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Before & After [Mass Market Paperback]

Matthew Thomas
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 1999

That rare find: comic fantasy that actually makes you laugh. Douglas Adams10;Terry Pratchett, but with more jokes. A dark, deadpan millennial tale.

‘The sheep shall be the first sign.
Those that frolic and hop will detonate with great concussions,
The strongest glues will not hold them, their suffering will go unheeded,
Until the Great Triangles depart’

From the Lost Centuries of Nostradamus: Quatrain v11.5

So it begins: the end of the world. The Apocalypse is at hand, afoot, in your face – wherever – it’s going to affect you, mentally and physically. Ask Colin the sheep about it and he’d probably say ‘BOOOM!’ which isn’t very helpful but then he has just exploded. Ask Professor Michael D. Nostrus, history teacher at a redbrick university and formerly the sometimes-vaguely-accurate prophet Nostradamus, and he might give you a piece of advice along the lines of: hole up in a Welsh farmhouse with an attractive young woman and read books like THE SAS SURVIVAL GUIDE: KILL SQUIRRELS THE WAY THE PROFESSIONALS DO.
Some people think he’s mad…Professor Michael D. Nostrus knows better. After all, he’s had 500 years to work out what to do…


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager (1 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000648302X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006483021
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

1999, and the run-up to Armageddon has begun. Sheep are exploding in the Welsh highlands, the Pyramids are up for repossession since their 5,000-year lease has expired, ghastly US evangelists overrun Britain, King Arthur awakens, and rains of fish are of course inevitable. The prophet Nostradamus, still with us under his academic alias Professor Mike D. Nostrus, knows it's time to take precautions against the likely end of the world... This is moderately sprightly humorous fantasy in the vein of Tom Holt, or (in particular) Terry Pratchett's and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens, though less skilfully funny--it's Matthew Thomas's first novel. The famous Pratchett footnotes are painstakingly imitated. There's a tendency to leave loose ends: for example, the expected amusing rationale for why those sheep are detonating never actually turns up. Thomas loves Blackadder-style comparisons: "Adam was more full of shit than King Kong's colostomy bag"--and is pretty good at turning such phrases. But their rapid-fire repetition in earlier chapters has a numbing effect, as of being beaten around the head with Moby Dick. Later the pace quickens into madcap action-adventure and a crowded Last Battle which offers some good chuckles. Worth a look if you enjoy funny fantasy. --David Langford

From the Back Cover

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS…

'‘ The sheep shall be the first sign.
those that frolic and hop will detonate with great concussions,
The strongest glues will not heed them,
Their suffering will go unheeded,
Until the great Triangles depart.’
'

From the ' Lost Centuries of Nostradamus: Quatrain v11.5'

NOT WITH A BANG BUT A BAAAOOOM

' Before and After ', featuring some unfortunate sheep, a downsized hell, alien tourists watching the final conflict; the pyramids as ancient advertising slogans and a friendless local newspaper reporter named Adam who’s sure there’s a big story brewing somewhere and he’s the man to help it let rip.

Read before the end becomes nigh.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 out of 10 for inventiveness 12 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really liked this book. It is funny and Matthew's ideas are clever. It's always good to read somebody new whose ideas are still fresh.
My only criticsm is that there are sometimes too many similies.
Simply it's good, a really enjoyable read and I'd recommend it to anyone with a sense of humour.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the best book I have read in ages! Matthew Thomas is original, witty and crafty in his work. If you're not careful some of the jokes will just fly right over your head. Even the acknowledgements make you laugh.
The only flaw I found with this book was that as I was reading it, I couldn't help but feel that the whole thing could have been compacted into a smaller edition.
This book is for anyone who has an imagination and loves things that just aren't run of the mill. Very inspiring!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Sheep Mutilation... its for you! 10 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Best book i've read in ages! i've now gona and ordered his second book as well! i hope its as good as this one! if you like stories about fights with good and evil in a sportsman sort of way then this is for you. several interesting scenes involving a black cat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book in need of a more individual style! 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Before & After' is a kind of 'Hitchiker's Guide' meets Pratchett story, with some good ideas and an original (ish) story. Unfortunately the style of writing detracts somewhat from the story itself. Thomas relies heavily on similes ("she no more ran from trouble than three week old milk ran from the carton) and while these are usually quite witty, the repitition can be a bit much. The footnotes at the bottom of the pages are an obvious Prathcettism, although unlike the Discworld novels, these annotations have nothing interesting to say. Aspects of the story which I would have considered to be key elements - such as the exploding sheep - were not developed upon, but lesser aspects of the story were labiouriously detailed, when you felt they deserved only a fleeting reference. That said and done, 'Before & After' is an enjoyable read if you don't take it too seriously, and I must give credit where it's due for a first book. It's apparent where Thomas is getting his inspiration, and perhaps with a little refinement, his next books may be fighting for shelf-space next to Pratchett!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny and brilliant book for the new millenium 15 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Thomas has written one of the best books that I have read this year, and I have read quite a few! He has a funny and witty way of writing that kept me involved in the book. Exploding sheep, the 'downfall' of the Millenium Dome, the final armageddon, and a new Satan called Nick; all combine to make a great The story is one of your basic end of the world stories, which rely on the main characters to stop it. This time, though, Prof. Mike D. Nostrus (Nostradamus, now a 500 yr old prophet) and his beautiful young assisstant, Deborah, are not out to save the world, just themselves. With his great insight into the future happenings Mike knows when and where the events will be happening, and tries to get as far away as possible. How wrong can one man be.... The final battle scene is one of the best that I have read, and the pictures that are conjured in your mind as the knights of the round table give chase to 'Jean Paul' the abbot of the Masticating Monks of Montpellier are... well read the book and, I promise you will not be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 17 Jan 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love finding new author and I can guarantee you wont be disapointed with this novel by matthew thomas... assuming you enjoy exploding sheep and sci-fi humour
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book i have ever read 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is a truely exelent romp of a read,i have never read a better book,& i look forward to reading it again & again. i also look forwad to his next book with eager antisipation.!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a book that grows on you.
It is useful to look beyond the (at times overwhelming and tiring) in- your-face humour and enjoy some of the subtle clever stuff. A good plot about the end of the world of which our collective subconscious would be proud! This particular writing style is clearly growing and undergoing an evolution. I look forward to reading more from Mr Thomas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars BAAAAAAOM
A story of the battle between good and evil... but I dare not spoil it for you by telling you who wins. Read more
Published on 6 May 2009 by aceadrian
1.0 out of 5 stars Over engineered
Matthew Thomas tries hard to be funny and his written style reflects this. Alongside the works of Pratchett, Adams, or Naylor, each of whom are renowned for their fluent prose (and... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
The front page grabbed me - exploding sheep and Nostradamus? Sounded great! And it is, this is one of the most BIZARRE, hilarious books I've read in a long while. Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2002 by Leanne Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope this is just the start!
The back cover of this book says it all..."The sheep shall be the first sign. Those that frolic and hop will detonate with great concussions, The strongest glues will not hold... Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it
A VERY poor imitation of "Good Omens". It isn't really worth it quite frankly!
Published on 16 Dec 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of The World is Nigh ?
One of the most funniest books I have read in a long time. It just never lets up from Exploding Sheep to The Final Battle.
We follow Michael D. Nostrus on his journey. Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Shades of Robert Rankin and Tom Holt over the Severn
Not bad for a first attempt. I really did enjoy this journey through the highs and lows of the historys most famous predictor as he hurtles toward the end of the world as we know... Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2000
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