Good Omens

Recommendation: Why not, I’ve suggested infinitely worse

Where to read: Somewhere a little like Ampersand

Read with: Hot chocolate I suppose

In brief: It’s good fun, rib-crackingly hilarious, the TV series is excellent, if marred by a substandard score, the ending is a little underdone.

Good Omens is one of the few (fiction) books I’ve read in the last year or two which kept me up far past my bedtime… both times I read it. Whether or not that’s a good thing is a genuine question however the fact remains that this is an absolute hoot.

That said, if you don’t have the same sense of humour, you are probably going to struggle. Before making a decision to buy or not, I would highly recommend downloading the sample on iBooks/kindle/whatever or picking it up at the bookshop and reading a couple of pages – if you’re awkwardly giggling to yourself in the corner of the shop, get it. If you haven’t been tickled at all, put it down and you can safely ignore the rest of this review.

The main delight here, to be honest, is the interplay between Aziraphale and Crowley. Some of the supporting characters are good fun, with particular credit going to the Four Horsemen, and the children, despite being a bit MacGuffin-ish, have their moments, but most of the funnies and all of the interesting character development comes from them (as does the hot chocolate recommendation).

The other source of entertainment is the near constant stream of one-liners, satirical quips and situational comedy. One gets the sense that both Gaiman and Pratchett put their tongues firmly in their cheeks at the start of the exercise and refused to remove them for the duration. Some of the set-pieces are uproariously funny, particularly, to my corporate mind at least, a shoot out at the conference centre.

The ending is, unfortunately, a bit of a let down. It’s not bad, per se, but it doesn’t quite live up to the hilarity that is the rest of the book and the appearance of the literal devil in a full “Armageddon-is-nigh” showdown is a tad incongruous. The TV show managed the coda rather better I think but you’ve got to wrap it up somehow I guess… And the less said about the Newton-Angela side-story the better, quite frankly.

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