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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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22,94451551 (4.27)2 / 959
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 by Terry Pratchett (1990)

  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
    A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Gaiman has acknowledged his debt to Zelanzy. It echoes in Good Omens.
  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
    Breakfast with the Ones You Love by Eliot Fintushel (octopedingenue)
  15. 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...
  16. 20
    If at Faust You Don't Succeed by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
  17. 20
    Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese (Awfki)
    Awfki: Not nearly as good but another humorous take on the apocalypse.
  18. 10
    Repossessed by A. M. Jenkins (allthesedarnbooks)
  19. 43
    Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore (LunarEclipse)
  20. 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)

(see all 33 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 498 (next | show all)
Read it before years ago- I think I tore my way through it on my first read, because I enjoyed a lot more detail this time through.
Hilarity and dry wit abound- anyone else hear Alan Rickman's voice in their head as Crowley? (Especially when threatening the houseplants with bodily harm...)
I still think Gaiman and Pratchett are GeniusWriters™. ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
The Kindle edition of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett that I downloaded was a 2011 reprint edition from William Morrow (publisher) sold by Harper Collins Publishers. At four hundred thirty-three pages, the novel is such a huge collection of very funny stuff and observations that it is best read in segments. While you are reading something else. If you get bogged down in something a bit too serious (even a book!) you would have the comfortable knowledge that you have a collection of absurdities in reserve that can pull you out of dull situations.

It is a cult classic and I am not going to waste a bunch of time trying to come up with superlatives not yet used. It is worth reading the reviews such as the ones I found on Amazon. The novel is not everyone’s cup of tea; there are many negative ones. Most of the negative ones I read were of Neil Gaiman and those reviewers complained about a difference in the Gaiman style as compared to his other works. I felt those reviewers were unfair. I can bet there are a bunch of Christian religious fundamentalists (not extremists) which would not even attempt to see safely the humor in the naming and depictions of various members of the holy (and unholy) establishment. Who would have the temerity to suggest that War, Death, and Famine could keep their original Four Horsemen names but Pestilence was going to have to accept an upgrade to Pollution due to the demands of technology?

Back to two complaints I have about the edition I read. (1) Who cares about publisher and publishers and reprint editions and the “when” of an edition? Me, when the novel becomes hard to read. Throughout this edition, there were symbols that looked like this * throughout the novel. I couldn’t initially find what they referred to. The story was moving along nicely at its usual speed of light and ignoring the symbols didn’t hinder its movement at all. Then I found all the referenced items at the end of the novel. And they were interesting. But at that point, there were no page references and I couldn’t easily go back to what they referred to. Grrrr! So, for a better reading experience, click on the tiny symbols. They will take you to the reference. Then click the back button on the Kindle App and it will take you back to the page you were on … maybe. I don’t know how it works when you are reading the novel on several devices at once and synchronization kicks in. That is what caused me problems.

(2) This book was written by two authors in sort of a back-and-forth style. If one couldn’t get past a certain point (make it funny) the other kicked in new ideas. Through lots and lots of conference calls, they came up with this. Of course, Gaiman’s style was different! I am sure both he and Terry Pratchett made compromises in their final submission. I found many of the negative reviewer comments irrelevant.

Now a bit about content. Here are some of the lines I found attention grabbing. Having read these, no way I could put the book down. After reading the subtitle I was hooked. “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.” How could I walk away from that? It quickly became apparent that Agnes had written a book predicting the Apocalypse, the end of Days. And, looking at the table of contents (of this novel, not the one by Agnes) we can see that it is going to be very soon. It is a matter of days. Certain events and signs must happen first (re: the four Horsemen) but a lot of subordinate characters, angels and lesser angels, demons and lesser demons, Witchhunters, and innocent bystanders go in search for the missing ingredient, the Antichrist. The Antichrist, appropriately named Adam, has not exactly gotten sidetracked in his mission. He was never informed of the mission. He grew up as a “normal” boy. Although he always seemed to be the leader of any group, the one with the best ideas, and the ability to bend everyone else to his will, he did not act knowingly as the Antichrist. He is simply known by his nickname “The Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness. (p. 27). At least that is what Crowley, Satan’s representative on Earth, calls his soon-to-be-master.

This is a hilarious, sarcastic, cynical, and absurd look at the fragility of human nature. For those who want to relate absurd happenings to literal happenings in present day reality, there is lots of material to allow a reader to do that.

But I couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t want to spoil it with reality. I will read more novels with the Gaiman name. And I will take care of them. I will not treat them in a way described at the beginning of this novel. “If we run across a shiny new copy, it’s usually because the owner’s previous five have been stolen by friends, struck by lightning or eaten by giant termites in Sumatra. You have been warned. Oh, and we understand there’s a copy in the Vatican library.” (p. 2). ( )
  ajarn7086 | Oct 22, 2016 |
It's been years since I read this the first time. I finished rereading it last night, and it's better than I remembered. It's not my favorite Terry Pratchett book, but it probably is my favorite by Neil Gaiman. It's a contemporary fantasy, which is not my favorite speculative fiction sub-genre. Fantasy in a real world setting seldom seems to gel well with me, although there have been exceptions. This book about 'good' and 'evil' and humanity, which may be better than both, is one. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
( )
  Crissy8686 | Oct 6, 2016 |
The number of times the word 'ineffable' appears in this book is ineffable.

I'm now also pretty sure (85.2% if we're counting) that I called my dog into being and that there's still a little hellhound mixed up in there. I haven't personally caught a glimpse of the glowing red eyes but am largely certain that she has morphing capabilities and hell-level sarcasm. Two of three... two of three.

Anyways, the review.

I enjoyed this read. Granted, I haven't had much experience with Gaimon (just read Stardust recently, that's how much) and I haven't had the pleasure of delving into any Pratchett. So my ability to compare and contrast is woefully insufficient. I'm a bit happy it worked out this way however. Reading an early work without any prior opinions on or prejudices from later works is a pretty satisfying place to be.

I took it as two authors taking a bit of the piss and having some laughs while they played pass the story and found it to be a pretty funny read. The Them made me think of a cross between The Boxcar Children and a 90's punk(ish) band that has more "formerlies" trailing behind their current name than songs in their repertoire. While their banter and adventures were decent fun throughout I felt a distinct petering out as the story went on. Which is the main basis for this being a 3-star review. Action seemed more accidental and "fall-as-it-may" than anything else and while that was slapdash and off kilter for the beginning of the book it seemed too patchworky come the end. I didn't get the rush of things between the Gangs of Four or feel any of it to be flowing cohesively to any particularly degree.

Like the quote about Crowley being “An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards,” (which gave me a chuckle) the ending sauntered vaguely in the eye of the storm and I felt like I missed the, forgive the pun, big bang. Alas, even with no bang to be had, except for Anathema and Newt of course, it was a decent enough ride with enough chuckles to be worth the read.

It also had me constantly craving a cup of tea. Always a benny unless there's no one to bribe into making said cup of tea so that you don't have to leave the page or reading nook you're currently pasted to.
( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 498 (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
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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