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The Big ReadGood Omens

Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Average Review Rating Average Rating 10/10 (4 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Corgi Books

Published : 1990

Copyright : Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 1990

ISBN-10 : PB 0-552-13703-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-552-13703-4

Publisher's Write-Up

A brilliantly dark and funny take on mankind's final judgment, from bestselling authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

"'Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don't let you go around again until you get it right."

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - the world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just after tea...

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it's only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea? You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax.

Or you could just try to do something about it.

'A superbly funny book. Pratchett and Gaiman are the most hilariously sinister team since Jekyll and Hyde. If this is Armageddon, count me in.'

James Herbert

'Wickedly funny.'

Time Out

'Not quite as sinister as the authors' photo.'

The Times

''Hilarious Pratchett magic tempered by Neil Gaiman's dark steely style; who could ask for a better combination?'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nadine (300307) Rating (9/10)
Review by Victim (290703) Rating (9/10)
Review by Nigel (090300) Rating (10/10) Star Book
Review by Chrissi (030200) Rating (10/10) Star Book

Review by Nadine
Rating 9/10
Every so often I feel a pang of nostalgia for an old favourite, and I can't rest until I've retrieved it from the top shelf, dusted it down and given it another read. Good Omens recently received the treatment.

To summarise, the end of the world is nigh. The antichrist walks the Earth (well, Lower Tadfield) in the guise of ten-year-old Adam Young. A satanic hellhound has been despatched to his aid from the netherworld, in the form of a shabby mongrel answering to the name of 'Dog'. The four riders of the apocalypse are tuning up their motorcycles for the final journey, and two earthbound supernatural entities - the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley - are on hand to supervise events.

I had recently discovered Terry Pratchett when I first read this book, and in my sixteen-year-old opinion, there was no funnier book anywhere. And I'm happy to say that it's still very funny after... let's just say "several"years.

Aziraphale and Crowley are probably my favourite literary double-act. In theory they should be mortal - or rather immortal - enemies. However, they have been quietly going about their business down here on Earth since the dawn of creation. Indeed, they were both there when Eve made her fatal mistake, and they've been here ever since. You can't spend that length of time together without learning to get along.

Aziraphale is long retired from the flaming-sword wielding business, and now runs an antique bookshop, which keeps him happily occupied while he waits for the last days. Crowley (formerly known as Crawly, which gives us a clue as to what his job was in the Garden of Eden) occupies his time by making mischief. His biggest achievement was moving the road markers when the M25 was being built so that it formed a diabolical symbol, thus plunging all who venture upon it into chaos and despair.

Of course, a momentous event like Armageddon requires a great deal of planning. Even one little mistake could see it all going to pot. A mix-up at the birth of the antichrist, which leads to him going home with the wrong parents, for example, could be catastrophic…

The Heavenly Hosts and Forces of Darkness also haven't accounted for the antichrist's stubborn independence of thought, nor the intervention of his annoyingly devoted little friends. Nor could they predict that Aziraphale and Crowley may not be all that keen to bring about the end of days after all.

Of course, there is way more to it than that. There are so many characters that the book has a cast list at the front (which I did actually find it necessary to refer to once or twice, at least the first time I read it). The end of the world is a complicated undertaking so the plot is pretty convoluted. There are side-plots and sub-plots and meanderings and footnotes all over the place, but it all adds to the fun.

It's one big, delightfully wacky, gloriously cynical take on the Book of Revelation. Who would ever have thought that the end of the world could be so amusing?
Nadine (30th March 2007)

Review by Victim
Rating 9/10
Good Omens! I have always refused to review any of the works of Terry Pratchett, although my reasons may seem odd. Therefore I won't even try to justify myself...

Terry Pratchett would definitely be in my top three authors. I won't give a number, but can you guess how many fingers I'm holding up? Suffice it to say, I haven't seen the duvet cover yet!

I have not read the full collected works yet, partly through an inability to find them, and partly because of the Globe, which I am still waiting for the right mood when I can face it. For a full book listing see the Terry Pratchett's author page. I have at least 5/10 of the short stories, after buying the anthologies. You may gather that I quite like the works of Terry Pratchett.

Neil Gaiman, I do not know as well, I have read Neverwhere, luckily I only saw part of one episode of the series, which would have put me totally off, coz it was a bit naff... sorry guys. The book, however, is quite nicely written, fair enjoyed it.

"Ah but what of Good Omens!" I don't hear anyone cry, (because actually I don't have underpants on my head). Good Omens is not a Discworld book, it is set on Earth, in roughly the Now, and concerns the end of the world.

It contains many Truths, from witch hunts, through to cassettes in cars! It has bits of History, Geography, Biology, Physics, Sociology and Psychology. It is an education on its own.

I do not remember the first time I read this, although it will have been either 90/91. I remember being sat outside my workplace at the time, listening to a personal stereo (probably Twisted Sister) in the dawn's early light waiting for someone to turn up and unlock the door! Laughing like an idiot and hoping that no-one would arrive.

About 12 years later on, it still has that effect, now I am onto my third copy, if this one is stolen or permanently borrowed, I will go out again and again and buy this one (as the previous two were). This is probably my favourite book of all time, from the front to the rear cover (maybe not the advertising bits at the back, but that's all) well, - maybe not the barcode either, OK nor the ISBN. You know what I mean.

I spoke to a guy at my birthday outing at the end of July who was a Pratchett fan, but hadn't read this one - Very good job I was sitting down and anaesthetised at the time, or I might have fallen over! Bugger - I did!!! Delayed action... the shock was just too much.

If you have to read just one book multiple times, such as on a desert island, carry this one - I understand my first copy has travelled the world at least once.

There is not an individual passage that I would pick out - The whole book is quotable. Rating 9/10... It would be higher but it ended.
Victim (29th July 2003)

Review by Nigel
Rating 10/10
This has got to be one of the funniest books I have ever read. I don't often read a book more than once (so many books, so little time:) but this is one of the few exceptions. There are so many good bits that I smile just sitting here thinking about them... I actually want to go and get it off the shelf and read it again. I can't believe anyone, and I mean anyone, (OK, maybe the Pope and the Satan worshipper that lives at No. 26) wouldn't find that while reading this book their problems just seem to disappear. Better than Prozac.

Nigel (9th March 2000)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 10/10
I love this book, I must have read it 30 times, and I still smile and laugh. It is a truly delightful way to spend time. It is nice to think of long summer afternoons, a boy and a dog... I can't praise it highly enough, if you only read one of our recommendations, let it be this.

Chrissi (3rd February 2000)

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