Good Omens

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Omens
by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Two angels, one fallen (Crowley), one not (Aziraphale), have formed a friendship of sorts over the millennium. When they discover that Armageddon is rapidly approaching, they decide to work together to attempt to avert it. Toss in the Anti-Christ, the four horsemen, a scatterbrained nun and a dog named Dog and you’ve got a hilarious book.

The book is one part The Omen (the film) and one part Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the book), combining a wry British sense of humor with an account of the End Times. I can’t stress enough how funny this book is. If you like Douglas Adams, Monty Python and comedy along that line (which I definitely do) I think you’d love it.

Gaiman and Pratchett make a brilliant team. There was a lengthy interview section at the end of my copy and both men say it’s almost impossible for them to separate who did what on this book. It was truly a combined effort and the results speak for themselves.

Here’s an example of their sense of humor. In on particularly funny scene, the four horsemen of the apocalypse allow a few Hell’s Angels to tag along with them. The Hell’s Angels decide to rename themselves so they’re more intimidating and they try to pick the worst things they can think of, they came up with…”Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty to Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping But Secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People.” That may not seem hilarious taken out of context, but trust me, it is.


Mumsy said...

I loved the part about Crowley's houseplants. Every time I remember that bit - and it's been years since I read the book , but I still think about his houseplants - I giggle.

Bittner said...

We read this one in our book club I think about a year ago. I remember thinking that it was really funny in the beginning and then it started to get dryer as the book continued, or maybe I'm remembering it wrong. I do remember liking it though.

Meytal Radzinski said...

I think I was one of those few readers who was entertained by Good Omens but didn't love it as much as everyone else did. It dragged on a bit at some point, but it did make me laugh a lot a lot in other places.

Amanda said...

I completely forgot about the Hells Angels part!! I listened to this last fall and Martin Jarvis does a fantastic job reading it. It's my favorite of either author's work. :D

Anonymous said...

The line about Agnes Nutter's book never selling because no one cared to read a book of prophecy that's completely true has got to be my favorite line from the book. You're right, it's not that funny when taken out of context, but it's a pretty humorous book that's never boring. I enjoyed it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Mumsy - Ha, the house plants. I love that and the section about tapes left in a car turning into Queen hits.

Bittner - It definitely has some dryer parts, but I love a good dry sense of humor.

Biblibio - I think you have to be in just the right mood for it too.

Amanda - I've loved Gaiman for years, but I've only read one other book by Pratchett. It does seem like the two were made to work together.

ssbxvm - Agreed, some of the best humor is that way though.

Peggy Tryton said...

This one is on my list, too! I look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I recently read Neverwhere by Gaiman and was surprised by how funny it was- I guess I was expecting a lot of fancy fantasy tricks. This one has been put on my list!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

thezebracactus - Neverwhere was a good one. You should try Stardust too. It's a bit like The Princess Bride and has that wonderful wit.