Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
There is a hint of Armageddon in the air. According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the Armies of Good and Evil are massing, the four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witchfinders are getting ready to Fight the Good Fight. Atlantis is rising. Frogs are falling. Tempers are flaring, and everything appears to be going to Divine Plan.
Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. They've lived amongst Humanity for millennia, and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle. So if Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the AntiChrist (which is a shame, really, as he's a nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him.
I love Neil Gaiman books and I also love Terry Pratchett books...yet oddly enough, this is one of the books I hadn't yet read! Which makes no sense, but there you go! I completely loved the Hardback Library editions that Gollancz came up with and I'm still in the process of collecting them all, this new edition of Good Omens has been created due to the success of that and the edition of Good Omens from that collection. There where three possible covers, everyone voted and this one won. Now, I'm slightly assuming it won because this one matches certain newer editions of Neil Gaiman books, but I could be wrong! Either way, it's kind of a perfect cover, it's not over done, it's simple and completely fabulous!
As I cracked (very carefully) the book open to start reading...I was excited and full of anticipation, the two authors separately have given me hours of joy and entertainment and I was expecting this book, combining the two of them, to be no different. I wasn't wrong. I loved every single page of this book, frantically noting down favourite quotes, or quotes that just made me laugh. This book is wonderfully amusing, witty and full of dry humour about the Armageddon.
It all has it's own spin, the kind of spin you'd expect from the two authors. And so, for example, our Four Horsemen of the apocalypse are actually Hells Angels, riding motorbikes and Pestilence had to retire and has been replaced with Pollution. Brilliant! I think, Crowley may be my favourite character, although I was half picturing Crowley from Supernatural and half trying very hard not to! He's kinda, sorta, a little bit friends with Aziraphale, an Angel. They may have slightly come to like our world a bit too much, and so decide to try and stop the Armageddon. I will admit, Aziraphale's book shop is the kind of one I'd run, let's be honest.
I laughed far too much at the concept of the anti-christ being misplaced by an overly talkative nun, I've got to admit. But then I laughed pretty hard at most things in the book, it was hard not to! I rather enjoyed Adam and his little...power, shall we say for now? A power that is kinda, sorta, accidentally responsible for the beginning of Armageddon. I am so trying very hard not to use the O word, but this book, much like the other novels of the authors...is over flowing with hilarious, chuckle inducing originality.
The anti-christ being misplaced is not the only problem that everyone has.....you see, he's grown up as a regular human boy called Adam, and isn't real down with the whole "destroying the world" thing. He actually rather likes the world, particularly his little corner of it, and would rather it stayed as it is. The book gives you a good look at humanity and all the different face of it, and was so incredibly well done and amongst the humour....it did make you think about things. Would Adam's good intentions make any difference? And so on.
The book is much as you'd expect from these two brilliant authors, it's easy to read, plenty of sarcasm, intelligence, humour. It stretches your imagination and provides you with hours of losing yourself in to the world they weave for you. The plot is woven of many different threads and characters, all seamlessly tied together to keep you occupied. There's a fantastical world set in, well, our world. Or perhaps I mean to say fantastical events set in reality, or a rathe fantastical reality. You get what I mean, I hope. There's observations about humanity/human nature. They play with beliefs that we've always thought of, or maybe pictured, one way.
The great thing about the book is that, yes at times you can tell who wrote which part. If you read the interview at the back it also tells you a few bits they created individually. But the two's voices blend together so well in to one engrossing narrative, that for the most part it's hard to tell who wrote what. And from what's said in the back of the book, it's hard for the two of them to know as well, with sentences appearing from nowhere! Gaiman takes responsibility for the Horsemen, for instance, and Pratchett for the children and Agnes.
I found myself completely enchanted by the book, losing track of time, and unwilling to leave it so resorting to a dinner of food that doesn't require concentration or cutlery. I'm sure crisps are very nutritious! The blend of humour and seriousness is pulled off to perfection. I found myself unwilling to try to guess what would happen next, because I was always quite wrong, and I actually rather liked being surprised! I'm currently resisting the urge to pick it up and start it again immediately!