Publication Date: November 28, 2006
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett deals with Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, aren’t ready for the end times. They’ve gotten quite comfortable in their years on Earth. Despite representing good and evil, the two decide to work together to postpone the inevitable. Readers of this blog will know that I’m both a major Pratchett/Gaiman fan as well as something of a nutty Whovian whose favorite Doctor is #10 as played by David Tennant. Imagine my delight in seeing the news today that David Tennant has been signed to play Crawley in the big screen adaptation of Good Omens! The co-protagonists literally represent heaven and hell with Crowley as the snake that started it all by tempting Eve to eat the apple. Both have gone against type and gotten comfortable in their world and friendly with each other. Their somewhat carefree association is probably the best thing about the book and one that I think Tennant and Michael Sheen (as Aziraphale) will play well.
The central storyline revolves around the Antichrist who, thanks to some confusion at birth, has wound up with the wrong family. Adam, the true Antichrist is a somewhat odd little boy addicted to conspiracy theories who doesn’t realize that his power is shaping the world to his outlook. He does, of course, notice his uncanny ability in time, but will he stop the impending end times or see them as just a really good idea? In keeping with both authors, Good Omens is brilliantly funny and amazingly complex. Eagle-eyed readers will notice even the smallest threads connected, before the final line. Does the Earth have a star sign? Of course, it does and all you need to know is precisely when it began, so it’s handy to be in the know with those that were there at the start. The mind-blowing creativity Good Omens is going to translate wonderfully to the big screen.
Okay, so a minor character’s spoiler ahead, If you’ve seen Tennant as the Doctor or as Kilgrave in Jessica Jones, you will know that he is going to play the sardonic Crowley to perfection. Crowley is a demon whose job it is to make people miserable but admires greatly their ability to torture themselves and has come to really like watching the creative drama unfold. He enjoys torturing plants by carrying them around and telling them to say goodbye to their friends. Crowley is wickedly funny and the role is tailor-made for Tennant.
Good Omens, like all of Pratchett’s work, is wonderfully quotable. “Evil, in general, does not sleep and therefore doesn’t see why anyone else should” is a bumper sticker truism.
I am over-simplifying the plot lines and glory of this novel. There are witches and a need for sushi restaurants in Heaven and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I, however, am obsessed with the idea that this genius work is making it to the screen. If you have trusted me on nothing else, trust me on this. Go out, get “Evil in general does not sleep, and therefore doesn’t see why anyone else should.” and we can all geek out when the show premieres together.
Read an excerpt and buy Good Omen by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett on