I’m trying to catch up on reviews for all the books I’ve read. My Goodreads goal was 60 for the year and so far, I’ve read 46. Not too shabby! Today, I will talk about one of the most fun books on my list so far – Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
What can I say about this book? It’s awesome, that’s what! The most fun you could possibly have with the Apocalypse. The story mostly follows two good friends as they find out that the world will be ending on Saturday, just before dinner. Here’s the kicker – the two friends are Aziraphale, an angel with a knack for collecting old books, and Crowley, a demon who didn’t exactly Fall, more like “sauntered vaguely downwards.” They have both lived on Earth for a long time and aren’t really all that excited to see it end. Together they try to figure out how to stop the Apocalypse from happening, all the while trying to avoid being rounded up by the forces of Good and Evil.
And there’s more. The powers that be are trying to work with the Antichrist, a twelve year old boy, but realize that they have found the wrong kid. No one knows that the real Antichrist is hanging out in a small English town with his dog (named Dog) who is really a hellhound. Dog is also enjoying his time on Earth and, because of that, isn’t really doing much to help the Antichrist become all that evil. Then you have the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – who show up on motorcycles – Death, Famine, War, and Pollution (Pestilence having retired after the discovery of penicillin). All of these events were foretold by Agnes Nutter, a witch who was killed in 1655, in her book The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, of which there is only one copy. This copy is in the hands of Agnes’ many-times-great-granddaughter, Anathema, who is trying to follow the prophesies to figure out what to do. She is assisted by Newton Pulsifer, the descendant of the man who had Agnes burned at the stake.
As you can probably guess, this romp gets extremely complicated, but never confusing. All of the plot lines race along to the finale, the showdown, the End of the World – and it is seamless. Normally in stories like this, I feel more connected to one storyline and just skim the others, but not in this case. Everything was told with such humor and wit and snarkiness, I didn’t want to miss a single second. Brilliant writing.