Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn't have any alternative. But he'd hoped it would be a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was a major failing in a demon./blockquote>

I'd first read Good Omens several years ago, and it was the first thing I'd read by either Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett. Now, Gaiman is one of my favorite authors but for whatever reason I still haven't gotten around to reading anything more by Pratchett. (Maybe I will.) At any rate, Robyn had borrowed this book from a friend, and despite the fact that I was deep in the middle of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (watch for a review next!), I couldn't help myself and read this one again. My last review was pitifully brief; a book this good deserves a little more.

So, a little bit more about the premise: the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley have been on earth for thousands of years and, despite being on opposite sides, have developed a relationship mostly because, well, a face that's been around for thousands of years eventually grows on you. So when the Antichrist is born (and swapped out at the hospital for a regular baby), Crowley and Aziraphale meet to discuss the implications. In short, Armageddon is imminent, and neither of them is particularly excited about it.

The cast of characters is quite large. Aside from Crowley and Aziraphale, there's a quartet of British kids ("the Them"), the last living descendant of Agnes Nutter (a witch who made all sorts of very accurate but mostly unhelpful predictions about the end of the world), some witch-hunters, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and a former Hell-hound named Dog. Plotwise, it's hard to describe because there are so many different strands that tie together at the end, but it's basically about the last week on Earth.

It's also difficult for me to explain exactly what it is that makes this such a great read, except to say that if you've read any other Neil Gaiman you'll have an idea. The addition of Terry Pratchett simply makes it funnier and, if possible, even wittier. This particular edition also had some added material, Gaiman on Pratchett and Pratchett on Gaiman, telling a little bit more about the writing process and how the book came to be.

I did notice, this second time around, that there are a few sections that repeat themselves, probably a result of two writers working together and reusing scene-setting passages. Still, it's one of my favorites, and I'm still hoping for a second team-up between the two.

Fed to jonathan's brain | June 22, 2008 | Comments (0)


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