Good Omens: What Happens When Pratchett and Gaiman Collaborate?

On May 31st, 2019 Good Omens will premiere on Amazon Prime. Based on the novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, it is being adapted into a six-part series, with a 60-minute episode format.

The novel was released in 1990, being the first fiction novel for Gaiman at the time (prior to this was his unauthorised biography of the band Duran Duran). It follows the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley as they try to prevent the Antichrist from causing Armageddon.

Pulling humour from a faith is a very touchy subject. Yet this book does it in an impressive balancing act. Although taking biblical matters in a lighthearted way, and being a work of comedy, it never makes fun of or criticises believers of Christianity and never offers insult either.

It is more or less a fun spin on the end of times, and the comedy does come from a place of understanding the religion it draws from. The comedy is very British, and, although I found myself laughing at the jokes and quips, I can imagine some American audiences not having the fun I did.

All characters are unique and personality driven as they can be. Crowley and his opposite Aziraphale are a great duo. There is also a fair amount of children who play a big role in this novel, specifically the Antichrist and his friends.

Pratchett and Gaiman capture the magic of young friendship in the book. They all felt their age, and all felt like young kids having their fun. And all the other minor characters we meet all have something to say and some story behind them.

Pratchett and Gaiman really show their collaboration skills in the book. Although a careful eye can spot passages that seem more likely written by one author and not the other, at no point did the book feel controlled by one writer. They both blend and their sensibilities as writers line up enough to give the writing a smooth feeling.

Good Omens is a fantastic novel and a great read. My only criticism is that it took me too long to finish, as I always wanted to know what happened next! And my only other complaint is that it had to end at some point. I will make sure to watch the miniseries as it comes out this summer. Now if I can get my hands on an Amazon Prime subscription…

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