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Good Omens
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 17 May 2017
I read this book when it first came out - bought this to replace the black-covered original paperback that got lost over multiple house moves. Perhaps it's ended up in Aziriphale's bookshop. What can I say? It's still a great, light-hearted take on Armageddon and the Eternal Battle Between Good and Evil. I'm still at a loss why this has never made it to the screen, but I guess it means we can all keep a cast of characters in our heads.

You might think a collaboration between two authors, particularly two with such distinctive styles, would read like cut-and-paste, but the story flows along like a Lennon-McCartney composition. Knowing there can now never be anything quite like it again makes it all the more poignant.
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on 19 January 2018
This is my fifth purchase of this book (previous four being in hard copy) the last four having been lost, one didn't survive a bath, one misplaced during a holiday (alcohol may have been involved) and two lent to others and not returned..
I enjoy the writing style and humour of both these authors, I have many of Neil Gaiman's and all of Terry Pratchett's published works.
This as combination of their work is enjoyment for me in almost the perfect form, the only thing (for me,) that could have increased my love of this book would have been if there had been contributions by Douglas Adams.
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on 23 August 2016
Good Omens , by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is one of those books that once read you will always find yourself - sooner or later - going back to have another read of it. Technically speaking this is a re-read that I'm writing my review on but you know what? This is absolutely one of my favourite stories ever.

A short summary? An angel and a demon team up to try to stop the Apocalypse from happening when the Anti Christ reaches the correct age. Basically, it's a bit of a spoof on the movie The Omen except can you still consider a work in that parody category when it's arguably better written that it's source? Pratchett and Gaiman's styles of writing complement each other beautifully, bringing out the best in both and removing any perceived weakness someone could somehow relate to either. The characters are incredibly well rounded, and the humor of the book is such that it stands up to multiple re-readings and you will still find yourself gigging over sections.

The story is more than simply engaging, it's enveloping. The pace moves along at the correct speed, keeping you engrossed with each new word. You can't help but care about these characters, about the stakes that they are going through. Not just because the stakes are the end of the world but because we care about the characters and that is far more important, really.

Honestly? Good Omens is one of those books that I recommend to everyone. Because it is simply that good. It's a forever favourite and more people need to read it, really. Because Ineffability.
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on 28 February 2016
Like most fans of his works, I have felt the pain of a Pratchett-shaped hole in my reading life ever since his death. The gift of a new novel was a yearly gift I’d come to rely on, and now it’s gone for good. We shall miss it.

But on the urgings of a friend, I have now, and for the first time, read one of the novels that he wrote in collaboration with another writer. I’d always resisted that inclination in the past, driven by a sense that I wanted my Terry Pratchett unadulterated or not at all. Ask a Scotsman what the best thing is to add to a whisky and he’ll tell you, “another whisky.” Nothing mixes better with Pratchett than another Pratchett.

After <i>Good Omens</i>, I’ve had to revise that view. It isn’t a Pratchett novel. It isn’t set on the Discworld, for instance, but on Earth. Nonetheless, behind the wit that hums through the book, some of it no doubt down to the co-author Neil Gaiman, there are occasional gleams of pure Pratchett: in the ageing dominatrix, for instance, who is essentially motherly and decorates her boudoir of sin with fluffy toys, or the suggestion that nothing Hell could come up with as a torment would rival what mankind can dream up on its own.

The theme is a parody of the film <i>Omen</i>. A son has been born to Satan. His agents, notably the demon Crowley who is coordinating the whole venture, have arranged that an American diplomat’s wife will give birth that very night to a son in an obscure hospital in the English countryside, which happens to be staffed by nuns from a Satanist order. This will allow a switch to be performed, leading to the devil’s child being brought up in a family which will provide him with the opportunity to plunge the world into the chaos that leads to Armageddon.

Alas, however, even infernal agents, like humans, are inclined to err. The switch is mishandled. So, eleven years later, as the forces of hell and those of heaven prepare to fight their last battle to the destruction of the Earth and the human species, nothing goes to plan.

Which isn’t such a bad thing for Crowley, and his opposite number, the angel Aziraphale. The two of them have grown used to life on earth and have come to enjoy it. No more antique bookshops? No more elegant cocktail bars? (I leave it to you to decide which is to the taste of which of these two). The prospect leaves them both distraught and, having come close to being friends down the centuries through which they have competed with each other, they collaborate to see if they can find a way of preventing Armageddon while avoiding the likely retribution of their respective heavenly and infernal hierarchies.

Throw into the mix a modern witch, who happens to be a descendant of Agnes Nutter, author of some “nice and accurate prophecies” which, are indeed, astonishingly accurate though sadly not always comprehensible until after the events have happened, and then include a misfit of a young man who becomes a witchfinder, and you have all the ingredients for a rollicking, funny and engaging tale. Since the ending is both satisfying and pointed, with the destruction of an object we might have expected to be treated as sacred, the novel has everything one could hope for to amuse and entertain.

Well worth it if you’re at a loose end and want some entertainment written with talent. And, like me, you're regretting the loss of Terry Pratchett. Enhanced, far from diminished, by Neil Gaiman.
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on 5 February 2015
Don't bother reading my review, or other reviews. Just buy it and read it, see for yourself what the hype was about.

It's been out for a while but I've just read it the first time. It's confusing, messy, vivid, insane, odd...did I say confusing? Underneath all of the insanity of it there is a plot to follow.

My only criticism is that the sheer madness of it all - everything about it is strange - the plot gets a little lost, or maybe the points where I should have be reading it through my "serious and significant plot details to follow" eyes I was reading it through my "trying to understand the insanity of this book" eyes.

But the trick for that problem? Read it again, and maybe again. It gets better each time.
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on 7 April 2015
Absolutely brilliant! So sorry I have not re-read this earlier. It will now be a staple part of my literary diet. The characters are amazing and carry you along on a roller coaster ride with never a straight face anywhere. I laughed the whole way through, which can earn you some funny looks when someone else in the room is watching something serious on the TV. Sorry!
Still don't know what happened to my original copy, though. My thoughts are that is was probably spirited away to another dimension, or discworld, where all other books that are missing are taken. Probably as a guide map to the human obsession with fantasy and escapism.
Even now, aliens are dissecting it, trying to get to grips with our human brain. Perhaps they think it's an actual non-fiction book and gives the secrets to life. (Probably does)
Then again, perhaps I just plain old lost the thing!
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on 2 January 2014
looking through my purchase history and find among others that I failed to sing the deserved praises of this wonderful collaborative book.
I got this before I bought my Kindle so holding up a paperback was when I had arms like 10" Chrome Molybdenum, super heated steam pipe, and yet fatigue was never an issue. This was because of the magical content of the book, fooling my brain into shutting down my nervous system. For the time the reading lasted, who knows how long that was?, I was unaware of anything else. The drawback could be starvation or dehydration, so thank all the God's that obviously, the book was not that long.

Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, what a collaboration, yet where they conjoin in the telling of this supernova of wit and mental wilfulness is all but impossible to discern. They collide, conjoin, (in a nice way) and form one coherent being with fantastic and exhilarating ideas and characters. Even Agnes Nitt, who is the glue in many ways. I cannot praise this book highly enough even with words like fanciful, extravagant, extraordinary, irrational, wild, mad, incredible, fantastic or in polish, fantastyczny, I think.

Three times read and it will not be the last, as every time something different or alternative angle is forthcoming. Story within story, word layered on word, like spells with Isinglass, clearing a new wine, or the debris of what you may have once believed, clarity brought through contentment. I think that about does it.
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on 13 September 2013
A (much younger) friend of the "The trouble with black's is it's too pale" persuasion - I think they call themselves Huns, or something like that, and for reasons I don't understand are very scathing if you compare them to Emus - was telling me that Neil Gaiman was her favourite writer, with Terry Pratchett coming in second only after a photo finish and a careful examination of the prints by the Chairman of Booky Club. She described reading Gaiman's work as like lying recumbent on a huge, deep pile of soft, silky cushions while eating scented flowers dipped in honey, while every few seconds an invisible entity tickles you so expertly you giggle, snicker, laugh and even guffaw so much that you begin to worry you won't have enough left in you to see you through the rest of your life. Well, maybe she didn't exactly say that, but she did mention she quite liked his work and thought she'd heard somewhere that several other people around the world were mildly appreciative too. I'm now one of those people. I've just read 'Good Omens' in one sitting and am about to start straight away on 'American Gods' (her all-time favourite, she says). A word of caution, however. It's not only wonderfully inventive in unexpected ways, and wittily funny. You may find your general knowledge gets a good top up using the 'Search Google/Wikipedia function to wander off down little side streets of human history leading to loony beliefs and bizarre experiments of such eccentricity that even this pair of writers would struggle to dream up. So it's educational too! What more can you ask?
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on 14 April 2015
Good Omens, the book, is one of my favourites, what would happen if the son of satan had a proper British upbringing & and not a privelaged American childhood. The book happily gets an outing every couple of years.
Good Omens, the radio dramatisation, also happens to be rather excellent. The production boasts a sharp script, and an amazing cast (particularly the two police officers in eps.1). I listened when it first aired on radio 4, and waited patiently for the cd to be released, the cd contains extra/extended scenes and the obligatory out takes.
Well worth a listen.
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on 31 January 2018
I found the story labours on and on. Couldn't finish. Genius writing though it has to be said, it's also very dry/witty in parts. Maybe my sense of humour isn't quite atuned to Gaimans style - I've not fallen in love with his other books, though I did enjoy them. The Discworld series had me in stitches.

The humour in this felt a bit too clever and contrived for me, for it to truly feel natural, but I can see how another might find it hilarious.
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