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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

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According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - 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…

491 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1990

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About the author

Terry Pratchett

614 books41.3k followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987, he turned to writing full time.

There are over 40 books in the Discworld series, of which four are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal.

A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback - Harper Torch, 2006 - and trade paperback - Harper Paperbacks, 2006).

In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry published Snuff in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Warwick in 1999, the University of Portsmouth in 2001, the University of Bath in 2003, the University of Bristol in 2004, Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, the University of Dublin in 2008, Bradford University in 2009, the University of Winchester in 2009, and The Open University in 2013 for his contribution to Public Service.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away on 12th March 2015.

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Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
September 23, 2014
I somehow ended up reading them both simultaneously. So I couldn't help wondering

What Madam Bovary Might Have Thought Of Good Omens

Three days later, a package arrived; there was no return address, but she immediately recognised Rodolphe's hand. It contained a paperback novel, whose title was Good Omens. Feverishly, she cast herself over it. Her English was poor, but, with the aid of a dictionary, she persevered and soon made great progress.

The more she read, the greater her bewilderment became. The book at first reminded her of Candide, which she had surreptitiously read at the convent, but M. Voltaire's ésprit had been replaced by another ingredient she was unable to name; she suspected that it must be the strange English invention they called humour. All the personages were well-meaning and agreeable; the witches, the torturers of witches, the prostitutes, even the Demons of Hell; they were filled with kindness and compassion, and their worst faults amounted to an occasional mild irritability. Where were the indifference and thoughtless cruelty that surrounded her, and which had now become the very air she breathed?

She did not know whether Rodolphe had sent her the book to comfort her or to mock her in her despair, and her futile attempts to resolve this question gradually resulted in an agonising headache. Her husband prescribed an infusion of valerian, and persuaded her to retire for the night; she lay sleepless in her bed a long time, until the drug finally took effect just as the sky was beginning to lighten. She dreamed of apocalyptic prophecies, red-headed women wielding swords, endless circles of horseless carriages, young boys with dogs.

In the morning, she remembered that she should purchase some arsenic.

It seemed unfair for this to be one-way. So, in the spirit of granting a right of reply, here's

What Good Omens Might Have Thought Of Madam Bovary

"I saw this smashin' film yesterday on TV," said Adam, as the Them listened attentively. "It was called Madam Bovver-Boy -"

"She was a lady skinhead?" interrupted Brian.

"No, stupid," said Adam. "It's a French name. Bovver-Boy. By Flow-Bear."

"You mean Madame Bovary, by Flaubert," said Wensleydale. "I read about it in The Encyclopaedia of World Literature."

Adam gave him a withering glance. "That's what I said," he continued. "Madam Bovver-Boy, by Flow-Bear. She's married to this doctor, and he's dead borin', so she starts hangin' around with these two lovers, and then she maxes out her credit card, so she eats arsernick and poisons herself. The bit where she's dyin' of the arsernick is dead good. Her tongue's hanging out and she's screamin' -"

"Why did she max out her credit card?" asked Pepper.

"She was buying presents for her lovers," said Adam. "Roses an' boxes of chocolates an' stuff like that -"

"I thought the lovers were supposed to give her presents?" said Brian dubiously. "My sister's boyfriend gave her this huge bunch of roses on Valentine's Day, and a box of Quality Street, and a balloon with -"

"She gave them presents instead because it was a proto-feminist novel," explained Wensleydale authoritatively. "That's what The Encyclopaedia of World Literature says."

Adam felt that his control of the situation was slipping, and decided to up the stakes. "It's all true," he said, in an exegetical move that would have had Flaubert scholars around the world clutching their foreheads. "Based on a true story," he added prudently, in case the The Encyclopaedia of World Literature happened to have opinions on the subject.

Behind the bushes, Aziraphale raised an eyebrow. Crowley looked defensive. "Very loosely based," he whispered hastily. "I mean, I tempted her, it's my job you know, but Gustave changed the ending for dramatic purposes. Said it didn't work to have Rodolphe sort out her debts and then settle down in a cozy ménage à quatre with her, Léon and her husband. I told him that's what actually happened, but he insisted the arsenic worked better..."

Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 10, 2020

The Apocalypse is not off to a good start.

Ten years ago, Crowley (a demon) brought the infant Anti-Christ to a group of Satanic Nuns who swapped the Anti-Christ with a human child.

For ten years, Aziraphale (an Angel) and Crowley educate the child on the finer points of good and evil.
“People couldn't become truly holy," he said, "unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wicked."
Then, when the Anti-Christ was supposed to come into his full powers, Crowley and Aziraphale realize that they didn't have the right child.


Furthermore, they simultaneously realize that they rather like Earth.

If the holy war was allowed to finish, then everything would be destroyed and divvied up between the two realms - and that divide would be terrible.
Hell may have all the best composers, but heaven has all the best choreographers.
So, it's up to them to find the Anti-Christ and stop the apocalypse. They only have seven to days to do it.

It's just going to be one of those weeks.

This one was absolutely hilarious!

There were so, so many fun quirks and tangents in this book. Seriously great satire throughout!

All the little details just make it pop. Such as Crowley's plant-tending method:

What he did was put the fear of God into them.
More precisely, the fear of Crowley.
In addition to which, every couple of months Crowley would pick out a plant that was growing too slowly, or succumbing to leaf-wilt or browning, or just didn't look quite as good as the others, and he would carry it around to all the other plants. "Say goodbye to your friend," he'd say to them. "He just couldn't cut it. . . "
Then he would leave the flat with the offending plant, and return an hour or so later with a large, empty flower pot, which he would leave somewhere conspicuously around the flat.
The plants were the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London. Also the most terrified.
Definitely one of those off-the-wall fun reads.

I really want to go through it a second time to see all the things I missed!

The 2018 ABC Challenge - G

Audiobook Comments
This one was particularly well-read by Marvin Jarvis (love the last name!) The varied tone and inflection just made it come alive.

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Profile Image for Derek.
65 reviews18 followers
March 3, 2015
Overall, this book was a huge disappointment for me. I’d heard so many good things about it and had been meaning to read it for years. When I finally started it, I was about 20 pages into it and thought, “Yes! This is going to be one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read.” It was like reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide for the first time again. It was witty and fast-paced and had so many brilliant things to say about society and religion. And then about halfway through, I realized that I just wasn't really laughing as much anymore.

The story seemed to get bogged down with characters that weren’t that interesting for me to read about and who I often found a bit annoying. Most notably, the 11-year-old Antichrist and his friends seemed really out of place in the book. They felt like they would have been at home in a Norman Rockwell painting (or British equivalent)—a ragtag bunch of kids with slingshots and backyard adventures. I think that I was supposed to find them and their inane conversations entertaining, maybe even a little bit cute, but every time they came around, which felt like quite a bit, I thought that the book just screeched to a halt.

Most of the other characters in the book were great fun to read—the demon and the angel and their strange sort of friendship was easily the best part of the book for me. The four horsemen of the apocalypse were also a lot of fun, at least most of the time. Overall, the premise was brilliant. What a disappointment for me that it just couldn’t keep it together throughout. The ending seemed contrived and the resolution was just unsatisfying for me. I know that so many people loved this book. I wish that I could have enjoyed it as much as they did.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,137 reviews4,168 followers
December 1, 2021
Don’t be misled by those who class this as fantasy, humour, or just fiction.

This is actually a profound philosophical and theological treatise, exploring good and evil, nature versus nurture, free will, war, pollution, and organised religion. 😉

But it’s cleverly disguised as a madcap caper featuring angels, demons, the M25 motorway, Manchester, raining fish, dolphins, Atlantis, aliens, the Apocalypse, the young Antichrist, Americans, footnotes for Americans, tunnelling Tibetans, witches, witch-finders, whales, Hell's Angels, Queen and Freddie Mercury, junk food made of junk, nuclear power, a flaming car, satanic nuns, an inadvertent baby-swap, a book of prophecy, and more besides. Lots of ineffability, too.

The writing is so like Douglas Adams that it could be mistaken for a missing volume of Hitchhiker's, except for the pages of Just William slipped in, Calvino style.

Image source imdb.

The Heavy Stuff

Inscription from Terry: “We made the Devil do it…”
It echoes a line in the book:
The Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything. He didn’t have to.

The weight is smuggled into a plot that is simultaneously simple, complicated, and counter-intuitive.

The Antichrist is born, but accidentally goes to a boringly normal, rural couple, rather than the intended satanists. With the Apocalypse due around his 11th birthday, opposing forces try to ensure they’ll win, which requires first realising there’s been a mix up - and then fixing it. On that simple trunk, a plethora of sub-plots and an even larger number of larger-than-life characters twist, and climb, and intertwine.

Amidst the chaos and the warring factions, the fundamental question is whether Adam, the young Antichrist, will fulfil his destiny, whether
Birth is just the start.. Upbringing is everything”.
After all, the Devil started off as an angel.

The Odd Couple

Aziraphale (angel) and Crowley (demon) have been on Earth a long time, developed a grudging fondness for it, its inhabitants, and even each other. Their tetchily co-operative, affectionately teasing relationship is central to the plot, the philosophy, and the humour.

They’ve reached an “Arrangement” after realising “they have more in common with their immediate opponent than their remote allies… tacit non-interference… made certain that while neither really won, also neither really lost.” Heaven wants to win the war; humanised Aziraphale comes to realise that he would prefer to avoid it.


“Aziraphale was an angel, but he also worshiped books.”
Aziraphale collected books. If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them. He was not unusual in this. In order to maintain his cover as a typical second-hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase. Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours - he was incredibly good at it.

Near where where Pratchett spent much of his life, was a cottage given over to second hand books. There were no unpleasant smells, but opening hours were limited, as were payment methods. Books were piled high and deep (double/triple) and vaguely sorted by category, but not by author... except for Pratchett. Here it is (sadly, it closed in 2018):

There’s a larger version in my GR photos HERE.

Quotes - Religion
* “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”
I particularly like the fact the last phrase is emphasised with italics, even though, in a pitch-dark room, it’s barely relevant.

* “When it came to avoiding going to church, the church he solidly avoided going to was… no-nonsense Church of England.”
* “Being brought up as a Satanist tended to take the edge off it. A Saturday thing.”
* Crowley is embarrassed by the enthusiasm of satanists, just as a “Vietnam veteran would feel about someone who wears combat gear to Neighbourhood Watch meetings”.
* “Voodoun is a very interesting religion for the whole family, even those members of it who are dead.”
* “Marvin got religion. Not the quiet, personal kind, that involves doing good deeds and living a better life; not even the kind that involves putting on a suit and ringing people’s door bells; but the kind that involves having your own TV network and getting people to send you money.”

Quotes - Good and Evil
* “Most demons weren’t deep down evil” but like “tax inspectors - doing an unpopular job, maybe, but essential to the overall operation”.
* Often, the difference between good and evil isn’t obvious: some of the world leaders Aziraphale thinks good are assumed to be evil by Crowley.
* “If we beat them we’d have to be our own deadly enemies… it’s no good anyone winning”.
So, “You just had to decide who your friends really were.”

Quotes - Destiny versus Free Will
Slightly spoilery.
* “You can’t refuse to be who you are… Your birth and destiny are part of the Great Plan.”...
“I don’t see why it matters what is written… It can always be crossed out.”
* “He was left alone! He grew up human! He’s not Evil Incarnate or Good Incarnate, he’s just… a human incarnate.”
* “No one around Adam was ever in full control of their own mind”.

Quotes - Time
* “The future came and went in the mildly discouraging way that futures do.”
* “Memory… works backwards as well as forwards… Agnes didn’t see the future. That’s just a metaphor. She remembered it.”
* “On the cusp of recollection, a memory of things that hadn’t happened.”
* Accurate predictions are little use if they’re too narrow and specific. For example, “Do notte buye Betamacks” was only meaningful for a few short years.

Quotes - People and Relationships
* “Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.”
* “Courting is always difficult when… an elderly female relative in the house… It’s much worse when the relative has been dead for three hundred years.”
* “Newt had indeed been harbouring certain thoughts about Anathema; not just harbouring them, in fact, but dry-docking them, refitting them, giving them a good coat of paint and scraping the barnacles off their bottom.”
* “Pollution [one of the Apocalyptic Horsepersons], while still walking, nevertheless gave the impression of oozing.”

Quotes - Other
* “A rain-swept courtyard full of righteous dustbins.”
* “Leaping gratefully onto this new ice floe in the bewildering stream of consciousness.”
* “Her spelling… was not so much appalling as three hundred years too late.”
Similarly, if anyone questions something my father says or writes, he claims it’s just archaic; impossible to disprove!
* “Every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf.”

Quote - Best One-Liner
A Hell’s Angel asks one of the biking Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse what chapter they belong to:
REVELATIONS, he said. CHAPTER SIX. ‘Verses two to eight’, added the boy… helpfully.

TV Adaptation

Fab cast, and Gaimain was heavily involved, so my hopes were high, and largely rewarded. David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale were brilliant together, and it looked great. It suffered a little from being too similar to the very recent adaptation of American Gods (see my review HERE). And Aziraphale's bibliophilia was underplayed, but overall, good.

Photo from imdb.

UPDATE Podcast and discussion

The Teaching my Cat to Read team have read, loved, and discussed the book and the TV adaptation. It's a really lively and quirky discussion:
* Blog with links to all the podcasts, on various platforms HERE
* GR Group discussion HERE
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,093 reviews17.7k followers
October 1, 2019
literally every day I'm thinking about how this book was published in 1990 and in 2019 they finally made a miniseries and Neil Gaiman was like. hey. let's make this even more of a romcom than it already was just for the fuck of it

I keep trying to land on what I think is the objective Best Thing about this ridiculous book that I loved reading so much and I think I’ve landed on this paragraph from a delightful review of the 2019 miniseries:
“Good Omens knows that you can’t look at a screen without being presented with some version of the apocalypse, and so it foregoes any pretence of bombastic grandeur to instead tell a charming story about the joys of friendship, as well as the everyday fuckups that make the world feel as if it’s coming to an end, when in reality it’s just another day that ends in y.”

I think what’s entertaining about this book is that it takes concepts we all, on some level, are familiar with and maybe even fearful of — the possibility of imminent death, for one — and makes them entertaining and even at times comedic.

In all honesty, Good Omens is a hysterically funny book about four eleven year olds, a witch working off some very accurate prophecies, a witchfinder who's doing his best, a Bentley that turns every album played in it into Queen, and an angel and a demon with a six-thousand-year-old friendship¹ all trying to stop the apocalypse. (Badly. Very badly.) It is also a love letter to humanity and to the power of free will and choice in a world desperate to wrench it away. You should read it.²

TW: multiple slurs used in ways that do not fly and aren't funny.³

¹It's called a marriage but we couldn't say that in 1990.
²Also you should watch the miniseries, it's joining the Big Little Lies season one and Gone Girl (2012) canon of best adaptations
³literally picture me as John Mulaney yelling "not funny"

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Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
July 17, 2018
I knew from the first page that this book would not work for me.

I slogged through about half of it and gave up. I lost the thread of the plot long before due to my lack of interest in everything this book is. It all felt forced, like the themes and ideas were shoved into the narrative and that the plot had to adapt to fit them in. It was trying too hard to be funny rather than actually being funny. Life is far too short for books I don’t enjoy.

And I could never enjoy this. It felt like it was written by two guys who had just finished school and were ready to explode their ideas into some creative project that could be a piece of brilliance or a real chore depending on the reader tastes. And this just sent me right to sleep. I was glad to stop when I did.

I think my main problem is that I’ve seen how much better each writer can do. I’ve read Gaiman at his best. I’ve been inspired by his words and I have found part of myself in his stories. I’ve laughed out loud with Pratchett and I’ve tasted the sharpness of his wit. This felt like a shadow of what each writer can do; it holds a mere suggestion of the brilliance and creative spark each would wield at his fingertips. It was just juvenile.

Maybe I came into with the wrong mind-set. Maybe I expected too much or perhaps the humour is just wasted on me. Either way, this one just isn’t for me.
September 13, 2022
Antichrists, angels, DEATHs (ok, there just can only be one and the Antichrists were a lie too), demons, apocalyptic riders, prophecies, and unreached levels of comedic fantasy brilliance by 2 of the biggest gods of the genre

Once a great and honorable job, modern times are hard for the fighters against sin, black magic, and eco social matriarchy. Because of the sheer immense ridiculousness of their ideology, nothing needs to be added to make them seem like pathetic, bigoted idiots. Although one of them is connected to

The modern witching style including the prophecies
That´s the second most important plotline, deciphering the hilarious hidden hints and thereby trying to prevent the apocalypse. Although good old

Angels and demons and the great lands of morality
are what is entered by the, not stereotypically good or bad entities. By watching humankind for millennia, they´ve developed special, subjective attitudes towards what´s good and bad. By reflecting on that and not acting as they should, both humor and momentum are generated, as angel and demon (and the oldtimer car) are the driving forces to help unite the storylines and integrate

Philosophy, morality, and religion
All of this and more is vivisected, satirized, and analyzed objectively by giving the protagonists different core motivations. Because it´s satire, it´s with less overthinking induced headache and deep existential crisis than in hardcore nonfiction philosophy and nonfiction, but more with a „What just happened“ realization after the giggles, rofls, and lols. That´s important for learning too, because positive psychology shows that after the serotonin storm of joy more grains of knowledge stay in brain convolutions.

DEATH and his 3 pals
Could have something against a postponed armageddon. Just as the other evil hell entities, the 4 of them would really like to party hard until the end of the world, respectively the event itself, as long as no spoilsport comes along. Let´s say, a

Not typical antichrist
By mixing childhood idealism with godlike superhero powers, he doesn´t act as he should. The innocence of youth card is played to show the degeneration towards extremist adults and fantasy fractions that just can´t find a diplomatic middle course.

Prachetterian Gaimanism
I would like to know who wrote what, how they coordinated and cooperated, two of the greatest authors of all time writing something close to incomparable. Imagine what your favorite genres writers could create together, how their styles would be forged to something stronger than the creative titanium and imaginative graphene they already tend to use in their own works.

Unpredictable and unique
The combination of all these unusual character traits makes the story as unexpectable as possible, combining the strength of both Pratchetts´and Gaimans´writing to something truly unique. I tried to find a comparison, but there simply isn´t any, their own works are different too. So the best thing might be to go with the reading pack and compare it with some of the greatest milestones of deep satirical writing, which also often come with the somewhat depressing fact that the authors created one hit wonder evergreen overkill masterpieces.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.
Profile Image for emma.
1,864 reviews54.3k followers
January 19, 2023
Heaven, hell, demons, angels, a ragtag group of children, witch-hunters, witches, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and the Antichrist all teamed up to make this book happen.

And a readathon, a discount book-selling website, the buzz from a streaming-service television adaptation, boredom, poor decision-making, and a lack of social life had to come together to get me to read it.

And it turned out pretty good.

In spite of those long lists, the pacing of this was kind of clunky and odd. You'd think a book about the homoerotic enemies to friends/lovers? relationship between an angel and a demon with the rapidly approaching Antichrist-inspired apocalypse in the background would be, at the very least, a nonstop excitement rollercoaster.

Regrettably you would be just a little bit wrong.

This is, on the whole, very funny and fun, but it is also intermittently quite boring. This is because this book indulges in a dreadful habit known in certain villainous circles as "multiple perspectives," which means that sometimes you are hanging out with characters you enjoy and they are bantering and goofing and crazy hijinks-ing and then right when the going gets good, boom.

You are in the English countryside with a group of children.

C'est la vie, but in my opinion this whole thing would be better if children didn't exist.

You decide whether I mean this book or this life.

Bottom line: The most disappointing still-recommended read of my lifetime! I'll survive.



hard to say which i could use more at the moment: anything written by neil gaiman, or a good omen.

i'm going with both!

clear ur shit prompt 6: steal a book from someone's tbr
follow my progress here
Profile Image for Nataliya.
781 reviews12.4k followers
April 25, 2023
In my personal hierarchy of books, this one comes a close second after Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. What can I say - like (diabolical) father, like (infernal) son.
"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."

In a way, I can view this book as my own personal therapy session¹ - that is, in addition to it being a hilarious dry-humor take on Armageddon and the ever-dual nature of humanity, its highs and lows and our ability to be both, frequently almost at the same time.
¹ As a kid, I had a habit of getting into the books clearly not meant for my age - like, for instance, The Omen, featuring the world's most infamous tricycle. My eight-year-old self was petrified. For months, I had nightmares, was scared of dogs, mistrustful of tricycles and had an irrational dislike of the number "666".

Eight-year-olds with overactive imaginations were really NOT the intended audience of *that* book, after all.
As predicted by the titular 17th century witch Agnes Nutter in her extremely nice accurate book of prophecies, handed down through centuries to her last living "professional descendant" Anathema Device, Armageddon is quickly approaching. The four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse have set out on their way, and that must mean things are getting serious.
- You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"[...]
“Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield. And 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 travelled with them.”
And this upcoming major event is a source of some serious worry for eternal-enemies-turned-reluctant-friends Aziraphale (An angel, and a part-time rare book dealer) and Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards), the duo who, after six thousand years, have "gone native" and would infinitely prefer this world to the future where either side wins - the future (oh the horror!) without good music or bookshops or sushi restaurants. And so the unlikely allies decide to band together to prevent the end of the world.
"That's how it goes, you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you."
Except things do not go as planned.

You see, the young 'Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness', due to an unforeseen turn of circumstances, happens to grow up outside of the influence of either celestial/underworld force.

Aptly named Adam, he grows up - as his name suggests - perfectly human, in a little corner of paradise - the English village of Lower Tadfield. But Agnes Nutter is never wrong, and as her prophesies suggest, shortly after Adam's eleventh birthday (on which he DOES get a much wanted Hellhound Dog) the events of the end of the world are set in their inevitable, ineffable motion.

But Adam's essential humanity puts a new spin on this old story:
"Something was happening inside his head.

It was aching. Thoughts were arriving there without him having to think them. Something was saying, You can do something, Adam Young. You can make it all better. You can do anything you want. And what was saying this to him was ... him. Part of him, deep down. Part of him that had been attached to him all these years and not really noticed, like a shadow. It was saying: yes, it's a rotten world. It could have been great. But now it's rotten, and it's time to do something about it. That's what you're here for. To make it all better.
The problem with the Antichrist Adam is that he, a human eleven-year-old boy, is fueled - unexpectedly - by Love and righteous indignation. He loves this world, and he, coming into his power, wants a very human thing - he wants to make it better. Don't we all? But do (and can?) his good intentions make any difference in the way things have been prophesied to go?
"It's like you said the other day," said Adam. "You grow up readin' about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus' when you think the world's all full of amazin' things, they tell you it's really all dead whales and chopped-down forests and nucular waste hangin' about for millions of years. 'Snot worth growin' up for, if you ask my opinion."

If there is one thing this book gets through it's the belief in humanity. Not in its wickedness or goodness or anything like that. Just humanity, in all the multifaceted nature of it, in its righteousness and wretchedness, love and cruelty, strengths and weaknesses, stupidity and wisdom.
"And just when you'd think they were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they could occasionally show more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. Often the same individual was involved. It was this free-will thing, of course. It was a bugger."
Sometimes, maybe, when left to our own devices, when not preached to in one way or another, we can perhaps develop into flawed but hopefully decent beings - like Adam, named after the first human in the prophetic fashion, after all. Because what makes life interesting, as a particular angel and demon would loudly attest to, is precisely the combination of good and evil, nice and nasty, mean and kind that we all possess, in the precarious and miraculous balance that is the true treasure of humanity. Because it makes us act like people.
"I don't see what's so triflic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset 'cos they act like people,” said Adam severely. “Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive."
And maybe, just maybe, due to our always-balancing nature on the borderline between two conflicting universes that we, humans, inhabit, we will be able to eventually figure it out - without anyone messing with our heads, filling them with the Good or the Evil, endlessly preaching what they believe to be true - but simple letting us be ourselves. Maybe we will figure things out on our own.
"Adam stood smiling at the two of them, a small figure perfectly poised exactly between Heaven and Hell.

Crowley grabbed Aziraphale's arm. "You know what happened?" he hissed excitedly. "He was left alone! He grew up human! He's not Evil Incarnate or Good Incarnate, he's just ... a human incarnate.

The brilliant Pratchett/Gaiman duo provides everything these two authors are famous for - easy readability, dry intelligent sarcasm-infused humor, seamless plot that pushes the limits of imagination while staying perfectly grounded in (albeit fantastical) reality, and first and foremost, very apt observations about human nature, as well as (in a true Pratchett-like way) a complete irreverence for the set-in-stone beliefs and ideas. At times it's easy for those familiar with their respective styles to tell which one of them penned which part, at times it's impossible - but it doesn't matter as their writing styles blend together so well, so seamlessly, so seemingly effortlessly.

This is an excellent book - both funny and serious, at times utterly unpredictable, at times baffling, at times logical. It's a pleasure to read, and a pleasure to seriously reflect upon after having a good laugh. And for all of that it gets the ineffable five stars.
He stared down at the golden curls of the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness.

"You know," he concluded, after a while, "I think he actually looks like an Adam."
June 2013: I just listened to this one on audiobook - AGAIN. I love it more and more with each time I do. I have to advise - if you plan to listen to this one, please get the British version with Stephen Briggs as the narrator (Isis Publishing) - it is lightyears better than Harper Audio. Stephen Briggs is amazing!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
June 7, 2019
This book has been recommended to me for years. Everyone has been telling me how funny it is and...


Didn't laugh. Didn't smile. Didn't even blow air through my nose. Not once.

I eventually continued it as an audiobook otherwise I wouldn't have finished it.

It felt like a kid story. Maybe I don't get the British humour (I feel like I usually like it tho). But I just couldn't get myself to care.

Profile Image for Kevin Kuhn.
Author 2 books580 followers
October 19, 2021
If I were to pick a setting for a comedy, I’m not sure it would be Armageddon. However, in the talented minds of Pratchett and Gaiman, it’s the perfect setting. Another disclosure, I’m a sucker for British humour – give me Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Red Dwarf, and even Rickey Gervais and I’ll right larf out loude! It’s just the right mix of clever, deadpan, sarcasm, innuendo, and self-deprecation for me.

I wanted to get this read before I watched the new Amazon Prime series. It’s a good time to be reading this book, as we all need a laugh (or at least I do). In a time where some days feel like the start of the apocalypse (climate change, Middle East violence, American & British politics, virus pandemics, etc.. etc.), it feels good to laugh at Judgement Day.

For me this book read much more like a Terry Pratchett story, than a Neil Gaiman tale. I was impressed that the writing style seemed to be consistent throughout. I think that’s as much Gaiman’s ability to write in a Terry Pratchett style as anything. In the aftermatter, P&G amusingly reveal that they can no longer remember exactly who wrote what and suspect that neither wrote some of the parts.

As to the story, this book has many great characters, a complex, winding plot, and plenty of charm and surprises. You’ll meet angels, demons, inept witch hunters, the four horsemen, and even the anti-Christ. However, it’s primarily the humor that carries it. It’s full of twists of phases, funny observations, and of course, the trademark Pratchett footnotes. I enjoyed the humor more than the story, but it never was boring.

Once again, I feel compelled to explain why I am just now reading this novel, first published in 1990. Well, in the 1990’s, I had a wife, two young children, a cat, an older, fixer upper home with a needy yard, and an intense job. Something had to give. So I fully admit I missed an entire decade of literature, news, and music. I really got into Pearl Jam in about 2002 . . .

Any who, if you enjoy British humor, you’ll enjoy this book, if you don’t, you likely won’t. If you are easily offended by religious satire, you should probably skip this. But if you enjoy clever writing, adept observations on society and life, and masterful humor, you need to read this book. Five fiery, red glowing brimstone stars from me.
Profile Image for Jen.
120 reviews44 followers
October 31, 2007
I actually feel a little bad giving this 2 stars, since I see so many reviews of people who loved this book. Unfortunately, I'm just not one of them.

I usually like Pratchett's work, and there are a few comic touches that I liked here, but overall the unbelievably slow pace of the latter half of this story nearly drove me bonkers. It skips over about 10 years in a few chapters, and then camps out at 6 hours 'til doomsday for hundreds of pages. The dialogue of the children was tiresome, and the only character remotely 3-dimensional was the demon Crowley. I began skimming pages before giving up altogether on it a few chapters from the end. I would say it's not my style of book, but that's not true: again, I like Pratchett's other works, and I'm a Douglas Adams fan as well. This one just didn't hit my funny bone, I guess.
Profile Image for Maggie Stiefvater.
Author 81 books168k followers
June 18, 2008
This novel spoof of THE OMEN is absolutely hilarious. From the four bikers of the apocalypse to adorable hell hounds, it's my absolute favorite offering from Terry Pratchett -- his humor mixed with Neil Gaiman's is absolute win in my opinion.

***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.****
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
July 10, 2019
The year is 2114 and in an upstairs apartment in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire, England four people – Marge, Ron, Neville and Madam Tracey – sit around a table. They are gathered for a séance.

Madam Tracey: I can feel my spirit guide approaching.

Marge: Ooooo, this is exciting!

Madam Tracey: [In a dark brown voice] How! [Then in her normal voice] Geronimo is that you? [And again in the deep voice] Yes, this’n is me.

Neville: This is just like in that old book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, I mean JUST like it!

Madam Tracey: [In the Geronimo voice] How you mean?

Ron: I read that book, you’re right; there is a spiritual medium who pretends to be led into the spirit world by Geronimo!

Madam Tracey: Eh, gentlemen, please, you must concentrate … Um, hey, wait a minute; I really am feeling a presence!

Freddy Mercury: [singing] Can anybody find me, somebody to love?

Neville: What?? Who’s that? Where did that voice come from, is that Freddy Mercury?

Freddy: Yes, Neville, it is I, Freddy Mercury, coming to you from the Great Beyond! This séance has created a paranormal gateway by the mention of Pratchett and Gaiman’s collaboration.

Terry Pratchett: Hello! What have we here?

Neil Gaiman: It appears that we have intruded upon a séance, I feel invited, don’t you?

Terry: I do, as well, Neil, and how is everyone tonight?

[the table sits in stunned, awkward silence]

Freddy: Onstage, I was a devil. But I was hardly a social reject, may we be included in your séance, you were attempting to contact the spirit world weren’t you?

Marge: Um, well, I wanted to speak to my deceased sister Pamela.

Terry: Now there’s a lovely girl, dear, dear Pamela.

Neville: Wait! I see, we mentioned your book Good Omens and we are here with Madam Tracey, and …

Neil: And here we are, lovely to join you, also nice to see Lower Tadfield still standing after all this time, and that you remember us. Yes, Good Omens was a first-rate occult book, full of catchy prophecies and witty Pratchett sayings.

Terry: Yes, indeed, like this one: “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

Neil: Yes, that was a good one, and pivotal for that story. Also, here was one that I very much liked: “Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.” Isn’t that right, Madam Tracey?

Madam Tracey: Um, er, ah …

Ron: What was so special about Good Omens that could create a spiritual gateway to open up and visit us here?

Terry: Good Omens was about the end of the world, about a spiritual conflict, but mainly about being human, and how even angels and demons, yes even the Anti-Christ can find happiness here on earth and so we should too, or some such balderdash, I recall it selling rather well.

Neville: The end of the world? Is it coming?

Freddy: Sooner than you would think, Neville, but then I’m just a musical prostitute, my dear.

Neil: Armageddon is scheduled to begin next week.

[The table sits in horrified silence]

Neil: Naaah! Just messing with you! [All the ghosts laugh]

H.P. Lovecraft: Hi guys, interrupting a séance? Can I join in? Good Omens was great, by the way.

Terry: Well, thank you, Yank, that mean’s a lot coming from an old spook like you …
Madam Tracey: OK, EVERYBODY OUT!! This is MY séance

Neil: Really?? How rude, Madam Tracey. Fine, we’re leaving; I hear there’s a Wiccan coven meeting over in Berkshire. By the way, “Madam” Tracey – who’s real name is Marjory Potts, and who is fooling you three here for money – I’ll be letting the real Geronimo know about your needing a spiritual guide, I’m sure he would love to oblige, ta ta!

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews37 followers
February 6, 2022
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) is a World Fantasy Award-nominated novel written as a collaboration between the British authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It is the coming of the End Times: the Apocalypse is near, and Final Judgement will soon descend upon the human species.

This comes as a bit of bad news to the angel Aziraphale (who was the guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden) and the demon Crowley (who, when he was originally named Crawly, was the serpent who tempted Eve to eat the apple), respectively the representatives of Heaven and Hell on Earth, as they have become used to living their cosy, comfortable lives and have, in a perverse way, taken a liking to humanity.

As such, since they are good friends (despite ostensibly representing the polar opposites of Good and Evil), they decide to work together and keep an eye on the Antichrist, destined to be the son of a prominent American diplomat stationed in Britain, and thus ensure he grows up in a way that means he can never decide between Good and Evil, thereby postponing the end of the world. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش نسخه اصلی از انتشارات جنگل روز دهم ماه اکتبر سال2019میلادی

عنوان: فال نیک؛ نویسندگان: نیل گیمن، تری پراچت؛ مترجم سوگند رجبی‌نسب؛ تهران انتشارات بهنام، سال‏‫1398؛ در384ص؛ شابک9786226651592؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده20م‬

بر اساس پیش بینی «اَگنِس ناتِر ساحره» در سال1655میلادی، که پیش از منفجر شدنش نگاشته شده، دنیا در روز «شنبه» به پایان میرسد؛ فرشتگان و شیاطین، در حال بازگشت به آسمانها هستند، اقیانوس بالا آمده، و دمای هوا، به شدت بالا رفته است؛ همه چیز درست همانند پیشگویی، در حال رخ دادن است، و البته به غیر از یک فرشته ی خوب وسواسی، و یک فرشته ی بد عجول، که هر دو از زمان پیدایش زمین، در میان مردمان حضور داشته اند، و اکنون بسیاری از عادتهای انسانهای زمینی را، فرا گرفته، و به عادتها معتاد شده اند؛ این دو فرشته، توجهی به این پایان دنیا ندارند؛ اما به نظر میرسد، کسی تصمیم گرفته، به دشمنی با مسیح هم بپردازد...؛

کتاب «فالِ نیک: پیشگویی‌های ظریف و دقیق اَگنِس ناتِر، ساحره»؛ رمانی کمدی، حاصل همکاری دو نویسنده ی بریتانیا: «تری پرچت»، و «نیل گیمن» است؛ داستان کتاب درباره ی تولد «پسر شیطان»، و آمدن آخرالزمان است؛ در سال2019میلادی «آمازون استودیوز» و «بی‌بی‌سی استودیوز»، بر اساس این رمان، مجموعه ی تلویزیونی «فال نیک» را، تولید و منتشر کردند؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 16/11/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Anne.
4,053 reviews69.5k followers
June 15, 2019
I read American Gods not too long ago, and while I liked it, it didn't turn out to be as amazing as I had hoped. So I wondered if maybe I shouldn't go back and check this one out. You know, see if it was really as good as I remembered?
It was actually better. Hilarious!
The 5 star rating stands!


Good Omens is going to go down as one of my favorites. I wouldn't say that I laughed out loud, but I snorted once or twice and smiled the whole way through. Who would have thought the apocalypse could be so funny?! Evidently Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Personally, I thought it was a great coming of age story about a boy named Adam Young.


Warning: If you are one of those people who wear a What Would Jesus Do? bracelet and believes that the purple Teletubby really is gay?
This is not the book for you.
Just put it down and grab something by C.S. Lewis.


The story centers around an angel and a demon who have spent thousands of years on earth together and have quite a good working relationship. Everything is running along smoothly until Crowley (said demon) is charged with delivering the Antichrist to his new family.


In other words, handing over the Spawn of Hell to a bunch of (satanic) nuns who will switch him out with a human baby who has just been born. Once the deed is done, Crowley decides to enlist Aziraphale (said angel) to help him stop the coming apocalypse. Because the food and music on Earth is really good.


They have eleven years before the boy reaches his full potential, but unfortunately, due to a mix up with the Satanic switcheroo, the wrong kid gets pegged as the Antichrist and the real Antichrist gets a normal life.


It's a Nature vs Nurture + The Power of Friendship + The Odd Couple kind of thing.
There's a lot more to it than that, but you get the gist.
Excellent story. Go give it whirl!

Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,593 followers
January 31, 2018
*** 4.75 ***

"... “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” ..."

Loved every second of it! A book about free choice and nature vs nurture, some good old pondering over what is good and what is evil, commentary on our values and all together sorry state of our perceptions, all bundled up in the beautifully hilarious and stingingly clever prose of the authors, who only cement there places as some of the best of our contemporaries. 50% of the book deserves to hang as quotations on our walls, but I will have to be satisfied with just couple...

"... “It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.” ..."

To all who know me it will come as no surprise that Terry Pratchett and his humor are like a balm for my soul. Even though I adore almost every word he puts to paper, I am still aware of the fact that he is not everyone's cup of tea. More often it is the over-saturation of his cheek that becomes too much and people loose the underlined analysis of human behavior in which lays his greatest strength. I would be the first one to recommend his work, but I will also be the one to warn you to space his works good time apart in order to truly savor his wisdom and turn of phrase. After finishing any of his books I am always tempted to immediately jump into the next, but that would do me and the book a disservice. So now I treat them as precious gems - the rarer, the more time and adoration I can lavish on each!!!

"... "Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he…”Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” ..."

If you ask me, this book deserves giving it a try, no matter what genre you usually gravitate to. Even better if this is not your usual cup of tea:) I recommend it to all!!!

"... “Potentially evil. Potentially good, too, I suppose. Just this huge powerful potentiality waiting to be shaped.” ..."

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many more Wonderful books to come!!!
Profile Image for Rosh.
1,565 reviews1,800 followers
September 17, 2023
In a Nutshell: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – such a writing pair-up ought to deliver, right? Brilliant, humorous, original, thought-provoking, and memorable. (The adjectives are for the authors as well as for this book.)

Story Synopsis:
As per a prophecy written by Agnes Nutter, a 17th century witch, the world is due to end next Saturday. Two people, or rather, two beings – one ethereal and one occult – aren’t happy about this. Aziraphale the angel and Crowley the demon have lived in Earth since ages, and have grown fond of it and its quirky denizens, despite their flaws. They are ready to go against their superiors and stop the upcoming Armageddon. However, with the Antichrist, the Them and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse already stirring things up, and the planet’s last two witch-finders getting ready for a fight, the going is quite complicated. Add to this some weird planetary shifts and zoological incidents, and you will begin to wonder if there are any good omens in the book.
The story comes to us from the third person limited perspective of several characters.

The book has been reviewed thousands of times and many might have watched the show as well. So I don’t have much new to add. This is my *little* review.

Bookish Yays:
😍 The lead characters: Aziraphale and Crowley have a great connect that elevates the story. Their banter is amazing.

😍 The other characters: Well-sketched and memorable. Quite a few impactful ones among these.

😍 The plot: Wowzah! Amazing how the length doesn’t affect the flow and the handling of so many subplots, especially with two writers at the helm. Everything fits neatly at the end.

😍 The writing: Neil Gaiman. Need I say more! I’ve not read much Terry Pratchett through his novels, so I can’t comment about him though I am very eager to read his Discworld books.
However, Neil Gaiman is among my favourite authors for his writing, his imagination, and his nature. Even when he goofs up, he is better than some other popular writers. He didn’t disappoint me this time as well.

😍 The prose: So many thought-provoking lines, juxtaposed with zingy one-liners!

😍 The themes: Good vs. evil, nature vs. nurture, blind obedience vs. sensible compliance, free will vs. destiny.

😍 The humour: Tongue-in-cheek, just as I love it. Loved how it took the biblical concept of the Apocalypse and the Antichrist, and turned it into a satire. I love books that poke fun at zealots – both religious and otherwise – without resorting to filthy mudslinging. A lot of the content in the book deserves pondering over.

😍 The diversity: Well represented, not in terms of race but in terms of origin. Angels, demons and humans all get enough attention. As do male and female and genderless characters.

😍 The impact: Despite having so many fun elements, the plot has depth, passing an unabashed statement on human values and beliefs and the hypocrisy of “developed” society. This would be the perfect read for a fruitful bookish discussion.

Bookish Nays:
😓 Too many characters and subplots that are sometimes confusing to keep track of.

All in all, despite the length and the medium pace, I relished this book as it provided entertainment as well as food for thought. It offered me everything I expected of it, and then some more.

If you love a combination of introspection and hilarity and some brilliant writing, check this book out!

4.5 stars, rounding up!

On to watch the show now! So excited!

(Update: 18th Sept 2023: Finally watched Season One of the show, which is based on this book. It was every bit of AWESOME! Impeccable casting, great performances, and a mindblowing screenplay. I loved the novel elements introduced at the climax.)

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Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
262 reviews3,923 followers
March 23, 2022
Starts out fantastic, but bogs down as the book goes along

I'm pretty disappointed here, not because I just read a bad book, but because I didn't like this book nearly as much as pretty much everyone else who has ever read it. This book came to me so highly recommended, and given that I am an enormous Terry Pratchett fan I assumed this would be a 5/5 for me. After about an hour of reading I was in love with the characters, and felt like this was turning out to be one of the most entertaining books I've ever read.

The dynamic between the demon and the angel was wonderful. The idea that they have a friendship and can play off each other so well was something I could have read the entire book about. But unfortunately partway through the book the main storyline swaps to a young anti-christ character and his group of friends, and I couldn't have been more bored by them.

The ending picks up a little bit as they introduce some truly wonderful characters - the four horsemen of the apocalypse. But they didn't feature for very much time and I again wished they had more screentime.

I get why people love this book, but sadly it's just not even close to my favorite Pratchett book.
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews10.2k followers
May 26, 2007
I read this book before I tried to tackle Pratchett on his own merit, so I may have to retroactively skew this review based upon what I now know. The book is enjoyable, but may suffer from the fact that it represents its two authors at what seems to be their most basic states.

There is no question as to the recognizability of both Gaiman's and Pratchett's respective styles here, but neither seems to add anything to the other. One of Gaiman's weaknesses is surely his general lack of humor. Anything that makes you laugh in his books isn't likely to qualify as a joke. While this could have been remedied by Pratchett's collaboration, his humor tends to be more groan-worthy than profound.

It seemed to me that, by collaborating, both authors felt a need to simplify and de-personalize their respective styles, which for Gaiman meant an unfortunate loss of much of his dark charm, and for Pratchett that he was even more watered down than usual.

I know a lot of people, especially fantasy fans, love this book, and I will admit that it is romp-y, easily digestible, and certainly doesn't betray the inclinations of either author. Unfortunately, it also doesn't surpass them or create anything new or interesting. The whole is less than the sum of its respective parts. However, certainly worth a read; if only to get a fix of Gaiman while waiting for him to actually finish his next book.

UPDATE: After reading Gaiman's Anansi Boys, I have come to find that he can be quite uproariously and side-splittingly funny. I am now unsure just what part Pratchett played in Good Omens at all.

My Fantasy Book Suggestions
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,309 reviews120k followers
October 6, 2008
Not very amusing attempt at biblical humor. It was a chore. I did not finish it, getting through 130 pages before casting it aside. It read to me like it had been written by two snarky twenty-year-olds.
Profile Image for Kyle Nakamura.
6 reviews17 followers
March 13, 2008
This has got to be one of the funniest satires I've ever read. I suppose the closest comparison I could make is to describe it as a literary sibling to Dogma, but filtered through a distinctly British lense. That description doesn't really do the story justice, but that film definitely hits me in the same place as the book.
The whole premise, and I'm not giving much away here, begins with the accidental "mis-placement" of the infant Antichrist during a complex baby-swapping procedure intended to kick off the Apocalypse. It's all down hill from there.
This book is funny, irreverent, and at times surprisingly insightful. While some parts of the book may seem cliched or even kitschy, the book never puts up the pretense of being revolutionary or edgy. The characters, like any melodrama, are intended to be archetypal, so even the relatively predictable changes that occur seem appropriate in the context of the story. The surprises are really in the details, and in that regard the execution is brilliant. To give you an example, the devil Crowly drives a car in which the tape-deck will transform any tape placed in it into a copy of "Queen's Greatest Hits" within a very short period of time after one hits the play button. Now I love "Bohemian Rhapsody" as much as the next guy, but an eternity of nothing but THAT particular album?! That's the kind of devilry that works on many levels.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,969 reviews1,983 followers
June 10, 2019
2019 UPDATE The miniseries on Amazon Prime gets 4.5 out of five, and a strong encouragement to go watch it. I mean, what is all this kerfuffle about the ending?! Episode 6 ended perfectly, with the loveliest touch of smarm and some real guffaws...wise choices indeed. The series misses on one count, we could do with more of the Them, but really now! Child labor laws and all that. Episode 3's epic cold open is, by itself, worth subscribing to Prime for. Episode 4's delight is Gabriel's red red robin bob-bob-bobbin' along...that was lovely.

All in all a delicious Queen of Puddings worthy of Mary Berry herself.

Book Rating: the least annoyed three stars I can muster out of five

The Publisher Says: According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

My Review: The Son of Satan is coming, and that's gonna be that. Except the angel who's supposed to defeat him and the demon who's supposed to make sure he triumphs have mainstreamed and don't much feel like giving up their cush jobs. HQ on both sides isn't having any, and hijinks ensue.

I got this book at "New York Is Book Country" in 1990. Workman had a big push on to make the book a hit...their booth that year had a bunch of editorial assistants and editors all dressed up funny, waving signs about the world ending tomorrow, passing out fliers promoting the book, yelling provocative predictions drawn from the book at passers-by. I loved it as street theater, and bought the book because I liked their energetic promotion of it.

I chuckled several times, laughed out loud once, and put the book away from 1990 until it was lost in the move in 2008, and never once in 18 years remembered that I owned it or had read it. I found the above para and was mildly surprised I'd bothered to review such a slight bagatelle of a book.

But credit where credit is due: The fact that Pestilence, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, retired when penicillin was introduced and was replaced by Pollution, made me laugh and laugh hard. I'm still giggling 22+ years on.
Profile Image for Lisa.
991 reviews3,321 followers
July 15, 2019
In the beginning, there were a few words, and the words were with Neil Gaiman, and he saw that they were good words, so he passed them on to Terry Pratchett, so that he could make light of them. And it was morning (and Neil slept and Terry wrote) and it was night (and Terry slept and Neil wrote) - the first chapter.

Thus (or similarly, for the book in the book is only rarely cited directly!) spoke Agnes Nutter, the nice and very accurate prophetess.

She would also have said (if she had been blessed or cursed with not only the facts, but also with the UNDERSTANDING of the facts) that it was prophesied that the bible was written to become the confusing yet entertaining template for a masterpiece of comic fiction - and everybody knows that is a devilishly hard task to pull off, the comic genre being the most complicated one, but divine if if works out! (The reason holy books aren't funny is that they haven't gained the required level of sophistication yet - they take themselves too literally and too seriously, and that is stylistical suicide, as we all know from listening to the holy books' human personifications - the preachers and politicians - which is why they are better suited to be comic material than comedy show producers).

If anybody (Agnes Nutter for example) had told me in 1990 that there was a recently published book which told the incredible story of the world in 2019 and showed the perfect parable of our current mess in the body of an Antichrist - born to save the world from destruction by the joint narcissism of Heaven and Hell - and that the said Antichrist would take the shape of an 11-year-old environmentalist worrying about our eco systems, I would have been doubtful. I would even have said it sounded way too much like the conspiring universe of the unbearable awfulness of The Alchemist, which was interestingly written at about the same time (proving that stupidity and brilliance are only a sense of humour apart!).

So I guess the International Express delivery man had clear instructions not to deliver Good Omens to me until I had finally got ready for it by watching human nature carrying out the work gods and devils were paid to do (and I don't mean the M25 London Orbital specifically, even though it is a masterpiece both Heaven and Hell claim).

Now that I have been provided with the Good Omens (it really is quite strange how references to that sheepish ANTI-NOVEL keep sneaking into the review of THE NOVEL), I have to spoil the fun and tell you all that Armageddon is off the table. It was an idea that didn't work out in practical terms, as the Antichrist pointed out quite cleverly: it can't be about having a winning and a losing side, as the "winners" will want to continue the squabble and turn on each other. It is about making the best of the mess. About "not getting along" in peace!

Good Omens is a joyride to the tune of Europe's Final Countdown, unsubtly interrupted in medias res by Queen singing The Show Must Go On...

Profile Image for Trish.
2,014 reviews3,433 followers
September 15, 2021
This is the third time I've read this book. Once I read this edition, once I listened to the BBC radio dramatisation and now I alternately listened to the audiobook and read the hardcover.
This, by the way, is my edition of the print book, the old Gollancz edition and I love the quirky design very much.

What you see beneath the book are the two pin badges I couldn't resist buying a while ago.

The reason for the re-read is that Amazon Prime is gonna show the adaptation in 2019 (no exact date is given yet). I have and keep informing about the production in detail here: https://www.goodreads.com/user_status...

Good Omens is about the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley who are both living on Earth and quite enjoying themselves. One day, Crowley is given the Antichrist as a baby and charged with delivering him to a convent so he can be placed with a human family. However, something goes hilariously wrong with the switch.
11 years later Armageddon is just around the corner but neither Crowley nor Aziraphale want the world to end because then there will be no feeding the ducks in the park, no lunch dates in the Ritz, no quaint little bookshops or cool Bentleys.
Then there is the Antichrist himself, now 11 years old and not exactly what Heaven or Hell had imagined.
Thus commences a hilarious romp in the English countryside with the Four Horsepersons, some bikers, children and a very special hellhound.

For anyone wanting a glimpse at what this might look like, here is the trailer for the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZSXl...

Seriously, what Pratchett and Gaiman created here is not just a great collaboration - this reads as if it came from one hand, showcasing how similar the two men were and how well these two minds therefore worked together. Some of the creations here are linked almost directly to the authors' other works so there is a certain feeling of coming home whenever I immerse myself in the story.

The simple and yet thrilling scenery painted with the poignant humour and sharp social and political criticism that shines through each page in a delicate and tactful way is something to be cherished, something special that one doesn't find too often. *sighs contently*

Original review:

Wonderful cooperation between two of the funniest men on the planet: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett!
If you think one of them was funny, you can imagine the kind of bellyache I've got from laughing almost uncontrollably at all the jests and jokes and silliness from both of them!
The story is quite simple: as written in various prophecies, Armageddon is just around the corner. But an angel and a demon quite like their lives on Earth so they have other plans (such as feeding the ducks).
The characters are all elaborate, quirky and original; the writing is not just funny but also delivers some important messages in a light way and all the chapters weave into one another fluidly (which is not to be taken for granted in just any cooperation).

It was a marvellous journey to read the book, which I started when the BBC radio dramatisation was advertised last December. Now I've finished the book AND, simultaneously, listenend to the radio series and have to say that the wonderful cast that was put together fit their roles perfectly! Well done to all! I highly recommend readers of the book to listen to the BBC dramatisation as well!

P.S.: This is my hardcover edition. Way back when, I had the extreme luck of coincidentally getting what I consider the version with the best/funniest cover design.
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