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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies…

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (original 1990; edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

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21,93247960 (4.28)2 / 913
Title:Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperTorch (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library, Bedroom, Read, Fiction
Tags:Fantasy, Humor, Apocalypse

Work details

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (1990)

  1. 391
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : A Trilogy in Five Parts by Douglas Adams (ShelfMonkey)
  2. 190
    Neverwhere: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (Pigletto)
  3. 161
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (flonor)
  4. 130
    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.
  5. 120
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  6. 121
    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (yokai)
  7. 111
    Mort by Terry Pratchett (Pigletto)
  8. 82
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (mcenroeucsb)
  9. 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
  10. 51
    Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett (NatalieAsIs)
  11. 52
    Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore (LunarEclipse)
  12. 52
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (infiniteletters)
  13. 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...
  14. 20
    Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese (Awfki)
    Awfki: Not nearly as good but another humorous take on the apocalypse.
  15. 20
    Breakfast with the Ones You Love by Eliot Fintushel (octopedingenue)
  16. 20
    If at Faust you don't succeed by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
  17. 20
    Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard (TracyRowan)
    TracyRowan: Recommended for those who like their horror blended with a lively sense of the absurd.
  18. 10
    A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Gaiman has acknowledged his debt to Zelanzy. It echoes in Good Omens.
  19. 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)
  20. 10
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (sturlington)

(see all 34 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 463 (next | show all)
As for Neil Gaiman, I've only read "Neverwhere", which was an excellent story about another world (also a nether world) that exists beneath the streets of London, intricately weaving fantasy with the groundedness of the everyday life we're all too familiar with. "Good Omens," which Gaiman started and eventually co-wrote with Terry Pratchett, succeeds at combining reality with a showdown between good and evil, Heaven and Hell, the seed of Armageddon already sewn and blooming for us over a period of days, chapter by chapter. If the end of the world could be handled in a mostly light-hearted and humorous manner, this is it. The book is fillled with clever observations on good and evil, the nature of mankind, and the free will. One gets the feeling that these two authors put more stock in humans and their ability to create Heaven or Hell right here rather than just being subjects of divine or devilish influence. Footnotes regularly appear to expand on little things we take for granted, like the road to Hell being paved with good intentions; it's explained that the road does exist, but it's actually paved with salesmen, which the younger demons ice skate over in winter.

An enjoyable read, but it does have a somewhat weak and predicted (vice predictable) ending. A lot of fun and worth revisiting for its useful observations on the world we know. One that rings true for anyone in the security or defense business: "Sometimes human beings are very much like bees. Bees are fiercely protective of their hive, provided you are outside it. Once you’re in, the workers sort of assume that it must have been cleared by management and take no notice; various freeloading insects have evolved a mellifluous existence because of this very fact. Humans act the same way.” ( )
  traumleben | Nov 11, 2015 |
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). ( )
  Irena. | Nov 3, 2015 |
Discussed on the A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast, episode 80.

http://agoodstoryishardtofind.blogspot.com/2014/04/good-story-080-good-omens.htm... ( )
  ScottDDanielson | Oct 23, 2015 |
I'm a bit behind on the Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett bandwagon. I only this summer purchased a handful of novels from both authors, starting with this one. I'd read some of Neil Gaiman's work before and stalk (oh wait, I mean follow) some of his going ons through twitter and other such nonsense, but I had never actually read a Neil Gaiman novel aside from Stardust & Coraline. (Though, those two are brilliant. Go read them.)
Now, when you think of the apocalypse, I can't imagine that you think of anything nearly as hilarious as this book. This book essentially follows the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale as they attempt to stop the apocalypse. Well, not stop exactly, because it actually is their job to get it going, ineffable plan and all that.
Unfortunately, there's a bad switch up at the hospital and the Antichrist seems to have gone missing. Which really throws a ratchet into the plans. He's kind of essential to the whole business working, you know. It kind of hinges on him.
On top of following the angel and the demon, the book also tags along with Anathema Device, a witch and the descendant of the great Agnes Nutter, the one and only true prophet. Of course, she was a very bad prophet because unfortunately all her predictions were true.
The book actually follows a handful of characters, all the characters, in fact, and it does so beautifully. Usually, I prefer it if the point of view rests on one, maybe two characters, possibly a few more. Usually, when authors try to give you the points of view of ALL of the characters, it becomes too much. Not so in this book. Probably because it's Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman writing it, mostly because the entire cast of characters is brilliant and I love them all.
I especially love Aziraphale and Crowley. They were, by far, the best parts of the book. I was actually a teeny bit disappointed when the book started to focus more on Anathema and Adam Young and a little less on the angel and the demon. Regardless, this book is fantastic.
Really, I think that this is the kind of book you read out loud to whoever is listening, and if they don't want to listen, you tie them to their chair and duct tape their mouth closed and keep reading anyway. That's what I did, whenever someone walked into my dorm room while I was reading this, I would stop them and force them to listen to choice passages from the book. Whether they wanted to, or not.
I haven't found a book that makes me genuinely laugh out loud in so long, and I spent most of this book near crying with laughter because it's just so funny. It's witty and brilliant and I love it so much.
The perfect thing about this books is that, I can already tell, no matter how many times I read it, it will still be wildly hilarious and brilliant.
Personally, I think everyone should read this... that's just my opinion, but I think it's flat out brilliant. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
An interesting look at what the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse would look like in modern times. A limp ending but an interesting tale and characters more than makes up for it. ( )
1 vote bhutton | Oct 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 463 (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.
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.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Aug 15, 1990)
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)

» 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
jarvis, martinNarratorsecondary 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 (4)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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