Violet's Reviews > Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Dec 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, favorite-authors, 5-stars, british
Read from May 20, 2011 to December 28, 2012

** spoiler alert ** ***2012***

Yep, another "End of the World" was perdicted on 12/21/2012 so it was time for this book yet again. And just like last time, the End did not happen yet laughs did. Another funny time in the minds of these two great authors. What more could you want while you wait once again for the End?


I started this book on the end of days....or really the beginning of the end, the Rapture....according to some southern preacher that has predicted the Rapture two decades before, and then revised it when it was clear that it was not gonna happen. Since I'm here writing this review, you can safely assume that the Rapture didn't happen on his revised date either (not that I would be taken up in the first place). So even though I knew that his date would be bogus, I thought May 21, 2011 would be a good enough day to start this Apocalypse classic as any.

Now before I go on any further. For those Christians out there, I would like to state that I respect your religion (even though I'm not one of y'all). But what I might say in the following, might offend some of you guys. I don't want to get emails saying someone totally bashed me as a hellish blasphemer here on Goodreads. I have the right to voice my opinions, but I still don't intend to offend anyone. Keep that in mind as you continue reading.

There's really no good place to start. Everything about this book was simply brilliant and oh so funny. Who would've thought that a satire about the Apocalypse would be such a hoot! This is a wonderfully crafted novel of social commentary and general hilarity. The two authors blended their writing together so well that if one didn't know any better they would think that one author wrote this masterpiece. Funny enough, they really wrote this with no real hope in publishing it, much less it becoming a cult classic. To put it in their own words they just wrote it to make each other laugh. And it is because of that attitude that this book is so marvelous.

I think I'll start with Crowley (demon) and Aziraphale (angel). Their relationship is so casual and unlike what you would expect a relationship between a demon and an angel would be. It’s the kind of relationship that only comes after knowing one another for thousands of years. I love them both; they are such wonderful characters. But I do have admit that Aziraphale is my favorite. Why? Because he's a book nerd, and what can I say, I'm one too (as if being on Goodreads didn't already say that).

And that leads me on to the other characters. They are all so fantastic and brilliantly crafted. They're all...well characters. But there are a few of them (besides the aforementioned) that I would like to talk about. First up are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pollution (he was changed from Conquering to fit more into modern times), and DEATH. Not only have the all been on the Earth since the Beginning, but they have been influencing human history everywhere they went.
1)War is this gorgeous red-headed woman (girl power!) who has a knack for starting conflicts (no duh!).
2)Famine lives in America (a perfect fit in my opinion), and is the head of a parody of McDonalds and Burger King that sells MEALS (a fabricated food product with no nutritional value whatsoever). All of it making laugh my head off at the social commentary, me being an American after all.
3)Newly renamed Pollution stands off in the background, quietly causing one environmental disaster after another.
4)DEATH which as you can guess is everywhere and every time and is simply impossible to get rid of.
All of that adding up the modern and brilliantly crafted Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

And now for the irony...there's plenty of tasty irony in here, but the one that sticks out too me is the eco-friendly message that is Adam's (the Antichrist...yes, more irony for you here) reason for bringing about The End. I mean just the simple fact that the person that's going to start the Apocalypse is doing it to save the whales and rainforest it just one of the best examples of irony that you can create. And the wonderful thing about irony is that it just serves to add even more hilarity to a situation.

Now there are a couple little plot points that while don't really add to the overall plot, but I still want to talk about. The first one is that truth about the Rapture according to Aziraphale, and since he is an angel we know that what he says is right (at least in that universe). Basically what he says is that Heaven will be too busy getting ready to fight Hell that they won't have time to go down and pick up all the pure and faithful. Everyone will instead die in the war and God will sort out who's gonna be in Heaven and Hell once it’s all said and done. Which I think is much more practical. That's what I love about this book. They add modern practicalities to a centuries old Biblical battle.

Another little plot funny is the Tibetans and their tunnels, Atlanteans and their underwater civilization, and the Aliens and their warnings to humans about "being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse driven consumerism." They all pop up, along with whales and rainforests, during the last days. It’s all really because of a child's imagination. That said child is of course Adam the Antichrist. And it’s funny that the world is being shaped by an overactive imagination of a practically normal eleven year old boy. See! There’s another funny and odd ball thing about this book!!

By now you've noticed that it seems that the only thing that I have to say about this book is that it’s just one big laugh fest, but that's not all this novel is about. It does, believe it or not, have a serious underlying theme. It’s what you call the obvious question when Heaven and Hell is involved: Evil ‘vs’ Good. Now I’ve always stated my long held belief that people have both good and evil in them, it’s really which side they act upon that matters. Now this book gives me another layer to my argument. In Crowley opinion, which you kind of have to trust what with him observing humans for thousands of years, Heaven and Hell really don’t have a huge influence on humans, because what they do (good or bad) comes from their nature. Heaven and Hell are just the manifestations of the two sides of the cosmic war that exists both in the universe and in humans. It is also said throughout the book that demons and horsemen alike don’t really force people to do bad things, they just push them in the right, or really wrong, direction and human nature does the rest, coming up with evils that even Hell would have a hard time creating. Now this question about Good and Evil continues on until The End…or really just about when The End would’ve happened. As Crowley put it so eloquently, Adam, because he grew up with humans, became the “human incarnate.” So therefore he sees no point in war between Heaven and Hell. He believes that everything will be sorted out sooner or later if the Forces That Be just leave humanity alone. I think that’s a perfectly good reason why not to have the Apocalypse as any. And all of it reinforces the complexities of human nature, which intrigue me so.

Okay, that’s practically it. I mean really I could write pages and pages about this book, but I’ll just stop there. This is such a marvelously wonderfully brilliant book (and I don’t care if that’s not grammatically correct). It’s a book, while written in the 80s, is still relevant today and will hopefully be relevant for years to come (even though the next generations won’t probably know what a cassette is, but hopefully they’ll know what Queen is). So overall, it’s safe to say that I WILL reread this masterpiece in the future.

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