Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Probably the funniest book you’ll read about the end of the world. Good Omens was written in collaboration by two very highly respected authors who were both in the early days of their career at the time, but who managed to make a real classic nonetheless.

With the apocalypse looming on the horizon, a demon and an angel (Aziraphale and Crowley) who have formed an unlikely friendship decide that they’re not actually all that keen to see the world end, despite the fact that that’s the ultimate goal of the divine plan, so they take steps to try and postpone it. Both of them are very likeable characters and they’re just two of many. The whole book is filled with loveable characters. I was particularly fond of Agnes Nutter (a character you don’t see much of directly, but who is integral to the backstory) and her modern day descendant, Anathema Device. Both of them are witches with the ability to see into the future and I particularly liked Anathema’s attempts to prevent the apocalypse. On the flip side, I also found Newton Pulsifier (sole member of the Witchfinder Army) to be a very funny and endearing character in a ridiculous kind of way.

Something that’s particularly appealing about this book is that as much as it can occasionally be very silly and often deals with fantastical religious characters and themes, it somehow succeeds in remaining quite down to Earth throughout. The people in the novel are all very believable and they all respond to things in realistic ways. Then you also have things like Heaven and Hell, which seem to be run just like any other organisation i.e. with all the flaws you’ll find in a workplace. They succeed in making the extraordinary ordinary, while still keeping it very entertaining.

Something else that I really appreciated about this book, is that it wasn’t just silly for the sake of being silly – it always had something important to say and the authors just chose to do it in a more whimsical way. Really, this is quite a profound book, with lots to say about life, death, religion, human beings and much more. Yet, throughout the whole thing, there’s a great feeling of wholesomeness and the focus on friendship and the wonder of childhood can also be very heart warming.

Overall, the book is a delight and quite easy to read. I think it’s a book with a very broad appeal, but particularly to those with an interest in religions and the idea of the apocalypse.

Rating: 8.9/10

Buy it here.

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