Having read a reasonable amount of Neil Gaiman (Very much liked it) and not very much Terry Pratchett (and really not liking it at all), I have finally gotten around to reading Good Omens, despite taking it on holiday twice and never managing to even start it.
So. It tells the story of an angel and a demon, Aziraphale and Crowley respectively, who have been kicking around together since the times of literal Eden and have since gone a bit native on Earth. Both have their indulgences; wine, books and tailoring, and classic cars, booze and sunglasses indoors. They have grown fond of Earth and humans and more importantly, their nice comfortable lives amongst them. Crowley is tasked with switching a human baby for the antichrist in order to bring about the Apocalypse, the End Times, the big, season finale of WAR between Heaven and Earth, Good and Evil and so on. Aziraphale is there too because the two of them are kind of unlikely BFFs. The Antichrist is destined to be raised as Warlock, son of a prominent US diplomat. Aziraphale and Crowley resolve to work their saintly/demonly influence on him as he grows up, essentially postponing the end of the world as Warlock, hopefully, struggles to choose between good and evil. At least that is the plan. However. The problem is, there’s a bit of a mix-up with the Satanic nuns and the Antichrist is actually an ordinary, but unusually charismatic boy from the suburbs, Adam, who likes playing in the quarry with his mates, reading comics and messing about with his dog, Dog. Meanwhile, Warlock is just a normal kid with a weird name.
It’s if the Omen and Life of Brian got blended.
The rest of the story is Aziraphale and Crowley tearing around the country in an on-fire Bentley trying to conceal their vast mistakes, to track down Adam, the real antichrist before the various emissaries of Hell get there first and reveal the boy’s true powers to him. Adam's power so far extends to righting some environmental wrongs that he's read about in hippy conspiracy theory magazines. There’s a nth generation witch living her life from a book of prophecies, a witch hunter that falls in love with her, the four horsemen of the apocalypse and Adam’s three mates thrown in for misunderstandings, declarations and revelations, culminating in a planned and relief-inducing anti-climax at a Nuclear Power Station.
I can see why people love this book. It’s funny, it’s all about the inherent goodness of people, Aziraphale and Crowley are hilarious and adorable. I can see how a frequent re-reader could just slide back into the world easily and just hang with the characters. However. It just didn’t strike a chord with me and I found myself just wanting to be finished with it. I struggle to identify exactly what failed to resonate. As much as I loved Aziraphale and Crowley, I found most of the other characters to be forgettable and was always a bit annoyed when the narrative swung over their way.
It’s been on my TBR list for years, so I’m glad I read it, and I didn’t really know what to expect, but I honestly don’t think this kind of fantasy is my thing. I kept convincing myself I could cherry pick the Terry Pratchett jokes and they irrationally annoyed me. The flavour of humour just doesn’t do much for me, despite the very comedic prose. Like, I can tell it’s funny, but it doesn’t make me laugh, if that makes sense.
I don’t know. Just not my thing I guess.