My washing is STILL NOT DONE. I went downstairs, thinking it was finished and the damn thing was just chirping at me, as if to say “No no, I need you to stay here and shower me with attention rather than go and visit your family”.
Why don’t I just leave, I hear you asking? Because all of my clothes are wet and soapy. If my clothes were dry, I’d just leave. But I’m going to be away for two days and I can’t leave wet clothes in a heap in the Brisbane humidity. That’s just begging for mould. So here I sit. Just waiting.
Good Omens was my way of introducing myself to Terry Pratchett. As a lover of fantasy, it’s probably some kind of capital crime that I haven’t read any of his work. And, as a matter of fact, the boyfriend likes to send sneaky Pratchett quotes to me every couple of days as his way of reminding me to read Discworld. Which I will. One day.
Good Omens is a hilarious tale about the end of the world, and the battle of good and evil and what it all means. Life, I mean. If you are familiar with my blog, then you would be familiar with my love of Neil Gaiman’s work. So the fact that Pratchett wrote with him? Speaks very strongly to my inner Gaimaniac. I love that both Gaiman and Pratchett can take something as controversial as religion and the apocalypse and turn it into something hilarious. Not many authors can do that. And even less can drive home an agenda without your knowledge. Gaiman and Pratchett sneak it in. I found myself agreeing with points that I didn’t remember these gentlemen making.
This subtle making-of-arguments was never so poignant as when the story focused on the relationship between Crowley (an agent of Hell) and Aziraphale (an agent of Heaven). These two had many discussions about right and wrong and yet could never seem to remember whether it was Heaven or Hell who caused catastrophes throughout history. It’s all very philosophical.
And then there’s the fact that Good Omens is written as a reference book, complete with footnotes. And this structure is actually part of the story.
Only Gaiman and Pratchett could pull this off.
I can’t even begin to describe this book. There is just too much genius encapsulated on these pages for me to try and explain it. I mean, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, personified? That was exquisite. Adam Young and his pre-pubescent friends? Witches and Witchfinders? A satanic nunnery? All of these whimsical elements worked together to create a story so rich and detailed, and yet so simple: the end of the world and what happens next. But then there’s an anti-climax so delicious that you forget that you were expecting death and destruction and nuclear missiles because the scene in which nothing happens is so scrumptiously written that you leave the book with a sense of fulfilment.
Once you finish the story, there’s an interview with the two geniuses (which is actually correct. Genii is also correct. English is weird). And then there are two reflective pieces. One written about Neil Gaiman by Terry Pratchett. And one written about Terry Pratchett by Neil Gaiman. Well, in my copy anyway. I think I enjoyed these more than the actual story. Geniuses about a fellow genius. Ah, so much awesome. I thoroughly enjoy reading authors’ words on their own work. So reading these authors’ words about a fellow author? Amazing.
I am too awed by Good Omens to review it properly. Suffice it to say that this is a fantasy story written by two of the giants in the fantasy genre. Fantasy lovers should have read this book already. And if you don’t love fantasy, I think that this is the perfect book to change your mind. If you are looking to have your mind changed.
I’m going to give this a five star rating. but it seems like an unbelievable understatement.