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491 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 1, 1990
The Apocalypse is not off to a good start.
“DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING," said Death. "JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”
“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.
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.
Definitely one of those off-the-wall fun reads.
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.
“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.”
"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."
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".WARNING: THERE WILL BE MILD SPOILERS. BECAUSE I CAN.
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
- You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"[...]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.
- REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.
“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.”
"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.
"Something was happening inside his head.The problem with
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."
"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."
"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."
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."