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The Rowling Magazine Issue #35 · November 2019

Book Review: Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Ayelén Vegagil Espósito

654 words

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are two of the most notable fantasy and sci-fi authors from our times. They both had different styles but they share the uncommonly dark and hilarious sense of humor to criticize our society and its rules. They both also share the ownership of one of the most hilarious stories that tell us about how our world could end.

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…

This book is one of my most beloved ones, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett created a story that would make you question a lot the comings and goings of our society, our religions, our beliefs, our own story and how we do have the power to stop it all or making it worse.

In this book, both authors tell the story of our Earth, the adventures of an angel (Aziraphale) and a demon (Crowley) that are the designated ones from both their species to help to unleash the Apocalypse in the world. While the angel has the mission to stop the Antichrist to born in this world, the demon has to protect him to become the destructor of all. The missions are clear, the path is set, but even the most powerful and seemingly uncomplicated plans could go awry. With the help of a very confused satanic nurse and the distraction of two human and normal birthings, the plan is messed and the Antichrist is not sent to live with the politician family. Instead Adam —this is how he is named— lives in the english suburbs. He has grown not knowing his true nature.
Meanwhile Aziraphale and Crowley had made an alliance of sorts as both love to live on Earth and feel quite sad about its possible end. They have become so comfortable living among humans that they want to sabotage the plans of their bosses. That’s how they end trying to teach Damien —the boy they believed to be the Antichrist— all what they think necessary to stop the boy of destroying their beloved Earth.

Also there are two other subplots, one involving the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, each one with different personalities, they also have been living on Earth awaiting the End; and the other involves the descendant of Agnes Nutter, the Witch, Anathema Device and two members of the Witchfinder Army, Newton Pulsifer and Sergeant Shadwell, they will try to follow Agnes writes in order to stop the Apocalypse.

It is a really fun and fantastical book, it criticizes with humor the strong inaccuracies of our Systems. It paints both God and Satan as two forces that could be equally wrong —this is perhaps one of the things that the Catholic Church hates from the book, obviously resulting in it trying to ban it. And it shows us that when we love something, we should fight with all that we have to make it better, relying on our friends, relying on our family and loved ones.

One of the quotes that I love the most is:

«’You’re just saying the child isn’t evil of itself?’ he said slowly.
‘Potentially evil. Potentially good, too, I suppose. Just this huge powerful potentiality, waiting to be shaped,’ said Crowley. He shrugged. ‘Anyway, why’re we’re talking about this good and evil? They’re just names for sides. We know that.’»

A couple of months ago Amazon Prime launched the adaptation of this book as a series of 6 episodes, being Neil Gaiman himself the screenwriter, the fans had loved it so much that they have petitioned its producers to make a sequel. Will they be heard?

Meanwhile I truly insist you to not only read this book, but enjoy the acting of Michael Sheen and David Tennant in its epic adaptation.

Without further ado… Mischief Managed!

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