Opening Line(s): It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn’t been invented yet.
Book Cover Blurb: “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, Witch – the world’s only totally reliable guide to the future, written in 1655, before she exploded – the world will end on a 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. This time though, the armies of Good and Evil really do appear to be massing. The four Bikers of the Apocalypse are hitting the road. But both the angels and demons – well, one fast-living demon and a somewhat fussy angel – would quite like the Rapture not to happen.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist…
Genre: Fantasy / Humour
DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.
This was a book of firsts. I had never read any of the late Terry Pratchett before. Nor had I read a co-authored work of fiction which I thought, might be disjointed (it wasn’t).
This reminded me a lot of Stephen King‘s ‘The Stand‘, though obviously with a lot more humour. We follow the adventures of a colourful cast of characters, each with their own agenda, and seemingly unconnected until they are brought together with the advent of Armageddon, led by an eleven year old boy.
I’m often sceptical of books that are described by critics as ‘Laugh out Loud Hilarious,’ or ‘Wickedly Funny‘. But, with Good Omens I found plenty of brilliant moments that entertained and made me laugh.
I especially liked the exchanges between Aziraphale and Crowley – angel and demon – whose relationship over the centuries has bred a certain respect and even fondness for each other. Also, the four horsemen (or in this case bikers) of the Apocalypse make a funny appearance. Their roles as Pollution, War, Famine and DEATH is really clever and nicely woven into the plot.
Not to mention the reluctant Newt Pulsifer and good witch, Anathema, descendent of Agnes Nutter whose book of prophecies they desperately try to decipher to lead them to the place where Armageddon takes place – Lower Tadfield in London!
There are so many great little cameos in this book, one off characters – innocent bystanders. One that stood our for me was R.P. Tyler, a busybody who finds fault in everything in his local community and writes strongly worded letters to the newspaper complaining about the deplorable state of society. Out taking the dog for a walk, he has to give directions on five different occasions to the various players in the final battle, who are lost. I loved these scenes!
The book is a crazy, madcap story, full of fun, ansaphones, annoying sales people and well-written characters which build toward the final stand-off.
Overall, I felt the ending could have been a little neater but, all in all a fun ride that captivated me throughout.
Author: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Other Books Written: American Gods, Discworld Series
Time to Complete: 2 weeks
Interesting Fact: A sequel for the book had been discussed for some time but with the passing of Terry Pratchett in 2015, now seems unlikely. A title, said to have been considered, was 668 – The Neighbour of the Beast.
Rating: 8 /10
Part of the BBC Big Read 100 List