Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Omens

Title: Good Omens
Author: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 1990

What do you do when you’ve misplaced the Antichrist?! That’s what the demon Crowley and angel Aziraphael are asking themselves as the Apocalypse approaches and he’s nowhere to be found. Well, it turns out the Satanic nuns gave the baby to the wrong family. So little Adam grows up without any divine or hellish influences and is blissfully unaware of his potential. Meanwhile, the Four Horsemen are gathering, the Witch-hunter army is on the prowl, Atlantis rises and confused Tibetans show up in England. But it’s all part of the ineffable plan, so we needn’t worry.

Gaiman and Pratchett weave a delightful tale, the last tale, as it were. But they don’t let that interfere with the humor. You can’t help but love Adam, even if he is going to bring about the end of the world. You love him because he’s a troublemaking eleven-year-old. He loves where he lives, loves his family, and enjoys causing trouble with his gang of friends known of as the “Them”.

The angel and demon who were supposed to be his God-fathers are no less enjoyable. Aziraphael and Crowley have become friends over the last six thousand years, for no other reason, than you get used to the only other face to have been around for that long. Plus, it’s good to know what your adversary is up to. They do their best (or worst, as the case may be) and still muddle things up to the tune of Freddy Mercury.

On the down side, The Four Horsemen are rather boring and archetypical in ways you think the angels (fallen and otherwise) would be but aren’t. Also, I found the whole Witch-Finder army to be quite dull. Perhaps that was the point, though, as there are supposedly far fewer at the end of days.

As for setting, well, it’s earth… it’s a well developed place over all, so not much to worry about there.

This story is told from third person omniscient point of view, which is fitting, since God is supposedly omniscient.

My Thoughts:
This book is hilarious. There are times where you are literally laughing out loud. Not just smiling a little to yourself, but laughing hysterically in public. Gaiman and Pratchett are a devilishly wonderful combination.

Favorite Scene:
This is really hard to choose, since I love to laugh. But this dubious award must go to Adam asking if his gang (the Them) knew about Tibetans. I broke down and read it to my whole family while we were on vacation.

Who this book is best for:
Anyone who has a sense of humor will appreciate this book, although it may not be advisable to people who refuse to let themselves laugh at the end of the world.

Violence: 2 of 5. It may be the end of the world, but we don’t have to be gory about it.

Stars: 4 of 5

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