Saturday, 26 March 2011

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman


Published: 1990
UK Price: Paperback Version £4.92 Here
US Price: Paperback Version $10.19 Here

I have always been a great fan of Terry Pratchett, especially his Discworld series, but I will admit that this novel actually passed me by when it was first released. Recently, however I read and enjoyed "American Gods" which was written by Neil Gaiman who co-wrote this novel and I therefore decided to make sure that I finally put the effort in to read it.

The full name of the novel is actually "Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" but I think this is a bit of a mouthful and thefore just tend to call it "Good Omens". The novel is at it's basic core, a comedic take on Armageddon. It is very colourful and has a superb and memorable cast of characters which includes an 11 year old Antichrist who isn't actually a bad kid, a Demon and Angel who team up together in an attempt to stop the end of the world and the last couple of Witchfinders in existence.

The story itself did sometimes ramble on due to the large cast of characters and their various sideplots that the reader has to follow. However, the overarching storyline kept me hooked so I was easily able to read through the sections that didn't really add much to the story beyond some easy laughs. I especially felt that the story did come together neatly at the end.

I mentioned earlier in this review about the superb cast of characters present throughout the book and I think I appreciated and enjoyed every one of them. However, one thing I will note is that I think the large numbers of characters present did mean that some of them were never developed fully. It wasn't a huge issue to me though as they were all valid characters, they just lacked depth.

My favourite characters, had to be the Angel named Aziraphale & the Demon named Crowley who had spent so long with humanity that they really didn't want it all to end. and therefore worked together to try and thwart Armageddon. Their rather humerous interaction with each other and the fact that neither of them is truely evil or good is one of the biggest draws of the book to me. The character of Crowley actually reminded me in parts of the character with the same name who stars in the TV Series "Supernatural". I can't find any real proof that the creaters of "Supernatural" based their Crowley on the one in "Good Omens" but it wouldn't suprise me if he was.

Overall, I found the book hilarious and I can safely say that if you like any other novels written by Terry Pratchett then you will enjoy this. It is full of his usual dry humour, satire and madcap antics that give the book a great feeling of fun. I found myself smiling for large portions of the book as the story unfolded and struggled to put it down at the end of each day.

Even if you have never read Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman before, I recommend you give this book a try. Because, if you enjoy it then it will open up a huge collection of witty and humorous books for you to explore. I will add one caveat however, if you have read any other books that feature British dry & zany humour and you disliked them then "Good Omens" is probably not going to be your cup of tea.