Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Just finished reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Good Omens is a story about the Apocalypse.  The end of the world is, quite literally, nigh.  In fact life as we currently know it will cease next week!  At least that would be the case if a bunch of bungling satanic nuns hadn’t made a major faux pas when transferring the son of the anti-christ with that of a newly born child. I won’t elaborate further on the plot.

This book has a very generous helping of great characters but in particular Crowley and Aziraphale.  Crowley is a fallen angel, put upon earth to tempt us humans into wrong doing – although in fairness he doesn’t seem to work terribly hard at it and seems to be of the opinion that we’re doing reasonably well unassisted.  Aziraphale is an angel, trying to protect us from demons.  These two characters have spent so long on earth that not only have they become ambivalent towards each other but they actually like the world just as it is and are not in any rush to see it’s demise.  On top of these two we have the four riders of the apocalypse to contend with, a bunch of kids living in a small village and getting up to all sorts of antics a descendent of Agnes the Witch and a couple of witch hunters.  Yes, the characters are very colourful and entertaining indeed.

I did like this book.  I liked the setting, I liked the alternative take on the end of the world, the bungling demons and nuns and I thought the humour was brilliant.  However, and I don’t really know why, I didn’t love it.  And, I’m struggling to understand why.  I do think it was very readable and would have no hesitation in recommending it to fans of both these authors but I think I probably wasn’t in the right mood – I’m more in the mood for dark and creepy fantasy at the moment.  So, maybe I’ll revisit this again at a point in the future when I’m of a mind to have a good laugh.  I could also put it down to the fact that my first Gaiman read was Neverwhere – which I was totally in love with so I probably went into this with that sort of expectation.

On the whole, Good Omens was a Good Read.

Good Omens

Good Omens

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14 Responses to “Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett”

  1. Grant

    I personally hate Terry Pratchett, so Good Omens for me was too much of his style, and not enough of Neil Gaiman unfortunately. I love Neil Gaiman’s other books.

    • lynnsbooks

      Hi Grant
      I must admit that I do like Neil Gaiman and his dark imaginings. I’ve only read Nation by Terry Pratchett so I’m probably not the best judge of his work but I’m not sure that I’m a fan of combined author works – at least not here!
      Lynn 😀

  2. jessicabookworm

    I really liked this book, unlike you though I’m not a fan of Neil Gaiman I read Stardust and couldn’t get over how depressing it was! My friend bought me this book to change my mind about Gaiman. While I mainly read it because I love Terry Pratchett. I think these two authors compliment each other really well. Gaiman is edgey but not that funny. Pratchett is very funny but not edgey.

    • lynnsbooks

      I must admit that I like Gaiman’s edginess – it’s what I enjoy about his novels. To be fair to both authors I don’t think I was in the mood for this particular book at the time of reading – sometimes you just go into a novel almost pre-disposed to like it. I did like it but I didn’t love it. I can see what you mean about the two authors complimenting each other though.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Biblibio

    I also liked, but did not love, Good Omens. I think part of it has to do with the fact that Pratchett’s humor is very distinct, and distinctly overshadows any of Gaiman’s slightly more subtle approach. The concept behind the book is great and some moments are pure brilliance, but overall I think there is some mysterious missing link in Good Omens that disappoints readers like us.

    • lynnsbooks

      This is what I also thought – I just couldn’t pinpoint it or why I didn’t just ‘love’ the book. Maybe I just prefer their writing styles to be kept separately – it’s almost like I had a different expectation because of the two authors and so because their styles were mixed I felt disappointed. It was neither Gaiman or Pratchett. So if this had been a new author it might have been more enjoyable for me because I wouldn’t have had any preconceived ideas.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Rose's Thingamajig

    I adore both of these authors. I have read every Terry Pratchett novel bar Nation, and every Neil Gaiman one bar American Gods (I know, I know, it’s amazing, what’s wrong with me… I just haven’t had time!)

    Good Omens is one of my favourite books of all time. I love it. I think it’s an inspiration to anyone contemplating co-writing with someone, because it works so much better than I though a shared project could work. The two styles mingle perfectly, and you can spot some of the Pratchett and some of the Gaiman a mile away- they’re both so distinctive. Anyway, I thought it was hilarious, absurd, a nice realist twist to Pratchett’s usual fantasy and a nice absurdist twist to Gaiman’s usual fantasy.

    It’s definitely worth a re-read, and if you want to read a Pratchett novel, I would choose one of his Discworld ones rather than Nation. If you need any recommendations, by the by, I have many. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      The comments for this book have given me a good chuckle. People who firmly love Pratchett and people who firmly love Gaiman. To be honest the only Pratchett i’ve read is Nation! Typical hey? I think I probably should read this again – give it a second chance when I’m more in the sort of mood to appreciate it.

      Lynn 😀

  5. Ana

    I didn’t love this book either. I think I had a bit of trouble with the humour. I kind of wanted it to be more serious, I think it would have been more engaging.

    • lynnsbooks

      I don’t know why because I like both authors – maybe just not together. It’s not a popular opinion though as most people I know seem to love it.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Ana

    Well, I have been a fan of Gaiman for years now. People love Terry Pratchett but since I didn’t enjoy this book that much I just didn’ feel compelled to try his other books. I feel like I should whisper that for fear of lynching, though!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, he’s very popular – I haven’t read all his discworld series because it’s a bit daunting but I did enjoy his Tiffany Aching series which I read as part of a readalong. Tiffany Aching and the other witches are just awesome and you don’t have to read the series in order so you can’t literally just pick those books up by themselves.
      Lynn 😀

      • Ana

        Ah yes Discworld, I have heard wonders about it. And yep, other folks have told me you don’t have to start with a specific book, but I always prefer to start with the first in a series. Maybe I will get around to it.
        Thank you for the suggestions! So I take it one of those would be the place to start for someone who doesn’t know much of Pratchett?

      • lynnsbooks

        The Tiffany Aching books are really engaging and fun. We all had a lot of fun with the Wee Free Men and Nanny Ogg.
        Lynn 😀

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