Monday, October 7, 2013

That's how it goes, you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you

I wish I had read Good Omens sooner. Like in high school. And I don't mean "I wish I'd read it sooner because I think I missed my window, like with A Wrinkle in Time." I mean it like "Dammit, high school me would have really liked this book, as does present day me, and had I read it back in high school I'd have more time to read and enjoy it." Which I know is a little When Harry Met Sally-esque, but still. True.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is the story of the Apocalypse, which is due to happen next Saturday. In preparation Satan sent his son up to earth to be born, but there was a bit of a mix up in the Satanist Nun run hospital and little Adam was raised as a normal human. Of course he still has a very confused hellhound. Best friends Aziraphale and Crowley, and angel and demon respectively, have grown to enjoy (or are at least amused by) Earth and the people on it and aren't so keen for everything to end. The Four Horsemen, War, Famine, Pollution (Pestilence retired once penicillin was invented), and Death are gathering. Then there's Anathema Device, descendant of the titular prophet and witch Agnes Nutter, who has the only copy of Agnes's totally accurate prophesies and knows the end is coming. She joins forces with Newton Pulsifer, descendant of the man that orchestrated Agnes's burning at the stake, to try to find the Antichrist.

My first Gaiman experience didn't go so well but I heard there was a connection between this book and the movie Dogma which I was (am) a big big fan of. Hence the reason why high school me probably would have loved this book. After this I'm thinking Gaiman needs to team up with Prachett all the time, pleaseandthankyou. This was great. It was hilarious and surprisingly easy to keep track of all of the characters and story lines that all come together to try to stop the impending Apocalypse.

The biggest complaint I have is that the book went by too quickly. I couldn't help by blow through it. I wanted to know what happened next. I wanted to see if Adam ever realized the powers he had. I wanted to see if Asiraphale and Crowley would be able to find Adam and stop the Final Judgement. The Four Horsemen are dealt with so cleverly. Pollution is a little heavy handed and I could see him as a Captain Planet villain, but Famine is so great (he owns restaurants that serve insanely small portions and creates diet food so even people in developed nations are literally starving to death) that it all evens out.

I'm not really sure what to say. Anytime I write a review of a book I enjoy I never really know what to say to really convince you that you should read this. Guess it's a good thing I don't write book reviews or anything. So yeah, if you liked Dogma you should read this cos you'll probably enjoy it too. It's not the same and it's not a movie version or interpretation of the book, but you can tell the book influenced the movie (and I believe Smith even thanked Gaiman in the credits. Which seems mean to leave Pratchett out...) If you haven't seen Dogma, you should do that. Then you should go ahead and read this. Or read this first and then see the movie. Either order is fine, really. As long as you've got both covered.

Title quote from page 22

Gaiman, Neil and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. HarperTorch, 1990