As Predicted, Good Omens was More Than Just “Good”

Well this was a thoroughly enjoyable read… about the apocalypse. Yup- you read that right. This a comedy about the end of the world. The likes of which only the combined genius of Pratchett and Gaiman could have come up with. Melding their equally sharp wits and sense of humour, they created one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a long while. And obviously, it’s packed full with lots and lots of laugh out loud moments!

Brilliantly written, chock full of hilarious and colourful characters and with a great story to book- it’s no wonder this became a cult classic. Happily, there’s a great story as well. In an elegant fashion, we move from the beginning of the universe, right up until the point when it’s doomed to end. As you might expect, it’s an incredibly complex story, with a lot of layers, and the absolute worst thing you could do as a reviewer for such an ineffably multifaceted work is lose one’s notes… which is exactly what I’ve gone and done. Either that or I was too distracted by the book to write anything down, cos it’s just that good 😉

So, I’m working on the fly here, which is a little tricky when we’re talking about such EPIC scale things like god, global catastrophes and intriguing philosophies. Because of course this is more than just surface-level entertainment. As I’ve come to expect from these two powerhouses, this is a fascinating approach on the nature of good and evil, the shades of grey in between and whether angels can indeed dance on the head of a pin.

Ultimately, this small book packs a punch and is one I’ll more than happily reread (maybe next time I’ll manage to take notes 😉). Fortunately though, the fun didn’t stop there, because I managed to catch the adaptation on Prime!

Now, you’ve probably heard about the (patently absurd) scandal around this, which spectacularly backfired, so you might have already heard more sane people rising to the show’s defence and raving about how good it is!

Visually stunning and with a lot of great performances- especially from Tenant and Sheen (no surprises there)- this managed to both fully reflect the qualities of the book, whilst not being the exact same thing. There were changes- as expected- but nothing that was detrimental to the original. Some parts were streamlined and there were brilliant additions (I’ll get to in a moment), but most importantly, this captured the spirit of the original.

Speaking of parts not in the book (told you I’d get there), the opening to episode three, which explored Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship in full was beautifully done. While taking up half the episode’s run time, it was so seamlessly integrated that I almost felt like I must have read it. What I liked best about it, however, was how it felt like a tribute to Pratchett and Gaiman’s friendship- and it felt all the more poignant for that. In fact, the whole backstory of how this show ended up being made makes me pretty emotional.

So, let’s hop skip and a jump to that final showdown before I tear up again! And gosh, it was done well. While a little different to the book, I did love the show’s twist ending and it certainly did its job of keeping me on my toes.

Gotta give these both 5 bananas- meaning ten in total- after all there’s no need to be stingy since they saved us from the end times…

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Have you read or watched this? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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65 thoughts on “As Predicted, Good Omens was More Than Just “Good”

  1. I loved this book and I loved the show! I read and watched in tandem, which I’ve never done before (I always read the book completely first). I think it really worked out! I also loved the beginning of episode 3 and I think Sheen and Tenant must be BFFs in real life because they portrayed it so well in the show!

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  2. I LOVE Good Omens! I first read the book about 10 years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since! I haven’t had a chance to watch the miniseries yet, but I am SO going to find a way! I’m not starting my boycott of Amazon (which is a different story!) in full until I can download this beauty!

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      1. Well, I ended up in a very nasty dispute with Amazon when I found a pirated or ARC copy of two of my novels listed in their inventory, without my permission… They don’t seem to care that I have all the valid credentials proving I own the copyright, they aren’t going to do anything about it unless I give them credentials in triplicate and signed by a lawyer, pretty much. Hence I’m getting ready to not have anything else to do with this company unless I absolutely have to.

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  3. I read the book years ago and loved it. It’s one of the few books that has actually made me laugh out loud. I wanted to reread it before the show but never got round to it. Never mind. The show was awesome and Sheen and Tennant’s performances were absolutely glorious! I am definitely rereading the book now.

    Have you checked out the BBC radio dramatisation? Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz were great too and both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett did a cameo.

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  4. We’ve yet to find another writer who comes near to Pratchett. Gaiman has an amazing imagination (I’ve just finished his storytelling Masterclass and plan to go through again and work up the exercises properly) but Terry Pratchett’s ear for humour and his unique turn of phrase is sorely missed.
    I read the book soon after I first discovered Pratchett and again recently, but I was in New Zealand for two months so missed the adaptation. I look forward to catching up now I’m back in the UK.

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  5. Would you mind elucidating, either here, another post or even an email, what you found “deep” about their philosophy? I haven’t read the book but just binged the mini-series yesterday and laughed my head off. But I also shook my head, a lot. I’m already biased, as “American Gods” turned me against Gaiman and Pratchett, while funny, was killed by his bitterness in his later discworld books.

    I also understand if you’d rather not 🙂

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    1. Oh sure, I don’t mind (I just don’t know if I’m going to do it justice). I liked the idea of basically exploring the idea of good and evil through two creatures who don’t have freewill- thereby challenging the idea that they were inherently good or evil, because they don’t get a choice. It kind of put, into my mind anyway, that perhaps it’s better to be human (and in the morally grey area), because I felt like that’s essentially what these two supernatural beings were striving to be. There was (to my mind) a sense that humans are muddled and messy, but worth rooting for. I also rather liked the message that we’ve actually got it pretty good on earth. I don’t know if that’s “correct” interpretation-wise, but that’s what I got out of it. Maybe it’s just confirmation bias, cos I really like people 😉 (most of the time anyway 😉 )
      I will say that there were slight differences in the show (which I thought were very Gaiman-esque) that I disagreed with. And I also know that there are also other aspects of Gaiman that you don’t like and that’s ok- I’m not here to convince anyone.

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      1. Thanks. That is quite interesting that you got that angels and demons didn’t have free will. Thinking back, I can totally see that. I would have to disagree with that premise, but once the decision to go that route has been made, the movie seems faithful to the idea.

        But yeah, I disagree with Gaiman on a lot of stuff and even this I felt like I “could” have ripped it apart but I simply didn’t care. I really, really, really like Tennant (Eccleston might have gotten me into Dr. Who but Tennant kept me there!) so I just sat back and enjoyed 🙂

        Thanks again. I know that things just never make it into a review, so that’s what the comments are for 😀

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  6. I haven’t read Good Omens, but I have recently watched the tv show! And it was spectacular, I completely adored it. 😀 I especially loved Crowley and Aziraphale and their relationship. ❤ I definitely plan on picking up the book in the future. Amazing reviews! 🙂

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  7. This is one of my top 5 books ever. Recently reread it for a book club and I still love it as much although I did notice a few things that don’t hold up to today’s standards. Still! A great read. 🙂 Glad you loved it!

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  8. I LOVE Good Omens and I was sooooo thrilled to see that the adaptation did it such incredible justice. It’s probably the best adaptation I’ve seen so far and it makes me wish that Neil Gaiman would do another TV version of Neverwhere. David Tennant and Michael Sheen were spectacular in the show and I immediately wanted to go back and rewatch it. I think Terry Pratchett would have approved mightily of this version which makes it even better

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    1. Me too!! Ahh that would be so so good!! I’ve actually listened to the radio play of neverwhere with benedict Cumberbatch and loved it (recommend it if you haven’t listened to it) but I need to check out the original tv version and would happily watch a new version as well. Really agree! Definitely!!

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      1. Oooo yes I haven’t heard the radio version! Will have to find it somehow…The original TV show for was ok and had moments which I loved, but the book is definitely better imo

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  9. Loved this ridiculously irreverent yet somehow religiously comforting and reassuring series. Had to watch it twice and still feel like it could bear a third viewing. Lots of biblical in-jokes, quite a few references to Milton’s take on the early days in Heaven before Hell and Creation. Oh and the introductory frames, music and title sequence really grow on you too! Can’t wait to read the book.

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  10. I haven’t read the booy (despite owning a copy for years) because I was worried I wouldn’t like Gaiman as much as I love Pratchett (and then I read Neverwhere and started sacrificing lambs to the new god). However, I am in love with Tennant and Sheen’s on-screen chemistry. They’re adorable!! 💕

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  11. This book’s been on my TBR for so long now and I just have to read it before watching the show. I think the concept of this book is quite unique in itself. I mean where do you find a comedy on the apocalypse and authors who could write genuine laugh out loud moments are genius.

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  12. I’ve read the book and watched the show (feels like the first time I can say this) so I’m really glad that you’ve enjoyed them too! The best part of the books and the show have got to be the trust and love between Crowley and Aziraphale (which kind of connects everything else together – a scene I found extremely cool in the show was the one where they kept meeting up age after age in all sorts of ridiculous situations). Definitely worth 10 bananas, great review!

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  13. Ah Good Omens, I love that book. I read it when it first came out, thought it was awesome, lent it to my brother and had to nick it back a few years later to read it again. It has so many wonderful bits in it, so many nuggets of pure gold. I was a little worried about a tv adaptation but as soon as I saw it was Tennant and Sheen as Crowley and Aziraphale I knew it would be fine. I haven’t actually seen it yet, I’m happy to wait to see it on terrestrial telly in the autumn. Meanwhile I may dig it out for another re-read!

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