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    Review of GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett


    William Morrow, February 2006

    Crowley (formerly Crawly--the serpent in the garden of Eden) and the angel Aziraphale have been working for centuries, spreading a little evil (or good), yet building a sort of accommodation as well. Both have come to enjoy their human charges--and the unexpected decisions they make. Well, yes, the world really is a sort of Chessboard where God and Satan play out their game, but it's a nice Chessboard, and Crowley and Aziraphale would miss it if it were gone.

    When Crowley gets word that the time has come, the Anti-Christ is ready for delivery, he knows better to disobey orders. He drops the infant at the hospital run by Satanic nuns and authorizes the switch. Neither he, nor Aziraphale expect the minor mixup--the infant Anti-Christ going to a working class English couple rather than to the American diplomat scheduled to receive him. Prophesy keeps its schedule, of course--helped along by the "Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch." The four riders of the apocalypse (with pollution replacing plague) don't require ancient Biblical battlegrounds to create the end of the world--they can do their work from well-connected Air Force bases on English soil. And with his power suddenly awakening, and filled with visions of UFOs, environmental destruction, hollow earth, and Tibetan tunnels spanning the globe, Adam Young, the Anti-Christ, is ready to create a new world--a better world where his three friends can each rule continents.

    Authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (see more reviews of novels by Pratchett) combine to create a story that is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and highly thoughtful. Admittedly, the characters are a bit one-dimensional (but then, it's hard to expect War, Death, and the like to have really complex characters), but they ask interesting questions. Gaiman and Pratchett deliver plenty of British humor and the type of offbeat characters that make their works so popular.

    I suspect that the world would be a better place if lots of people were to read GOOD OMENS and really think about it. I also suspect that they'd have a lot of fun with it. Very nice.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 8/14/06

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