I finally read the book everyone seems to be talking about recently, especially since the short TV series adaptation last year starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant came out. I have yet to see it, but I’ve seen a couple trailers and it looks pretty humorous. Anyways, I wanted to read the book before I watched the show, especially since I’ve had this book on the back of my TBR for years.
Although I have read several books in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and enjoyed all of them, I have not read a single book by Neil Gaiman. I have heard Gaiman’s writing described as similar to Pratchett’s and yet slightly darker and more philosophical. Whatever the case, it was interesting to see a writing style similar to Pratchett’s but slightly darker.
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be skeptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?…It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse. And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…”
This book is that perfect balance between fantasy and humor and philosophy which makes you not quite sure if you should be impressed with its depth or laughing at its absurdity. I really enjoyed this book. It jumps through many years as the characters attempt to survive and stop the end of the world, and yet I never felt jolted by the time jumps. There are, however, quite a lot of characters to keep track of, which did slightly diminish my enjoyment because I was trying to remember who was who and who thought what. But I did enjoy the constant references to something religious or cultural.
This is not the book to read if you want to learn about various religions, however. There is a mix of rumors, misconceptions, in-depth teachings, and straw-men arguments, often all on one page. It is interesting how the authors bring is so many different views and ideas of heaven and hell, angels and devils, and play with the ideas so easily. As a Catholic, I enjoyed that. For example, my favorite reference in the book is when they are talking about that no one got close to learning the truth about anything that’s going on, except for author G.K. Chesterton. I was surprised to read his name, as he’s one of my favorite authors but I don’t think most of the general public knows about him. I just appreciated a lot of the random references, even though there were probably a lot I missed.
I won’t give any spoilers for the ending, because I really did enjoy the book and I could easily recommend it for anyone to read, but I did absolutely love how all the different pieces of the plot and characters that all seemed so far apart came together perfectly at the end.
My one and only complaint was that there were too many random perspectives. We would go into the head of a character for maybe a chapter or less and then we’d never see them again. A lot of the time it would show us something important to the plot, but it was also something the main characters would learn about later anyway and thus it felt unnecessary. But besides that, I really enjoyed every moment of the book, especially the bickering friendship between Aziraphale and Crowley. Who would have thought an angel and demon would be friends?
Have you read this book? Or watched the new TV series? Is it something you would be interested in? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,