Throwback Thursday Review: Good Omens

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch audiobook cover. Emerging from the smoke on a black background are a devilish Peter Serafinowicz dressed in black and clutching an old book and an angelic Mark Heap in white holding a flaming sword. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Duration: 12 hrs 33 mins (Unabridged)
4 hrs 19 mins (Full Cast Drama)

With trailers out for the new TV miniseries - due to air on Amazon Prime on the 31st May 2019 - I wanted to post a special look back at a book I adore in its various guises.

Good Omens is an action-packed apocalyptic caper from the wonderful minds of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. One stormy night a child is born... and then so is another one which is where all the trouble starts. With one of the boys all set to grow up to be the antichrist, tended to throughout his childhood by an angel and a demon, it's really important that they get the right one. The story would be a lot shorter if they had, however, and we probably wouldn't have lived long enough past teatime to read it.

Good Omens is a classic tale of good triumphing over evil, and the overwhelming importance of family, friendship, witches, and the love of a good dog with a wonky ear. As a fan of both Pratchett and Gaiman I can still recall the excitement with which I first began listening to Good Omens. I was not disappointed, swiftly becoming immersed in their world and enjoying it immensely. Whichever version I listen to this audiobook always cheers me up, and has never failed to make me laugh. It is one of my most repeated listens and an enduring favourite.

I adore both audiobook versions of Good Omens. The first one I owned was an unabridged recording narrated by Stephen Briggs, and I loved it right away for its familiarity to the latter half of Pratchett's Discworld novels, which Briggs also narrates. Then the BBC released a full-cast adaptation, featuring Mark Heap as Aziraphael and Peter Serafinowicz as Crowley, and it was so perfectly cast that I couldn't imagine anyone else ever filling those roles. (Which was why I initially greeted the news of the TV miniseries with some trepidation, uncertain that it could possibly live up to the audiobook.) Serafinowicz in particular is a delight, and much as I adore David Tennant and am looking forward to his take on the character, I think that Serafinowicz's Crowley will always be the definitive version for me. His deep voice and sardonic delivery is just right for the demon with a heart (or at least the occasional reluctant pang of something Aziraphael would say was a conscience). Audible have another unabridged version now which is narrated by Martin Jarvis and it may also have to find its way into my collection.

I'd recommend both versions to any fan of the authors, and anyone who enjoys comic fantasy. I'm almost envious of anyone who is stumbling across it for the first time, but for those looking for an introduction to the book prior to the TV series, I'd recommend the full-cast BBC adaptation as the best way to get to know the characters before meeting them on screen.

(Click here to buy this book, listen to a sample, or add it to your wishlist!)

And once you've listened to the audiobook, here's the trailer for the TV miniseries, which was adapted by Neil Gaiman as part of Terry Pratchett's 'last request'. Neil also proofread the subtitles for the series, which only made me love him more.

No comments