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Good Omens by Terry Pratchett

Good Omens (1990)

by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,28352147 (4.27)2 / 992
  1. 382
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : A Trilogy in Five Parts by Douglas Adams (ShelfMonkey)
  2. 190
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Pigletto)
  3. 151
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (flonor)
  4. 120
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  5. 120
    The Gates by John Connolly (midnightbex)
    midnightbex: Dealing with a similar end of the world theme, The Gates tells an entirely different but equally hilarious story about the apocalypse. As an added bonus, there is also the occasional amusing and often diverting foot note to look forward to.
  6. 121
    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (yokai)
  7. 121
    Mort by Terry Pratchett (Pigletto)
  8. 82
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (mcenroeucsb)
  9. 51
    Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett (NatalieAsIs)
  10. 40
    A Sudden Wild Magic by Diana Wynne Jones (allisongryski)
    allisongryski: These two books share a certain cheeky darkness and both have fantastic eccentric characters and wildly inventive plots
  11. 52
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (infiniteletters)
  12. 20
    The Damned Busters by Matthew Hughes (hairball)
    hairball: This is kind of an obvious one, but hey! someone has to point out the obvious...
  13. 20
    The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (kale.dyer)
    kale.dyer: British humor and modern approach to myths.
  14. 20
    A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Gaiman has acknowledged his debt to Zelanzy. It echoes in Good Omens.
  15. 20
    Breakfast with the Ones You Love by Eliot Fintushel (octopedingenue)
  16. 20
    Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese (Awfki)
    Awfki: Not nearly as good but another humorous take on the apocalypse.
  17. 20
    If at Faust You Don't Succeed by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
  18. 10
    Barking Mad: A Reginald Spiffington Mystery by Jamieson Ridenhour (ChillnND)
    ChillnND: I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman style comedy fantasy and I found Barking Mad to be not dissimilar in its level of wit and humor combined with the supernatural/fantasy genre. Barking aims a bit more at good-natured parody of Agatha Christie and similarly styled mysteries. I looked forward to every minute of reading it and hope the author gives us some more Spiffington mysteries.… (more)
  19. 10
    Apocalypse by Nancy Springer (aulsmith)
  20. 43
    Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore (LunarEclipse)

(see all 35 recommendations)

1990s (2)
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English (504)  Spanish (4)  German (4)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Polish (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All (521)
Showing 1-5 of 504 (next | show all)
I could not finish after getting halfway through. I don't know what happened. Some good sections and then it went nowhere. I will try another Gaiman. as I loved Coraline.
  sacredheart25 | Mar 4, 2017 |
Halfway through reading Good Omens I hit a sudden slump. I lost all interest and set it down for a few days. I picked it back up, powered through a few dozen pages, then it caught my interest again long enough to carry me through the rest of the book. The book was enjoyable, but what caused this slump?

I find I must join the ranks of those who act as though this book consisted entirely of Crowley and Aziraphale. They are easily the most interesting characters, their quest (which ultimately proves to be inconsequential) is the most interesting both from a plot point of view and perhaps equal with Adam's in terms of exploring an idea (good and evil being similar vs. Adam's exploration of what an reality-shaping 12-year-old would be like), and it seems that their personalities are the ones that have most resonated with readers.

Compared to them, it was difficult to really care about Sergeant Shadwell, Newton Pulsifer, or Anathema Device who would pop in and require some willpower to continue reading through (although I did come to care about them, roughly on par with the way I care about certain people on social media. I wanted an occasional note letting me know how they were doing, but nothing that would get in the way of what I really wanted to do that day, which was read more Crowley and Aziraphale), and the idea of Adam the Antichrist was more interesting than actually reading about the Them.

By the end, as everyone comes to play their proper roles, I was satisfied with how the story came together. Even as the central conflict is sort of waved away (that waving away was probably the most appropriate conclusion), I was satisfied with what the story was. I was satisfied with the way it played with the ideas of good, evil, and ineffability.

It was just the middle that had a bit too much that failed to grab. ( )
  GTWise | Feb 23, 2017 |
This review was originally posted here at Anime Radius.

Once in a while, you come across a book that defies all expectations, hits all the right notes, is intelligent without seeming pompous, and is utterly hilarious without forcing any laughs. For fantasy fans who love to guffaw in the face of the world’s biblical demise, one of them has to be Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, by co-writers Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, both wonderful scribes on their own. With their powers combined, however, Pratchett and Gaiman are a force to be reckoned with. It’s fun to try and pick out who wrote which parts, their efforts blending seamlessly into one complete work.

Good Omens is, for any geek who wants to be in the know, required reading of the highest order. It is a work that is very quotable, even if the people quoting it don’t realize where they come from. For example, the much coveted and many times altered to fit a multitude of fandoms: “Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.” If you recognize the quote, but with Aziraphale’s name replaced with some other fictional character’s name, congrats: you’ve known a bit of Good Omens without even realizing. So many lines in this novel are deliciously quotable, it would be so easy to go through and just post a giant list of them – but that wouldn’t be much of a review, unfortunately.

There is quite a massive cast of characters in Good Omens, with a whole bevy of interesting people of all walks of life, but the two that are really the stars of the show are demon Crowley and angel Aziraphale, who are continuously proving that opposites attract. Their interactions are always a treat to read, and by themselves they get involved in some of the best scenes of the book, like Crowley’s burning ride into the apocalypse or Aziraphale’s mini-adventure in body hopping which eventually finds him on local television, must to his surprise. When you add in all the humor and snark that seems to come so naturally to the two men writing, not to mention all the action and suspense that comes from trying to prevent the world’s demise, it’s hard not to see how brilliant a book Good Omens is. If you enjoy fantasy books that don’t take themselves too seriously and have a blast doing so, or are just diehard fans of the authors involved, you’d be a fool not to pick this one up. This is certainly a classic in the making. ( )
1 vote SarahHayes | Feb 20, 2017 |
I feel guilty for not liking this book as much as other people do. I simply don't. If there weren't Aziraphale and Crowley in this story, I wouldn't like it at all. There wasn't a scene with them that wasn't funny or interesting. I cannot say that for others.
I don't have any particular reason for this. I simply did not like it. Maybe I will read it again in the future and change my opinion. For now, it would have to do with three stars (two and a half to be precise). ( )
1 vote Aneris | Feb 15, 2017 |
This is a children's story really, funny at times but slightly too childish for adult readers. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 504 (next | show all)
The book tackles things most science fiction and fantasy writers never think about, much less write. It does it in a straightforward manner. It's about Predestination and Free Will, about chaos and order, about human beings, their technology and their belief systems. When the book is talking about the big questions, it's a wow. It leaves room in both the plot and the reader's reactions for the characters to move around in and do unexpected but very human things.
added by Shortride | editThe Washington Post, Howard Waldrop (pay site) (Dec 20, 1990)
''Good Omens'' is a direct descendant of ''The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,'' a vastly overpraised book or radio program or industry or something that became quite popular in Britain a decade ago when it became apparent that Margaret Thatcher would be in office for some time and that laughs were going to be hard to come by.
Just as Douglas Adams worked his joke to death by juxtaposing the tedious lives of ordinary people with events of cosmic significance, so Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, two former journalists, go on and on for 354 pages with their schoolboy wisecracks about Good, Evil, the Meaning of Life and people who drink Perrier... Obviously, it would be difficult to write a 354-page satirical novel without getting off a few good lines. I counted four.
When a scatterbrained Satanist nun goofs up a baby-switching scheme and delivers the infant Antichrist to the wrong couple, it's just the beginning of the comic errors in the divine plan for Armageddon which this fast-paced novel by two British writers zanily details... Some humor is strictly British, but most will appeal even to Americans "and other aliens."
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly (Jul 20, 1990)
Hilariously naughty, and just what you'd expect from a collaboration between comics-veteran Gaiman and fantasist Pratchett. A best-seller in England, and a book to watch here. It could catch on with the Douglas Adams crowd.

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, Neilmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Astrachan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carroll, JackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornner, HaydnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer, MaríaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frampton, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fusari, LucaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ring, JonathanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinkkonen, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, GrahamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home.
The authors would like to join the demon Crowley in dedicating this book to the memory of


A man who knew what was going on.
First words
It was a nice day.
It'd be a funny old world, he reflected, if demons went round trusting one another.
And there was never an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.
In one sense there was just clear air overhead. In another, stretching off to infinity, were the hosts of Heaven and Hell, wingtip to wingtip. If you looked really closely, and had been specially trained, you could tell the difference.
The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible. The lengthy compositor's error, if such it may be called, occurs in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse five....

5. Buggre Alle this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typefettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tighte fisted Southwarke Knobbefticke. I tell you, onne a daye laike thif Ennywone withe half an oz. of Sense shoulde bee oute in the Sunneshain, ane nott Stucke here alle the liuelong daie inn thif mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workefhoppe. @ *"AE@;!*
The Buggre Alle This Bible was also noteworthy for having twenty-seven verses in the third chapter of Genesis, instead of the more usual twenty-four.

They followed verse 24, which in the King James version reads:

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," and read:

25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?

26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget me own head next.

27 And the Lord did not ask him again.

It appears that these verses were inserted during the proof stage. In those days it was common practice for printers to hang proof sheets to the wooden beams outside their shops, for the edification of the populace and some free proofreading, and since the whole print run was subsequently burned anyway, no one bothered to take up this matter with the nice Mr. A. Ziraphale, who ran the bookshop two doors along and was always so helpful with the translations, and whose handwriting was instantly recognizable.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just after tea.
Haiku summary
The novel's message:
"Heaven. Hell. They are both dull.
On Earth, there's sushi!"

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060853980, Mass Market Paperback)

Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame) may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon) of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both. Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor; the result is a humanist delight to be savored and reread again and again. You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:22 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

The world is going to end next Saturday, but there are a few problems--the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the representatives from heaven and hell decide that they like the human race.

» see all 14 descriptions

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