Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Several hundred years ago Agnes Nutter, witch and alleged psychic, is burned at the stake in England. No matter to history, really, save for the fact that she accurately foretold the end of the world. Which is soon. Very soon. Next Saturday, actually, just before dinner.
Cue a delivery room in England, where a Satanic but slow-witted nun somehow loses sight of the Antichrist, delivering him into the arms of a common farmer. Oops.
A decade later it's time for Armageddon, but two angels - one on each side of the aisle - decide to circumvent the powers that be to secure their cushy gigs on Earth and keep the boy in the dark.
Will they succeed? Will they fail? Will Agnes write a sequel from beyond the grave?
All this and more are answered in Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Gaiman is a writer a greatly admire, while Pratchett has long been recommended by a friend of mine. This novel, written as a collaboration decades ago, is a favorite among their fans and for good reason.
It's a darn funny novel that touches on questions of faith, morality, and the celestial use of Freddie Mercury's voice.
I highly recommend the book, eagerly await Gaiman's next work, and look forward to exploring Pratchett's catalog as well.
[note: YaYa, btw, is currently plugging away at Gaiman's YA novel Coraline, which I'm reasonably sure is too scary for a seven year old and the primary reason, along with Goosebumps, why she is (mildly) scared of the dark lately].