Didn t laugh Didn t smile Didn t even blow air through my nose Not once.
I eventually continued it as an audiobook otherwise I wouldn t have finished it.
It felt like a kid story Maybe I don t get the British humour I feel like I usually like it tho But I just couldn t get myself to care.
A 80% Very Good NotesNot as funny as I d anticipated, and at times it s a bit too absurd for my tastes, but a good ending and loads of charm.
This Is A Previously Published Edition ISBN According To The Nice And Accurate Prophecies Of Agnes Nutter, Witch The World S Only Completely Accurate Book Of Prophecies, Written In , Before She Exploded , The World Will End On A Saturday Next Saturday, In Fact Just Before DinnerSo The Armies Of Good And Evil Are Amassing, Atlantis Is Rising, Frogs Are Falling, Tempers Are Flaring Everything Appears To Be Going According To Divine Plan Except A Somewhat Fussy Angel And A Fast Living Demon Both Of Whom Have Lived Amongst Earth S Mortals Since The Beginning And Have Grown Rather Fond Of The Lifestyle Are Not Actually Looking Forward To The Coming RaptureAnd Someone Seems To Have Misplaced The Antichrist Overall, this book was a huge disappointment for me I d heard so many good things about it and had been meaning to read it for years When I finally started it, I was about 20 pages into it and thought, Yes This is going to be one of the most entertaining books I ve ever read It was like reading The Hitchhiker s Guide for the first time again It was witty and fast paced and had so many brilliant things to say about society and religion And then about halfway through, I realized that I just wasn t really laughing as much any The story seemed to get bogged down with characters that weren t that interesting for me to read about and who I often found a bit annoying Most notably, the 11 year old Antichrist and his friends seemed really out of place in the book They felt like they would have been at home in a Norman Rockwell painting or British equivalent a ragtag bunch of kids with slingshots and backyard adventures I think that I was supposed to find them and their inane conversations entertaining, maybe even a little bit cute, but every time they came around, which felt like quite a bit, I thought that the book just screeched to a halt.
Most of the other characters in the book were great fun to read the demon and the angel and their strange sort of friendship was easily the best part of the book for me The four horsemen of the apocalypse were also a lot of fun, at least most of the time Overall, the premise was brilliant What a disappointment for me that it just couldn t keep it together throughout The ending seemed contrived and the resolution was just unsatisfying for me I know that so many people loved this book I wish that I could have enjoyed it as much as they did.
In my personal hierarchy of books, this one comes a close second after Bulgakov s The Master and Margarita What can I say like diabolical father, like infernal son It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that 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.
In a way, I can view this book as my own personal therapy session that is, in addition to it being a hilarious dry humor take on Armageddon and the ever dual nature of humanity, its highs and lows and our ability to be both, frequently almost at the same time As a kid, I had a habit of getting into the books clearly not meant for my age like, for instance, The Omen, featuring the world s most infamous tricycle My eight year old self was petrified For months, I had nightmares, was scared of dogs, mistrustful of tricycles and had an irrational dislike of the number 666 Eight year olds with overactive imaginations were really NOT the intended audience of that book, after all.
WARNING THERE WILL BE MILD SPOILERS BECAUSE I CAN.
As predicted by the titular 17th century witch Agnes Nutter in her extremely nice accurate book of prophecies, handed down through centuries to her last living professional descendant Anathema Device, Armageddon is quickly approaching The four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse have set out on their way, and that must mean things are getting seriousYou re Hells Angels, then What chapter are you from REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield And Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You ve Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People travelled with themAnd this upcoming major event is a source of some serious worry for eternal enemies turned reluctant friends AziraphaleAn angel, and a part time rare book dealerand CrowleyAn Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards , the duo who, after six thousand years, have gone native and would infinitely prefer this world to the future where either side wins the future oh the horror without good music or bookshops or sushi restaurants And so the unlikely allies decide to band together to prevent the end of the world That s how it goes, you think you re on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you.
Except things do not go as planned The lovely images above can be seen here and here.
You see, the young Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness , due to an unforeseen turn of circumstances, happens to grow up outside of the influence of either celestial underworld force Aptly named Adam, he grows up as his name suggests perfectly human, in a little corner of paradise the English village of Lower Tadfield But Agnes Nutter is never wrong, and as her prophesies suggest, shortly after Adam s eleventh birthday on which he DOES get a much wanted Hellhound Dog the events of the end of the world are set in their inevitable, ineffable motion But Adam s essential humanity puts a new spin on this old story Something was happening inside his head.
It was aching Thoughts were arriving there without him having to think them Something was saying, You can do something, Adam Young You can make it all better You can do anything you want And what was saying this to him was him Part of him, deep down Part of him that had been attached to him all these years and not really noticed, like a shadow It was saying yes, it s a rotten world It could have been great But now it s rotten, and it s time to do something about it That s what you re here for To make it all better.
The problem with the Antichrist Adam is that he, a human eleven year old boy, is fueled unexpectedly by Love and righteous indignation He loves this world, and he, coming into his power, wants a very human thing he wants to make it better Don t we all But do and can his good intentions make any difference in the way things have been prophesied to goIt s like you said the other day, said Adam You grow up readin about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus when you think the world s all full of amazin things, they tell you it s really all dead whales and chopped down forests and nucular waste hangin about for millions of years Snot worth growin up for, if you ask my opinion.
If there is one thing this book gets through it s the belief in humanity Not in its wickedness or goodness or anything like that Just humanity, in all the multifaceted nature of it, in its righteousness and wretchedness, love and cruelty, strengths and weaknesses, stupidity and wisdom And just when you d think they weremalignant than ever Hell could be, they could occasionally showgrace than Heaven ever dreamed of Often the same individual was involved It was this free will thing, of course It was a bugger.
Sometimes, maybe, when left to our own devices, when not preached to in one way or another, we can perhaps develop into flawed but hopefully decent beings like Adam, named after the first human in the prophetic fashion, after all Because what makes life interesting, as a particular angel and demon would loudly attest to, is precisely the combination of good and evil, nice and nasty, mean and kind that we all possess, in the precarious and miraculous balance that is the true treasure of humanity Because it makes us act like people I don t see what s so triflic about creating people as people and then gettin upset cos they act like people, said Adam severely Anyway, if you stopped tellin people it s all sorted out after they re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they re alive.
And maybe, just maybe, due to our always balancing nature on the borderline between two conflicting universes that we, humans, inhabit, we will be able to eventually figure it out without anyone messing with our heads, filling them with the Good or the Evil, endlessly preaching what they believe to be true but simple letting us be ourselves Maybe we will figure things out on our own Adam stood smiling at the two of them, a small figure perfectly poised exactly between Heaven and Hell.
Crowley grabbed Aziraphale s arm You know what happened he hissed excitedly He was left alone He grew up human He s not Evil Incarnate or Good Incarnate, he s just a human incarnate.
The brilliant Pratchett Gaiman duo provides everything these two authors are famous for easy readability, dry intelligent sarcasm infused humor, seamless plot that pushes the limits of imagination while staying perfectly grounded in albeit fantastical reality, and first and foremost, very apt observations about human nature, as well as in a true Pratchett like way a complete irreverence for the set in stone beliefs and ideas At times it s easy for those familiar with their respective styles to tell which one of them penned which part, at times it s impossible but it doesn t matter as their writing styles blend together so well, so seamlessly, so seemingly effortlessly.
This is an excellent book both funny and serious, at times utterly unpredictable, at times baffling, at times logical It s a pleasure to read, and a pleasure to seriously reflect upon after having a good laugh And for all of that it gets the ineffable five stars He stared down at the golden curls of the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness You know, he concluded, after a while, I think he actually looks like an AdamJune 2013 I just listened to this one on audiobook AGAIN I love itandwith each time I do I have to advise if you plan to listen to this one, please get the British version with Stephen Briggs as the narrator Isis Publishing it is lightyears better than Harper Audio Stephen Briggs is amazing Image source imdb.
Don t be misled by those who class this as fantasy, humour, or just fiction This is actually a profound philosophical and theological treatise, exploring good and evil, nature versus nurture, free will, war, pollution, and organised religion But it s cleverly disguised as a madcap caper featuring angels, demons, the M25 motorway, Manchester, raining fish, dolphins, Atlantis, aliens, the Apocalypse, the young Antichrist, Americans, footnotes for Americans, tunnelling Tibetans, witches, witch finders, whales, Hell s Angels, Queen and Freddie Mercury, junk food made of junk, nuclear power, a flaming car, satanic nuns, an inadvertent baby swap, a book of prophecy, andbesides Lots of ineffability, too.
The writing is so like Douglas Adams that it could be mistaken for a missing volume of Hitchhiker s, except for the pages of Just William slipped in, Calvino style.
The Heavy StuffInscription from Terry We made the Devil do it It echoes a line in the book The Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything He didn t have to.
The weight is smuggled into a plot that is simultaneously simple, complicated, and counter intuitive The Antichrist is born, but accidentally goes to a boringly normal, rural couple, rather than the intended satanists With the Apocalypse due around his 11th birthday, opposing forces try to ensure they ll win, which requires first realising there s been a mix up and then fixing it On that simple trunk, a plethora of sub plots and an even larger number of larger than life characters twist, and climb, and intertwine.
Amidst the chaos and the warring factions, the fundamental question is whether Adam, the young Antichrist, will fulfil his destiny, whether Birth is just the start.
Upbringing is everything After all, the Devil started off as an angel.
The Odd CoupleAziraphale angel and Crowley demon have been on Earth a long time, developed a grudging fondness for it, its inhabitants, and even each other Their tetchily co operative, affectionately teasing relationship is central to the plot, the philosophy, and the humour.
They ve reached an Arrangement after realising they havein common with their immediate opponent than their remote allies tacit non interference made certain that while neither really won, also neither really lost.
Heaven wants to win the war humanised Aziraphale comes to realise that he would prefer to avoid it.
Bibliophilia Aziraphale was an angel, but he also worshiped books Aziraphale collected books If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them He was not unusual in this In order to maintain his cover as a typical second hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours he was incredibly good at it.
Near where where Pratchett spent much of his life, was a cottage given over to second hand books There were no unpleasant smells, but opening hours were limited, as were payment methods books were piled high and deep double triple and vaguely sorted by category, but not by author except for Pratchett Here it is sadly, it closed in 2018 There s a larger version in my GR photos HERE Quotes Religion God does not play dice with the universe He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players i.
e everybody , to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time I particularly like the fact the last phrase is emphasised with italics, even though, in a pitch dark room, it s barely relevant When it came to avoiding going to church, the church he solidly avoided going to was no nonsense Church of England Being brought up as a Satanist tended to take the edge off it A Saturday thing Crowley is embarrassed by the enthusiasm of satanists, just as a Vietnam veteran would feel about someone who wears combat gear to Neighbourhood Watch meetings Voodoun is a very interesting religion for the whole family, even those members of it who are dead Marvin got religion Not the quiet, personal kind, that involves doing good deeds and living a better life not even the kind that involves putting on a suit and ringing people s door bells but the kind that involves having your own TV network and getting people to send you money Quotes Good and Evil Most demons weren t deep down evil but like tax inspectors doing an unpopular job, maybe, but essential to the overall operation Often, the difference between good and evil isn t obvious some of the world leaders Aziraphale thinks good are assumed to be evil by Crowley If we beat them we d have to be our own deadly enemies it s no good anyone winning So, You just had to decide who your friends really were Quotes Destiny versus Free WillSlightly spoilery You can t refuse to be who you are Your birth and destiny are part of the Great Plan I don t see why it matters what is written It can always be crossed out He was left alone He grew up human He s not Evil Incarnate or Good Incarnate, he s just a human incarnate No one around Adam was ever in full control of their own mind.
Quotes Time The future came and went in the mildly discouraging way that futures do Memory works backwards as well as forwards Agnes didn t see the future That s just a metaphor She remembered it On the cusp of recollection, a memory of things that hadn t happened Accurate predictions are little use if they re too narrow and specific For example, Do notte buye Betamacks was only meaningful for a few short years DON T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH Quotes People and Relationships Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide Courting is always difficult when an elderly female relative in the house It s much worse when the relative has been dead for three hundred years Newt had indeed been harbouring certain thoughts about Anathema not just harbouring them, in fact, but dry docking them, refitting them, giving them a good coat of paint and scraping the barnacles off their bottom Pollution one of the Apocalyptic Horsepersons , while still walking, nevertheless gave the impression of oozing Quotes Other A rain swept courtyard full of righteous dustbins Leaping gratefully onto this new ice floe in the bewildering stream of consciousness Her spelling was not so much appalling as three hundred years too late Similarly, if anyone questions something my father says or writes, he claims it s just archaic impossible to disprove Every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf Quote Best One LinerA Hell s Angel asks one of the biking Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse what chapter they belong to REVELATIONS, he said CHAPTER SIX Verses two to eight , added the boy helpfully.
TV AdaptationFab cast, and Gaimain was heavily involved, so my hopes were high, and largely rewarded David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale were brilliant together, and it looked great It suffered a little from being too similar to the very recent adaptation of American Gods see my review HERE And Aziraphale s bibliophilia was underplayed, but overall, good Photo from imdb.
One of my all time favorite books Up there with Hitchhiker s Guide.
I knew from the first page that this book would not work for me.
I slogged through about half of it and gave up I lost the thread of the plot long before due to my lack of interest in everything this book is It all felt forced, like the themes and ideas were shoved into the narrative and that the plot had to adapt to fit them in It was trying too hard to be funny rather than actually being funny Life is far too short for books I don t enjoy And I could never enjoy this It felt like it was written by two guys who had just finished school and were ready to explode their ideas into some creative project that could be a piece of brilliance or a real chore depending on the reader tastes And this just sent me right to sleep I was glad to stop when I did.
I think my main problem is that I ve seen how much better each writer can do I ve read Gaiman at his best I ve been inspired by his words and I have found part of myself in his stories I ve laughed out loud with Pratchett and I ve tasted the sharpness of his wit This felt like a shadow of what each writer can do it holds a mere suggestion of the brilliance and creative spark each would wield at his fingertips It was just juvenile Maybe I came into with the wrong mind set Maybe I expected too much or perhaps the humour is just wasted on me Either way, this one just isn t for me.
I somehow ended up reading them both simultaneously So I couldn t help wonderingWhat Madam Bovary Might Have Thought Of Good OmensThree days later, a package arrived there was no return address, but she immediately recognised Rodolphe s hand It contained a paperback novel, whose title was Good Omens Feverishly, she cast herself over it Her English was poor, but, with the aid of a dictionary, she persevered and soon made great progress.
Theshe read, the greater her bewilderment became The book at first reminded her of Candide, which she had surreptitiously read at the convent, but M Voltaire ssprit had been replaced by another ingredient she was unable to name she suspected that it must be the strange English invention they called humour All the personages were well meaning and agreeable the witches, the torturers of witches, the prostitutes, even the Demons of Hell they were filled with kindness and compassion, and their worst faults amounted to an occasional mild irritability Where were the indifference and thoughtless cruelty that surrounded her, and which had now become the very air she breathed She did not know whether Rodolphe had sent her the book to comfort her or to mock her in her despair, and her futile attempts to resolve this question gradually resulted in an agonising headache Her husband prescribed an infusion of valerian, and persuaded her to retire for the night she lay sleepless in her bed a long time, until the drug finally took effect just as the sky was beginning to lighten She dreamed of apocalyptic prophecies, red headed women wielding swords, endless circles of horseless carriages, young boys with dogs.
In the morning, she remembered that she should purchase some arsenic.
It seemed unfair for this to be one way So, in the spirit of granting a right of reply, here s What Good Omens Might Have Thought Of Madam Bovary I saw this smashin film yesterday on TV, said Adam, as the Them listened attentively It was called Madam Bovver Boy She was a lady skinhead interrupted Brian No, stupid, said Adam It s a French name Bovver Boy By Flow Bear You mean Madame Bovary, by Flaubert, said Wensleydale I read about it in The Encyclopaedia of World Literature Adam gave him a withering glance That s what I said, he continued Madam Bovver Boy, by Flow Bear She s married to this doctor, and he s dead borin , so she starts hangin around with these two lovers, and then she maxes out her credit card, so she eats arsernick and poisons herself The bit where she s dyin of the arsernick is dead good Her tongue s hanging out and she s screamin Why did she max out her credit card asked Pepper She was buying presents for her lovers, said Adam Roses an boxes of chocolates an stuff like that I thought the lovers were supposed to give her presents said Brian dubiously My sister s boyfriend gave her this huge bunch of roses on Valentine s Day, and a box of Quality Street, and a balloon with She gave them presents instead because it was a proto feminist novel, explained Wensleydale authoritatively That s what The Encyclopaedia of World Literature says Adam felt that his control of the situation was slipping, and decided to up the stakes It s all true, he said, in an exegetical move that would have had Flaubert scholars around the world clutching their foreheads Based on a true story, he added prudently, in case the The Encyclopaedia of World Literature happened to have opinions on the subject Behind the bushes, Aziraphale raised an eyebrow Crowley looked defensive Very loosely based, he whispered hastily I mean, I tempted her, it s my job you know, but Gustave changed the ending for dramatic purposes Said it didn t work to have Rodolphe sort out her debts and then settle down in a cozy m nage quatre with her, L on and her husband I told him that s what actually happened, but he insisted the arsenic worked better
Ten years ago, Crowley a demon brought the infant Anti Christ to a group of Satanic Nuns who swapped the Anti Christ with a human child For ten years, Aziraphale an Angel and Crowley educate the child on the finer points of good and evilPeople couldn t become truly holy, he said, unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wickedThen, when the Anti Christ was supposed to come into his full powers, Crowley and Aziraphale realize that they didn t have the right child SH T Further, they simultaneously realize that they rather like Earth If the holy war was allowed to finish, then everything would be destroyed and divvied up between the two realms and that divide would be terrible Hell may have all the best composers, but heaven has all the best choreographers.
So, it s up to them to find the Anti Christ and stop the apocalypse They only have seven to days to do it It s just going to be one of those weeks.
This one was absolutely hilarious There were so, so many fun quirks and tangents in this book Seriously great satire throughout All the little details just make it pop Such as Crowley s plant tending method What he did was put the fear of God into them.
More precisely, the fear of Crowley.
In addition to which, every couple of months Crowley would pick out a plant that was growing too slowly, or succumbing to leaf wilt or browning, or just didn t look quite as good as the others, and he would carry it around to all the other plants Say goodbye to your friend, he d say to them He just couldn t cut it Then he would leave the flat with the offending plant, and return an hour or so later with a large, empty flower pot, which he would leave somewhere conspicuously around the flat.
The plants were the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London Also the most terrified.
Definitely one of those off the wall fun reads I really want to go through it a second time to see all the things I missed The 2018 ABC Challenge G Audiobook CommentsThis one was particularly well read by Marvin Jarvis love the last name The varied tone and inflection just made it come alive.
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