Good Omens is just the tiniest bit blasphemous.
|OK, yeah...a lot blasphemous.|
BUT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
The story opens with a clandestine meeting between two dukes of Hell and a fallen angel named Crowley. More accurately, Crowley is "an Angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards." Crowley is tasked with setting the Apocalypse in motion by planting the infant spawn of Satan with an unsuspecting American family who will unknowingly raise him to embrace his more nefarious qualities (because AMERICAN) and, in so doing, bring about the end of the world.
The thing is . . . Crowley doesn't much want the world to end. But he can't directly disobey orders; so he and his enemy-who's-really-more-of-a-friend-after-all-these-centuries-of-being-enemies, the angel Aziraphale, get together to see if they can maybe derail this Apocalypse Train in a roundabout way—with Aziraphale doing what angels do and Crowley doing what demons do, and may the best man win and the Powers That Be remain none the wiser.
|I will never stop wanting this to happen.|
The cast of characters (listed most amusingly at the beginning of the book) is diverse, encompassing beings from Heaven, Hell, Earth, and a few cracks in between. Even though he wrote this fairly early in his career, Neil Gaiman's trademark style is pretty prominent. And Terry Pratchett's effortless sense of humor is right there in every sentence. The two styles combine so seamlessly that, when asked, even the authors can't quite recall who wrote what.
But about that blasphemy.
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, to being involved in an obscure and complex version 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. (p. 14)This is not, in fact, how I feel about the Great Plan. But . . . well, sometimes that's EXACTLY how I feel about it. And that's what makes it funny. Like when Crowley explains that he can do little acts of evil here and there to satisfy his job description but humans end up doing most of the work for him. The Spanish Inquisition, for instance. Nothing to do with Crowley, even if he DID get an award for it.
Wherever you land on the continuum of religious belief, there's really no good reason to lose your sense of humor. And this book is a good reminder of that.
|Can't argue with that.|