Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’ People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea? You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it. It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse. And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…
In Good Omens, the anti-Christ has been born, which means that the world, as we know, is ending soon. And all of it is happening in the small english suburb of Lower Tadfield.
However, Crowley, a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel, have each spent a lot of time on earth and would prefer not to see it destroyed. So, regardless of being on opposite sides, they decide to work together to help raise the antichrist in the hope that when it comes time for the apocalypse, the antichrist might just decide not to end everything.
All of these events, however, had been foretold by a witch hundreds of years ago, which means the Earth might still have a chance of stopping the impending apocalypse, in the face of powers of Heaven and Hell who have been waiting millennia for a battle that will, once and for all, determine which side is more powerful.
Good Omens is by far one of the funniest books I have ever read. Pratchett and Gaiman have managed to create a story that combines heavy doses of satire, cynicism and unconventional humor that form a book that is surprisingly thoughtful and coherent.
The book has one clear message: Small actions, good or bad, have resounding effects. And with free will, comes responsibility over our actions. There is so much going on, so many little details to keep track of, and yet it still manages to come together quite nicely to form a great story about what it means to be human.