Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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

(hb; 1990)

From the back cover:

"According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

"So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . . "


Omens is a mostly fun, laugh-out-loud hilarious and clever tale of a divine, bureaucratic apocalypse with engaging characters, (mostly) fast action and Hitcher-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy-ish silliness. I say "mostly" because during certain bits -- particularly those involving the Them (eleven-year old Adam and his three adventurous peers), Aziraphale (an angel) and his various books, and Shadwell (a witch-hunter) -- could have been trimmed, cutting the book down by a quarter of its length, making Omens a better read. (Part of my boredom with the aforementioned, overlong parts may be due in part to my not being an Anglophile, as most of these parts are uber-British giggly in tone. . .  the interview at the end of the book confirms that those overlong parts were likely written by Pratchett, something worth noting.)

This is a worthwhile purchase for fans of silly-Brit humor, and a decent -- if sometimes a chore of a read -- book to borrow from a local library for those who are not Anglophiles.


In April 2016, Neil Gaiman said in interviews that he was three-quarters of the way through a six-episode teleplay version of the book. (Pratchett died in 2015.) Thus far, there is no release date for resulting cable miniseries. I will update the information about this miniseries when I get more information about it and have time to post it.

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