The end is nigh. There’s no point denying it or even fighting against it. It’s ineffable, part of the celestial plan.
The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are not of the same opinion, though. They like Earth as it is and, after slightly more than 6000 years, they’ve grown fond of human habits and quirks. Crowley even took up the human activity of sleep.
This unlikely duo, together with a bunch of even more unlikely heroes, will start on a quest to stop the end of the world. To do this, they’ll have to kill the Antichrist, which is a shame, as he’s actually quite a nice kid. Also, nobody knows where he is.
Another stroke of genius is the use of prophecies. So many have predicted the apocalypse and failed until Agnes Nutter didn’t sit down to write ‘The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch’ in the eighteenth century, right before being burnt for being a witch and going out with a literal bang. The descendants spent generations trying to decipher the cryptic verses of the prophecy until Anathema found herself right in the middle of it.
Written in 1990 by two of the most brilliant brains of this century, this book was literally shouted on the phone, as that’s the way Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman exchanged the ideas they thought up while the other one was asleep (they also sent floppy disks around by post – it was 1988 after all).
The two authors seem to be the perfect combination of dark humour and witty satire, although sometimes jokes are a bit too convoluted. The references to modern culture and British quirks are countless, if perhaps obscure to today’s readers, but delivered with such wit and confidence, it’s hard not to giggle anyway.
Good Omens a must-read for both Terry Pratchett’s and Neil Gaiman’s fans, but also an entertaining take on the end of the world and the ineffability of Heaven and Hell.