Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good Omens: Good Book

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
"Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656) published Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti in 1654, which suggested that the Heaven and the Earth were created in 4004 B.C. One of his aides took the calculation further, and was able to announce triumphantly that the Earth was created on Sunday the 21st of October, 4004 B.C., at exactly 9:00 A.M, because God like to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh.

This too was incorrect. By almost a quarter of an hour"

When Leah and I went to Phoenix for our anniversary we made a detour to a Border's to kill some time.... big surprise there. ( That reminds me that we need to post about the two small bookstores that we found on our trip - awesome stuff!) Leah picked up an auto-biography on the drummer from Guns'N'Roses and I went searching through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy for something that looked interesting. Now, rewind a couple months and at different Border's I noticed that the movie Coraline was also a book of the same name. Up to this point, I had never heard of Neil Gaiman and mentally added the book to my list of "read someday" books. Fast forward to September and I look past Coraline and notice Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, Good Omens for short. After reading the book I was definitely interested. I added that to a small stack of novels - Sanderson, Good Omens, and some other book that was just meh - and went to sit on a step stool next to my wife that was sitting in a comfy chair.

As you can probably tell from the quote above, the book could be incredibly humorous in a slightly irreverent way. The book certainly delivers, but without much irreverence. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett come up with an apocalyptic story that doesn't leave you crying for the protagonist - like The Road (which I would highly recommend... one of the best books that I've read this year). The end of the world is coming and an angel and a demon aren't ready for what's about to happen. They've come to enjoy life among the humans and would prefer to forgo all the destruction and leave things just like they've been. Enter in a couple mistakes, a few wacky characters, and a very young anti-christ and you have Good Omens. They've done a great job at being fun with a serious subject. It does contain QUITE a bit of british humour that I don't always understand, but with a little Monty Python background you should be able to grab bits here and there. I also recommend reading the footnotes for pure enjoyment.

I don't want to spoil any of the book for you - it's just a great 300+ page read that you won't want to put down often. I know that we had a recommendation of Christopher Moore and, by my guess, this is probably as close as we might get.

"God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

Rating: 9 CBs - it'll make you want to read more from both authors. Gaiman seems to lean towards short stories, and Pratchett has a bunch of Fantasy Novels.

1 comment:

  1. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are two of my favorites. I read this book ages ago...and I just have to say... 'Dog' cracked me up. The whole book did... but especially that.

    Thanks for the review, and recommending other good books to read within the review!