Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
And Neil Gaiman. The Goodreads html-code-thingy does not include Neil Gaiman as an author. Sacrilege. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman wrote this book together, and the afterword has a good bit about the process and the fun they had that makes me insanely jealous and a little swoony.
Speaking of sacrilege.
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.*
In a nutshell, this book is about good, evil, and free will, and is one of the most deceptively deep, laugh-out-loud funny, and uncommonly wise books I have ever read. The similarity to Douglas Adams and HHGTTG is there, in that it deals with the end of the world and the nature of spiritual dichotomy and the nature of being human and other cosmic sorts of things with sharp insight and Brit humour** but without space aliens. The jacket tells you the basics – Armageddon is coming, not all the forces of Good and Evil necessarily want it to happen (but guess which side wants it more), and nobody can find what they did with the Antichrist.*** Helping things along are two unlikely sets of the Four Horsemen, a descendant of the world’s foremost prophetess, and her newly acquired lover (a Witchfinder, naturally). Staunch believers may not care for the blasphemy, but it is hilarious blasphemy, which is really the best kind, and all part of a grand romp.
Just read it.
This is why I do reading challenges. Without them, I might never stumble across gems like this one. This title was #7 (a book with multiple authors) and #15 (a book with a subtitle) on this year’s challenge. A great find.
Bookshelves: brit-lit, cult-classic, end-of-the-world, funny, fantasy, humor, i-am-an-anglophile, magic, philosophy, religion-sort-of, reading-challenge, satire, this-is-the-stuff-right-here, what-is-it-all-for-anyway, poking-fun-at-serious-stuff
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*Except Donald Trump. He’s fundamentally bad.
**You’ll notice I spelled humour correctly.
***Hint: The Oval Office. Oh wait, that’s not in the book. Never mind.