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

by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,55566374 (4.26)2 / 1263
The world is preparing to come to an end according to the Divine Plan recorded in the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded 1655). Meanwhile, a fussy angel and a fast-living demon have grown fond of living among the earth's mortals for many millennia and are not looking forward to the apocalypse. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they must find and kill the Antichrist.… (more)
  1. 422
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Five Parts by Douglas Adams (ShelfMonkey)
  2. 171
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (flonor)
  3. 130
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  4. 163
    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (yokai, jscape2000)
    jscape2000: These authors revel in taking the things you think you know, turning them sideways and shaking them.
  5. 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.
  6. 122
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (mcenroeucsb)
  7. 60
    Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (electronicmemory)
  8. 50
    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
  9. 51
    Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett (NatalieAsIs)
  10. 30
    A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Gaiman has acknowledged his debt to Zelanzy. It echoes in Good Omens.
  11. 41
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (electronicmemory)
  12. 20
    Breakfast with the Ones You Love by Eliot Fintushel (octopedingenue)
  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
    The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (brakketh)
    brakketh: British humor and modern approach to myths.
  15. 53
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (infiniteletters)
  16. 20
    Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese (Awfki)
    Awfki: Not nearly as good but another humorous take on the apocalypse.
  17. 20
    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)
  18. 20
    If at Faust You Don't Succeed by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
  19. 10
    Apocalypse by Nancy Springer (aulsmith)
  20. 10
    Before and After by Matthew Thomas (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: Very similiar in theme and quality, but Good Omens is a better book.

(see all 33 recommendations)

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1990s (20)
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Showing 1-5 of 634 (next | show all)
So much fun! ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
There have been better and longer in depth reviews about this book I am sure. My review is simply this, if you want to have a book that takes pokes at religion, free will, divine destiny, and just the general concept of good and evil look no further.

Reading about the beginning (which sounded like a mess of misunderstandings) and going straight til the Anti-Christ being born (and misplaced) and a demon and angel doing what they can to stave off the Apocalypse was hilarious.

There's a huge cast of characters in this one, but I have to say hands down I adored Crowley and Aziraphale. They were hilarious together and apart and I am sadly disappointed we didn't get more scenes with them. Anytime the action was diverted away from these two I found myself growing bored. I am sure that one of these is a stand-in for Gaiman and the other for Pratchett.

Probably because for me the only other characters that were interesting after these two were War, Famine, Death, and Pollution. Apparently I am all about the bad guys and not really the good ones.

When we dwell on the Anti-Christ (no I won't tell you who) I was bored. Along with reading about Anathema and Newton, I would have been happy that we had not focused so much on these three towards the tail end of the book.

The writing cracked me up. Seriously. A few times I just started laughing. I think it was just the way that they had certain situations happen and with the whole who misplaced the Anti-Christ plot this book keeps you on your toes. As an avid church goer until I was able to finally tell my mom no thank you, I rather sleep in, there were some lovely conversations in this book surrounding free will and destiny. I won't get into that here because we can be here all day about the many contradictions in the Bible and why certain things were allowed to happen.

I was disappointed though we didn't get that epic battle scene that was about to unfold. I put money on Crowley and Aziraphale for the win and somehow almost foiled by the inept Shadwell.

The flow was not great though. The book jumped around too much and honestly I hated it when we had Anathema trying to decipher Agnes Nutter's texts to him. They way the writing was laid out it was hard to read and it was just confusing.

I thought the ending was sweet and very hopeful and I hope that a boy and his dog enjoy playing in the summertime. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I did not grow up on Terry Pratchett, nor did I grow up on Neil Gaiman. Quite frankly, I grew up woefully ignorant of the former, and woefully terrified of the latter (thanks to an eight-year-old me sneaking Coraline home, only to hide it spine-in in my mom’s bookshelf to put its Terrifying Powers Elsewhere).

It wasn’t until this year, a year lacking in humor and abundant in Nostalgia — or at least, abundant in my worries about the world — that I decided to fix my double ignorance. I read Neverwhere in about three days, Equal Rites in two, and Good Omens in a week. I’m a fast reader by habit, and while I didn’t consciously enjoy this book by sitting back and doing lots of contented sighing, I can say that every time I sat down to read, I always read more than I’d intended to. Always

For me, there’s no better sign.

The humor, of course, is well-done, and I don’t mind the change in tone that the second half of the book takes. Sure, the jokes are a bit less laugh-too-loud-on-the-public-bus than the first half, but it’s nearing the end of the World. However humorous these writers are, it’s got to build to a point, and made the bits of laugh-aloud humor more special when they did happen.

This is a book that, while I hesitate to give it five stars now (probably more of a four initially), I’m going to give five stars because I think it’ll earn them. It seems like a book that will reward rereading, slowly, and more thorough digesting than this first gluttonous binge. It seems like a book that will stick with me, and a book that might even help me through future funerals, The End is Nigh scarytimes, and the need for laughter when everything seems... well, Apocalyptic.

Here’s to future digestions. ( )
  priorfictions | Jun 24, 2020 |
Human nature, and the supernatural battle to influence it from God and the Devil, are at the heart of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's novel, Good Omens. That sounds serious, but this book really isn't: it's breezy, funny, and light, while still managing to play with some weighty themes. The story centers on two beings: the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, who first meet outside the Garden of Eden after the Fall. Over the long millennia that follow, the two (who've settled in England) strike up a wary friendship, though they're constantly acting to thwart each other. When the Antichrist is born, though, and the end of the world starts to become uncomfortably nigh, they realize that even though they "want" the war between heaven and hell to begin so that their side can be eternally victorious, they would actually much rather continue to enjoy their current state of existence, and they conspire to keep it from happening.

There's a mix-up, though, in the birthing ward where the Antichrist is supposed to be placed with the right family. Instead of being given a righteously portentous name and going home with the world-traveling American ambassador, he's actually called Adam and sent home with a perfectly normal little family in a perfectly normal little town in the English countryside. The same perfectly little down where Anathema Device, the last descendant of a medieval witch and prophetess, Agnes Nutter, happens to live. Those prophecies are unfailingly accurate, and they say the world is due to end on Saturday, so things are about to get real.

What a delight this book was to read! The writing is sparkling with wit, and it doesn't have a feeling of being grafted together from the work of two different authors, either. I can't really compare it to both authors on their own, since I've only ever read Gaiman's solo work, but I can tell you that if you generally enjoy him, you'll likely enjoy this as well. There's all kinds of ingenious little touches, like Crowley's obsession with his car, the hellhound sent to be a companion to Adam being inadvertently wished by him from a slavering beast into a little spaniel-terrier type dog with a floppy ear, and the re-imagination of the Four Horsemen into a motorcycle gang.

But it's not just fluffy apocalyptic fun, the theme of the cruelties humans inflict on each other with very little if any direction from the active forces of evil resonates throughout. We so often chose to deal with life's little injustices by getting snippy with the barista, who in turn goes home and gets snippy with their roommate, who takes it out on their partner, etc etc. The shoulder devil is just so much easier and more instantly gratifying to give into than the shoulder angel. I don't personally believe in any sort of incorporeal forces of good and evil, but I do believe we chose every day whether to be our better selves or, well, our less good selves, and this book, as well as entertaining me, reminded me that it doesn't hurt to try to be the latter. Definitely highly recommended. ( )
  GabbyHM | Jun 24, 2020 |
The kind of apocalypse I want!

I have not laughed at a book so early on & so much for a very long time! After reading American Gods by Gaiman before I thought it would be a more 'serious' book, boy was I in for a shock. The best way I can describe this book is any apocalyptic novel meets the carry on films.

In all fairness along with the hilarity the moral of the story is very fitting about global warming and such. The plot is very fast moving & jumps between the sets of characters regularly but it doesn't interrupt the flow of the story at all.

Another plus is that I have discovered a new author in Pratchett the good thing is I already have a few of his Discworld novels lined up for the near future. ( )
  kymisan | Jun 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 634 (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...

Obviously, it would be difficult to write a 354-page satirical novel without getting off a few good lines. I counted four... But to get to this material, the reader must wade through reams and reams of undergraduate dreck: recycled science-fiction cliches about using the gift of prophesy to make a killing in the stock market; shopworn jokes about American television programs (would you believe the book includes a joke about ''Have Gun, Will Travel''?); and an infuriating running gag about Queen, a vaudevillian rock group whose hits are buried far in the past and should have been buried sooner.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew York Times, Joe Queenan (Nov 7, 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 (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, Neilmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Aquan, Richard L.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arak, HelenEditorsecondary authorsome 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
Gałązka, JacekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horváth, NorbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kantůrek, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lew, BettyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcel, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ring, JonathanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinkkonen, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, DouglasCover artistsecondary 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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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!"

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