Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
What can you expect to happen when an angel and demon are friends and they’ve grown quite fond of the world and all of humanity? Well, they’re not entirely up for the apocalypse, that’s what. First, they try to spoil the whole anti-Christ thing by switching babies. Then they each school the anti-Christ in matters of good and evil. Some years later it is time for the apocalypse to happen, but things go awry.
The four horsemen of the apocalypse show up, pestilence has been switched out for pollution, and they gain some helpers in the form of the bikers of the repocalypse; Grievous Bodily Harm is my favorite out of the bunch.
The anti-Christ just isn’t into making decisions for everyone else. It seems like a lot of work. Why even bother?
What I liked
There is so much more to this book than can be summarized quickly. It’s funny and witty. It reminds me so much of Douglas Adams. I haven’t read Terry Pratchett before and that may be his influence because although Neil is funny, he’s sort of a mystical and brooding funny. This has made me sad that Terry Pratchett is no longer with us, but maybe he’s influencing angels and demons to stop the apocalypse right now. Who knows?
This whole concept is fun to think about. What if an angel and demon were friends? What if they weren’t necessarily into this whole apocalypse thing? You know Armageddon or Har Megiddo and all of that, who wants that? Nobody fun.
This book does kind of poke fun at the idea of all of these end of the world prophecies. People have foretold the end of the world practically since there was a world. The first people to realize that the sun went down at night, probably thought that the world was ending when it didn’t come back up for eight hours or so. This book is based on the Hebrew prophecies of the apocalypse from the Bible. Most of this stuff comes from The Book of Revelations, which seems like something that someone who licked a bunch of mushrooms would write while they were tripping.
People have just said all sorts of things about the end of the world. Sure, it’s going to end one day; all things end, but it’s not necessarily going to involve four horsemen with terrible names. For all we know, everything is suddenly going to turn into hard candy one day.
The whole angel and demon being friends thing brings to mind Supernatural. There is a Crowley on that show as well. There’s also an Alistair Crowley, who was a real guy, a really creepy guy. Just look up a picture of his face; you’ll be creeped out.
I wanted to point out this whole idea of varying degrees of dark and light. Nobody is completely good and nobody is completely bad. We just have various mixtures of the two within us. If you ever read anything about the war in heaven, you’ll find out that Satan, Lucifer, used to be an angel, but you’d probably find that out by watching Supernatural for a few seasons as well. He used to be good. Is he all bad now? What about his demons who are made up of a third part of the host of heaven who were cast down to Earth along with him after the war in heaven was over? Are they all bad? What about the angels? Are they all good? Surely, some were walking that line between good and evil. Just because Crowley in this book is a demon doesn’t mean he’s pure darkness and just because Aziraphale is an angel, doesn’t mean he’s above a little trickery. None of us are all the way one way or the other.
What I didn’t like
I do wish I had more time with this book because I do feel like I missed some fun things. This is one of those books that will be re-readable though.
If we manage to switch out the anti-Christ, maybe, we can stop the end of the world. That’s crazy. It’s so crazy it just might work.
~Pistachio from The Master of Disguise
*That’s a joke, Pistachio never said this in the movie.*
What car would you drive, flaming down the highway, during the apocalypse? Why?
Going on the idea that everyone