.