Good Omens [NOOK Book]

Overview

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to ...

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Good Omens

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Overview

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.

Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon -- each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle -- are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . . .

First published in 1990, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's brilliantly dark and screamingly funny take on humankind's final judgment is back -- and just in time -- in a new hardcover edition (which includes an introduction by the authors, comments by each about the other, and answers to some still-burning questions about their wildly popular collaborative effort) that the devout and the damned alike will surely cherish until the end of all things.

The powers that be have decided that the Apocalypse will begin on a Saturday night. But Crawley and Aziraphale, the demon and the angel who were assigned to Earth, have no desire to see their creature comforts blown to bits. So they must destroy the most powerful person on Earth--if they can get through the Four Motorcyclists of the Apocalypse first. "Hilariously naughty."--Kirkus Reviews.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This zany tale of the bungling of Armageddon features an angel, a demon, an 11-year-old Antichrist and a doomsaying witch; unmistakably British humor is in abundance. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
The end of the world is coming, and the portents are everywhere. All is dependent on the anti-Christ—if the agents of good and evil here on Earth can find him. Action-packed with flaming swords and freakish catastrophes, the 20-year-old novel is made even more suspenseful, irreverent, and clever with Martin Jarvis at the helm. Young or old, male or female, angel or demon, human or not, Jarvis’s voices are legion, and his delivery and dramatics make for never a dull moment. (Nov.)
Library Journal
The birth of the Antichrist in a London hospital begins the countdown to Armageddon. As the forces of both Heaven and Hell anticipate the coming battle to decide the world's fate, a desperate few--including an angel with a taste for rare books, a demon in mirrorshades, the descendant of the world's most accurate prophetess, a part-time witchfinder, four young children, and a dog--race against time to prevent it. Irreverently funny and unexpectedly wise, this collaboration between comics writer Gaiman and Discworld series author Pratchett fuses fantasy and comedy into an untrammeled romp through the latter days. Highly recommended for fantasy and general fiction collections.
School Library Journal
YA-- The end of the world is nigh! At least according to the prophecies of Agnes Nutter, a witch whose predictions are usually accurate but seldom heeded. Eleven years before the deadly Last Saturday Night, the ancient rivals of good and evil personified by the angelic Aziraphale (otherwise living as a London book dealer) and the demonic devil and former serpent Crowley clash in substituting the Antichrist during the birth of a baby. But the babies are switched as an unexpected third child enters the picture. The confusion picks up pace as witch hunters Sgt. Shadwell and Newton Pulsifer pursue modern Nutter follower Anathema Device. Along the way, countless puns, humorous footnotes, and satirical illusions enliven the story. A book that's sure to appeal to devoted fans of Douglas Adams.-- Diana C. Hirsch, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061991127
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 10,440
  • File size: 790 KB

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." Originally from England, he now lives in America.


Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

Biography

Neil Gaiman thought he wrote comic books. But a newspaper editor, of course, set him straight.

Back when he was riding the diabolical headwinds of his popular series of graphic novels, The Sandman, the author attended a party where he introduced himself as a comic-book writer to a newspaper's literary editor. But when the editor quickly realized who this actually was -- and the glaze melted from his eyes -- he offered Gaiman a correction tinged with astonishment: "My God, man, you don't write comics, you write graphic novels." Relating the story to theLos Angeles Times in 1995, Gaiman said, "I suddenly felt like someone who had been informed that she wasn't a hooker, that in fact she was a lady of the evening."

Gaiman's done much more, of course, than simply write graphic novels, having coauthored, with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, a comic novel about the Apocalypse; adapted into hardcover the BBC miniseries Neverwhere about the dark underworld beneath the streets of London; and, inspired by his young daughter, put a horrifying spin on C.S. Lewis' wardrobe doors for Coraline, a children's book about a passageway into a magical, yet malevolent, land.

But it is The Sandman that is Gaiman's magnum opus.

Though he had told a career counselor in high school that he wanted to pen comic books, he had a career as a freelance journalist before his first graphic novel, Violent Cases, was published in England in 1987. DC Comics discovered him and The Sandman was born. Or reborn, actually. The comic debuted back in 1939 with a regular-Joe crime fighter in the lead. But in Gaiman's hands the tale had a more otherworldly spin, slowing introducing readers to the seven siblings Endless: Dream, Death, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, Despair and Delirium (once Delight). They all have their roles in shaping the fates of man. In fact, when Death was imprisoned for decades, the results were devastating. Richard Nixon reached The White House and Michael Jackson the Billboard charts.

Direction from newspaper editors notwithstanding, to Gaiman, these stories are still comic books. The man who shuttled back and forth between comics and classics in his formative years and can pepper his writing with references to Norse mythology as well as the vaudevillian rock group Queen, never cottoned to such highbrow/lowbrow distinctions. Comparing notes on a yachting excursion with members of the Irish rock band U2, the writer who looks like a rock star and Delirium and the rock stars who gave themselves comic-worthy names such as Bono and The Edge came to a realization: Whether the medium is pop music or comic books, not being taken seriously can be a plus. "It's safer to be in the gutter," he told The Washington Post in 1995.

In 1995, Gaiman brought The Sandman to a close and began spending more time on his nongraphic fiction, including a couple of short-story collections. A few years later he released Stardust, an adult fairy tale that has young Tristan Thorn searching for a fallen star to woo the lovely but cold Victoria Forester. In 2001, he placed an ex-con named Shadow in the middle of a war between the ancient and modern dieties in American Gods. Coming in October 2002 is another departure: an audio recording of Two Plays for Voices, which stars Bebe Neuwirth as a wise queen doing battle with a bloodthirsty child and Brian Dennehy as the Angel of Vengeance investigating the first crime in history in heaven's City of Angels.

Gaiman need not worry about defining his artistic relevance, since so many other seem to do it for him. Stephen King, Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison are among those who have contributed introductions to his works. William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace," called him a "a writer of rare perception and endless imagination" as well as "an American treasure." (Even though he's, technically, a British treasure transplanted to the American Midwest.) Even Norman Mailer has weighed in: "Along with all else, Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time."

The gushiest praise, however, may come from Frank McConnell, who barely contained himself in the pages of the political and artistic journal Commonweal. Saying Gaiman "may just be the most gifted and important storyteller in English," McConnell crowned Sandman as the most important act of fiction of the day. "And that, not just because of the brilliance and intricacy of its storytelling -- and I know few stories, outside the best of Joyce, Faulkner, and Pynchon, that are more intricate," he wrote in October 1995, " but also because it tells its wonderful and humanizing tale in a medium, comic books, still largely considered demimonde by the tenured zombies of the academic establishment."

"If Sandman is a 'comic,'" he concluded, "then The Magic Flute is a 'musical' and A Midsummer Night's Dream is a skit. Read the damn thing: it's important."

Good To Know

Some fascinating factoids from our interview with Gaiman:

"One of the most enjoyable bits of writing Sandman was getting authors whose work I love to write the introductions for the collected graphic novels -- people like Steve Erickson, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Mikal Gilmore, and Samuel R. Delany."

"I have a big old Addams Family house, with -- in the summertime -- a vegetable garden, and I love growing exotic pumpkins. As a boy in England I used to dream about Ray Bradbury Hallowe'ens, and am thrilled that I get them these days. Unless I'm on the road signing people's books, of course."

"According to my daughters, my most irritating habit is asking for cups of tea."

"I love radio -- and love the availability of things like the Jack Benny radio shows in MP3 format. I'm addicted to BBC radio 7, and keep buying boxed CD sets of old UK radio programs, things like Round the Horne and Hancock's Half Hour. Every now and again I'll write a radio play."

"I love thunderstorms, old houses, and dreams."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 578 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(429)

4 Star

(93)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 578 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Two of modern literature's best writers

    I would be wasting your valuable time if I were less than direct. Good Omens is one of the funniest and most engaging books I have ever read. Now take the time you've saved by my brevity and use it to start reading this book that much sooner.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A classic

    This is a great book seamlessly written by 2 authors in a way that you are unable to tell who has written what. The characters are interestingand fun, and the details are compelling and entertaining. I love this book so much that I have purchased 4 copies of it over the years and have had to repurchase because someone has borrowed it and has not returned it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read an offbeat book that does not talk down to the reader.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    I am thrilled to own this in eBook

    I keep having to buy it again and again because it's so good I keep loaning it to my friends and I never get it back. They refuse to let it go! But now it gets to stay with me and be mine forever :)

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Funniest Mistake Ever

    This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. It's one of those books that has you laughing so hard people start to stare at you. Gaiman and Pratchett together are unstopable!

    One word of advice: Don't skip the footnotes!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    You might want to scrible boring on some pages

    There are things and really liked about this book and things I personally got annoyed with.

    Things I didn't like were: Rambling, unfunny unnessesary whole pages of writing. Besides Aziraphael <3, Crowley <3, and the four horsepersons I didnt care at all for any of the other switching muiltiple and often random fleeting characters point of views with their rambling usually not quite funny and, except for a few key lines you might miss that add something to the plot, very skippable sceens. There were funny and interesting bits but overall an annotated version of this book would rock.

    Only Aziraphale and Crowleys parts are worth reading all the way through. These two are interesting for being a not quite pure Angel and a not compleately evil in fact has a good side Demon. Besides them I wanted almost everyone elses part to be annotated for me.

    Adam(a very central character) and his Them gang are a compleate bore. The author even admits through one of the characters saying it that their 'conversations' ramble (I cant use that word enough). Its more like 6 year old chatter chatter debate chatter, boring!

    I guess it was a sort of a whos to say what some might find funny and others dont so they left all the rambling that would appeal to different people? I just did not like the 'voice' of the authors throughout this. But besides that, I was really into the plot and I wanted to know what was going on. I even stoped halfway and told myself to stop skipping and restarted the book so I could get it. And of course some of the characters were very very memorable and I want to hear more about. I picked mine you can pick yours.

    5 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing!!

    I had heard about this book and thought i might try it out, and thank goodness i did! Its a wonderfully funny storyline and dramatic at the same time. And as some reviews say, "The Apocalypse couldnt be any funnier!" Heck, who wouldnt want the end of the world to be funny? Its fun, and a must read! I know that i'm going to have to buy more copies since i read it so much! *wink*

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant, funny favorite

    I first read this book when I was 13, much too young to appreciate every reference, and I liked it then. Every re-read has made me like it more. The fate of the world is at stake, and still I laugh at the humor, the absurdity, the *humanity* that shines through.

    It's not a simple book - the language is smart and the plot has several lines that do tie together nicely. But it's enjoyable to read, not snooty or dense. The characters are fabulous and unique.

    I've given this book as a gift for a huge range of people - my mom, my husband, my minister, my best friend's new girlfriend. They adored it. You should know, though, that any humorous book that takes on the anti-Christ, witches, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, angels, demons, and Armageddon is not going to appeal to everyone. Especially not those who have an extremely literal take on Biblical matters and an underdeveloped sense of humor. For everyone else, this is highly recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Quite possibly my favorite book. I've read it three times and pi

    Quite possibly my favorite book. I've read it three times and pick up on new things with each read. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett have created something truly exceptional and wonderfully witty.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I love books that take place

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I love books that take place in
    England, it's such a charming country. Plus the story put a funny spin
    on the Apocalpse. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys
    fantasy novels or a good comedy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    The best book of al time

    I'm a avid reader and have read plenty of books in my day but this one continues to be my favorite. Thos book not only makes you think but makes you laugh at nearly every page. The characters are just too likeable and this is book portrays a wonderful view of Armaggedon. If you don't believe me just look online and I guarentee you will find millions of people raving about this awesome book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2010

    Quirky, cerebral, amusing, and damn funny

    If it weren't for both authors' further writings and illustrious careers this would be a "one hit wonder" showing a "flash of brilliance." Alas, they went on to write copiously and sell obscenely (not vice versa!) so it is just a damn good start to a fine vocational pathway. Lucky us, the readers. There are pithy theological jests, and protracted post-modern diatribes that delight those who are comfortable challenging religious fundamentalism. Oh...and we finally get the answer to "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin." Brilliant and deceptively challenging while highly entertaining.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2007

    Funny but not hilarious

    When I got this book I was very excited at the prospect of reading a witty laugh-out-loud book that I had heard so much about. When I finished though, I was dissapointed. Although this book was marginally witty and funny the guffawing moments that I had expected were few and far between. Also, I did not understand many of the references in Omens- I had to look up the Dick Turpin reference on Wikipedia (FYI Dick Turpin was an English highwayman which was why Newt said 'wherever I go, I hold up traffic' HaHA). I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Pratchett, Gaiman, or light humorous novels.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Hands down, my favorite book ever!

    I stumbled upon this left of center book while browsing in the clearance bin. Little did I know I was picking up what would easily become my favorite read. I've lost count of how many times I've read it and every time, I find myself laughing out loud. I bought an extra copy just for lending; I wasn't about to risk my original! If you like clever, British humor, you have to read this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A truly entertaining book that is so funny. If you have never r

    A truly entertaining book that is so funny. If you have never read Gaiman or Pratchett take the plunge you will be glad you did. I am a HUGE Discworld fan but this is one of my favorites, I too have had to buy several copies because no one wants to give them back.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Anonymous

    Maybe this book is funnier for folks living in England, but I didn't laugh at all. Real disappointment.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite books. Humorous, thought-provoking, and intel

    One of my favorite books. Humorous, thought-provoking, and intelligent.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    Do you need a good laugh? Read this book!!

    This is a very funny book that will literally have you laughing out loud. It has hard to describe it without giving too much away.. but I wish they would make it into a movie because it would be just so much fun to watch. Every needs a good laugh!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not the best

    The first half of this book was funny and really entertaining. But after a while it just didnt hold my interest. I finished it but felt the end was rather disappointing.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

    Fun read

    Great book, high energy, fun read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Good Omens

    You will never hear me complain about Neil Gaiman¿s imagination or creativity. I would not know much about Terry Pratchett, author of Discworld, because I have never really been interested in reading his stuff, but I simply had to give this book a try, based entirely on the irony of its subject.<BR/><BR/>For all intents and purposes, this book is an apocalyptic one, albeit shot up with a good amount of humor, where a satanic nun accidentally hands the antichrist to the wrong family and the kid ends up growing up as¿just a normal kid. The four riders of apocalypse are actually four motorcyclists (Hell¿s Angels), and a not always competent angels and demon are handed the task of keeping good and evil in balance until the end of days. With witches, witch finders, celestial and hellish creatures cut loose, this book counts down to the day that will end it all in a big war for which both Heaven and Hell have long been preparing for.<BR/><BR/>There is no question that this was a very fun read, the humor in it more than laugh out loud at points, however, it lacked the depth that Neil Gaiman¿s other books have had. Perhaps it is the fact that so many characters enter the story, from the Metatron (the voice of God) to Newt, a young man who thinks he is enlisting for the army, only to find out he has enlisted for an army of witchfinders composed of no more than two people¿and that is including himself. The characters are very colorful, but at the same time not very deep. The potential for greater exploration is there, but instead this book is kept light, meant to be much more comical than serious about its subject and that is not necessarily a bad thing, simply something you need to be aware of.<BR/><BR/>All in all, it was a fun read and would recommend it to anybody just looking for a good laugh and something to pass time with. But not to anybody looking for a serious read about the end of days.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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