Book Recommendation: Good Omens

It’s the end of the world as we know it

This week, I didn’t want to focus on a new release for my Book Recommendation. Instead, I wanted to honor the late great Terry Pratchett with the book that introduced me to his madcap imagination: Good Omens.

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world’s last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.

Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon — each of whom has lived among Earth’s mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle — are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they’ve got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he’s a really nice kid). There’s just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . . .

Let’s do this.

What Intrigued Me: Honestly, what got me to first pick this book up is Neil Gaiman. I had just discovered Gaiman and was eager to read everything he had ever written. Of course, then I read Good Omens and was eager to read everything Terry Pratchett had ever written (which is a much longer list). But it was bound to happen. Reading Pratchett is like marathoning several Monty Python movies. His writing is hysterical and sharp and so so clever. And the best part is, you devour his work so fast, you don’t realize how much work must have gone into it until it’s over. While you’re reading, you’re too entertained to think of anything other than reading more.

And laughing. Always laughing.

What Hooked Me: I was a goner a few pages into Good Omens, when I reached a minor joke about how Crowley’s car transformed every tape into The Best of Queen. I am a lifelong Queen fan, and used to listen to Queen every day in my car in high school. It felt like that throwaway joke was written just for me.

And that’s just a minor joke. The book only gets better from there.

What Made Me Fall In Love: God, everything? Seriously. I love the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse. I love Crowley and Aziraphale. I love Adam and Dog. I love Anathema and Newton. They’re all fantastic, the whole plot is fantastic, and the writing is just so effortless and funny. God, it’s funny. Even after 20 years, it’s still one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

So thanks, Terry Pratchett. Thank you for writing one of my favorite books of all time.

Truth

Good Omens is available online or at your local bookstore. If you haven’t read it (or haven’t read it in a while), pick up a copy and fall in love. And laugh.

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