Let Me Put My Suggestions In You: Good Omens
Welcome back to another round of Let Me Put My Suggestions In You! I as always, am your handsome devil and avenging angel, Arthur Harkness, and this week I am brining you a hell of a recommendation. Now most of you may know that I have a love for Neil Gaiman (healthy, of course. Not just yet an obsession) and tend to recommend or entice you to read his novels and watch his episodes of Doctor Who, but I just can’t get enough of his wonderful stories, and I feel like it is a personal mission in life to send them over to you all as well. This week, I am focusing on a little gem that I stumbled upon mainly by accident, much like the Graveyard Book (fantastic read as well) titled Good Omens. So get your holy water ready, because this one is a sneaky devil!
Good Omens is actually a collaborative effort, and I would be remiss to not mention the other half of this fantastic story, Terry Pratchett, who in reality wrote quite a bit of the book, as Gaiman had Sandman to keep up with and other projects. You may recognize that name from the Discworld series or other fantasy books, but he is a gifted writer. The story centers around a demon and angel; Crowley and Aziraphale respectively. They are a demon and angel set of friends, and an odd couple is formed that would make Felix and Oscar jealous. Already this should have you hooked, based on premise alone, but let’s keep going. Crowley and Az (as I am now going to call him, mainly because the way his name is spelled makes my fingers hurt) are “charged” with taking care of and looking over a certain “person’s” son (The Devil!) and making sure nothing bad happens to him. They are not necessarily forced to do this, but take the charge themselves after realizing that they actually like Earth, and do not want it to be spoiled or destroyed. They decide to try and look for and look after the boy in order to make sure shit doesn’t go crazy, and Crowley can listen to Queen some more. Little do they know, the son of Satan was switched out at birth, and the boy they thought was the anti-christ, is actually just a little boy who has no idea what’s going on. The real anti-christ is actually alive and well, and thinks he is just a normal little boy. They would like nothing better than to have the boy decide on nothing, thereby postponing the end of days. How can you not like a premise like that? It just screams comedy and absurdity as most stories in this vain often tend to be either serious or horror based. This one just lets you know, yeah there are demons, and they love Queen, and yeah they are angels, but all they want you to do is leave their store so they can continue reading. It’s a very nice take on the genre of demons and angels, and makes sure that you know it is going to be rather absurd compared to most others. I love them for that.
The adventure spans more than just the standard devil and angel theme, and multiple different class of angels, demons, protectors and hunters are introduced. My favorite being the Four Horsemen. The four have gone through some changes, but are still essentially the same. You have your standard sword bearer, famine inducer, and death, but the one I thought was funny and a personal favorite, was Pollution. Pestilence has always been my favorite Horsemen (yes, I know, I have a favorite bringer of the apocalypse and member of the most feared quartet in existence….deal with it), but with the invention of penicillin, most diseases are able to be fought, but something that we haven’t quite learned to deal with, is pollution. Pestilence retired years ago, and Pollution has taken over his position. I thought that was hysterical mainly because you wouldn’t think that they could retire, let alone choose a replacement. It is very entertaining to see the interactions between them, and what they get up to. I really loved the way they were portrayed, and they seemed almost like a motorcycle club, but more elegant and horrifying at the same time. It is simply beautiful to behold. The way everything comes into place, even though it is split between characters and even including some flashbacks to a certain prophetic witch (oh Agnes, you are such a nutter, and you are responsible for one of the coolest things ever)is very well done, and it makes you understand that certain things, regardless of how small and insignificant they may seem, can have lasting and huge consequences. Case in point, if you throw someone into a pyre to burn, make sure they do not have anything on them at the time. That is all I will say.
One of the best aspects of this story, and a lot of other stories, is the fact that it features quite a few characters, but they are all moving towards the same end/goal. I love it when a book makes sure to tell you that everyone is at a different place, but they are all heading to the same one, and the suspense and wait for them all to meet is very high. You know they are going to come full steam ahead into the same ending spot, but getting there is the best part. It builds up the feeling that something amazing is going to happen, and when it does, it is all worth it. You sit and read and think, and when it is at that specific point, your knuckles go white from holding the pages too hard, and your brain is racked with anticipation. Then it happens, and then your mind is turned to mush. All the waiting and anticipation has caused your brain to fry out, and you love the author for it. It personally and emotionally invests you into the material, and you cannot think of anything else until you hit that spot. That is exactly how this felt for me, and I felt like I needed to tell you all about it. Also, the friendship and interactions between Crowley and Aziraphale, is so endearing to watch. They jape at each other and crack jokes, but you can see that even though they should hate each other, they just can’t, because they get along too well. It is almost like star crossed lovers, except a platonic friendship rather than lovers. The other demons and angels sent to the earth to join in the chase are just as memorable, and there comes a time when Crowley needs to make a choice, and a harrowing choice it is. I was so excited to see it, and when it was over, I immediately wanted to read that same chapter again.
I honestly cannot say enough good things about this book. Like previously mentioned, I picked it up on a whim and was very happy with it. It’s funny really. Most of the time when I pick up Gaiman novels, it is on a whim when I am grabbing something else, and I always wind up reading them first and enjoying them more. I am thinking about just picking up any Gaiman/Pratchett book when I see them, and just assume they are going to be good. More times than not, they usually are amazing. So go out and pick up Good Omens (with the hysterical subtitle) by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. And while you are out, pick up some Discworld novels by Terry or The Graveyard Book by Gaiman. I have some more write ups concerning these gentlemen in the future, and I would hope you will all be ready and caught up by then. If not, you may find a little snake in your room, eating up all your apples, and tempting you into perversions great and terrible. Or it just may be Crowley, looking for his never ending Queen tapes.
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