Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens

What happens when saving the world is left up to an angel and a demon? All hell breaks lose.

In Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, Crowley is Eden’s serpent and today’s angel that “sauntered vaguely downwards”. Despite this, he has nearly as much conscience as the average human being.

And while common sense would tell you that the demon’s angelic counterpart, Aziraphale, Eden’s and the later world’s angel who too, has “sauntered vaguely downwards”, should be at loggerheads considering the fact that they are playing for opposite teams, it is not so. In Good Omens, the boundaries between dark and light, the quintessential good and bad, and angels and demons, blur.

Neil Gaiman and Terry Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens is kind of the epitome of tongue in cheek humor neatly tied into a story that is in essence questioning concepts like what is good and bad, can the good really survive without the bad, how do both balance themselves out eventually, and is an uprising on either side a part of the natural course of things?

The authors gives their own perspective about these questions with unexpected quips between Crowley and Aziraphale, in Eden and later. Their easy camaraderie, friendly banter and understanding of why the other person does or believes in what they do, despite the fact that they are from completely different realms makes for
an “unputdownable” (cliched, I know) book. Little wonder then, that the book has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award.

This book follows the crazy lives of Crowley and Aziraphale, who have been around since the beginning of time, over the course of a few years. The milestone event that brings them together in the book is one that can change the course of every person’s life on earth – the end of times. Yes, I know this sounds like a garden variety beginning for a fantasy novel. But it is not. It is about The End of Times – the way Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett imagine, it could be, with Aziraphale and Crowley (read, Heaven’s and Hell’s respective representatives), actually working together. Are they on the same side? That’s a mystery that I felt stayed very real right up until the end.

Well, it’s not just Aziraphale and Crowley who run the show here. There are the four horsemen, who charge right into the book looking badass on their bikes, wreaking havoc. They have their younger counterparts who are about as clueless as a puppy would be in an electromagnetics seminar. There’s also magic and guns, a prophetic witch and an all powerful child, and oh, did I mention, heaven and hell and their aides?

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