Eleven years before the scheduled Armageddon, two world-loving other-worldly creatures – one a demon, the other an angel – accidentally misplace the antichrist with a little help/hindrance from a scatter-brained satanic nun. Chaos ensues – with all the forces of heaven, hell, and a village in Oxfordshire trying to keep up as the appointed dayeth and hour draws near.
I love Terry Pratchett books. I love Neil Gaiman books.
So a book written by both of them about the end of the world?
Well, it sounded pretty perfect to me.
Plus, with a TV adaptation of Good Omens set to be released later this month – trailer here – now felt like the ideal time to dip my toe into this epic co-authoring waters.
And it was pretty perfect.
Once I got into its absurdly wonderful flow it was hard not to fall head over heels in love with how ridiculous it all was.
Clearly, Gaiman and Pratchett had a lot of fun writing the book. Ninety-nine percent of the time that translated as fun to read. One percent of the time, though, and I feel like killjoy R.P. Tyler* for saying this, it translated as slightly irritating because the storyline seemed to lose out to a two/three/four paragraphs long (plus a detailed footnote) gag. Hence** the pretty before the perfect.
Good Omens is definitely a Marmite kind of book – you’ll love it or you’ll hate it depending on your sense of humour. It’s very British, very Monty Pythonesque, very weird and wacky, very over the top, and very unapologetic for it.
I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
*my favourite secondary (maybe thirdondary, possibly even fourthondary) character. There are loads of these brilliant minor characters throughout the book.
**yes, I used the word hence. Yes, I am a hundred years old.
And finally, can we all just take a moment to appreciate Poppy, my wonderful photography assistant…