Good Omens: A Full Cast Production Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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A brand-new full-cast audiobook production of the classic collaboration from internationally best-selling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett starring Rebecca Front as the Narrator, Michael Sheen as Aziraphale, and David Tennant as Crowley!
"Good Omens...is something like what would have happened if Thomas Pynchon, Tom Robbins and Don DeLillo had collaborated. Lots of literary inventiveness in the plotting and chunks of very good writing and characterization. It’s a wow. It would make one hell of a movie. Or a heavenly one. Take your pick." (Washington Post)
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon - both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle - are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist....
Don’t miss Season 2 of the Prime original series!
Rebecca Front: Narrator
Michael Sheen: Aziraphale
David Tennant: Crowley
Katherine Kingsley: Anathema Device
Arthur Darvill: Newton Pulsifer
Peter Forbes: Shadwell
Gabrielle Glaister: Madame Tracy and Agnes Nutter
Louis Davison: Adam
Pixie Davies: Pepper
Chris Nelson: Wensleydale
Ferdinand Frisby Williams: Brian
Adjoa Andoh, Allan Corduner, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Josh Hopkins, Lorelei King, Matt Reeves, and Lemn Sissay
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 14 minutes|
|Author||Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett|
|Narrator||Rebecca Front, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Katherine Kingsley, Arthur Darvill, Peter Forbes, Gabrielle Glaister, Louis Davison, Pixie Davies, Chris Nelson, Ferdinand Frisby Williams, Adjoa Andoh, Allan Corduner, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Josh Hopkins|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 02, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #669 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3 in Occult Horror Fiction
#4 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#6 in Humorous Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2019
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Top reviews from the United States
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It is a cult classic and I am not going to waste a bunch of time trying to come up with superlatives not yet used. It is worth reading the reviews such as the ones I found on Amazon. The novel is not everyone’s cup of tea; there are many negative ones. Most of the negative ones I read were of Neil Gaiman and those reviewers complained about a difference in the Gaiman style as compared to his other works. I felt those reviewers were unfair. I can safely bet there are a bunch of Christian religious fundamentalists (not extremists) which would not even attempt to see the humor in the naming and depictions of various members of the holy (and unholy) establishment. Who would have the temerity to suggest that War, Death, and Famine could keep their original Four Horsemen names but Pestilence was going to have to accept an upgrade to Pollution due to the demands of technology?
Back to two complaints I have about the edition I read. (1) Who cares about publisher and publishers and reprint editions and the “when” of an edition? Me, when the novel becomes hard to read. Throughout this edition, there were symbols that looked like this * throughout the novel. I couldn’t initially find what they referred to. The story was moving along nicely at its usual speed of light and ignoring the symbols didn’t hinder its movement at all. Then I found all the referenced items at the end of the novel. And they were interesting. But at that point, there were no page references and I couldn’t easily go back to what they referred to. Grrrr! So, for a better reading experience, click on the tiny symbols. They will take you to the reference. Then click the back button on the Kindle App and it will take you back to the page you were on … maybe. I don’t know how it works when you are reading the novel on several devices at once and synchronization kicks in. That is what caused me problems.
(2) This book was written by two authors in sort of a back-and-forth style. If one couldn’t get past a certain point (make it funny) the other kicked in new ideas. Through lots and lots of conference calls, they came up with this. Of course, Gaiman’s style was different! I am sure both he and Terry Pratchett made compromises in their final submission. I found many of the negative reviewer comments irrelevant.
Now a bit about content. Here are some of the lines I found attention grabbing. Having read these, no way I could put the book down. After reading the subtitle I was hooked. “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.” How could I walk away from that? It quickly became apparent that Agnes had written a book predicting the Apocalypse, the end of Days. And, looking at the table of contents (of this novel, not the one by Agnes) we can see that it is going to be very soon. It is a matter of days. Certain events and signs must happen first (re: the four Horsemen) but a lot of subordinate characters, angels and lesser angels, demons and lesser demons, Witchhunters, and innocent bystanders go in search for the missing ingredient, the Antichrist. The Antichrist, appropriately named Adam, has not exactly gotten sidetracked in his mission. He was never informed of the mission. He grew up as a “normal” boy. Although he always seemed to be the leader of any group, the one with the best ideas, and the ability to bend everyone else to his will, he did not act knowingly as the Antichrist. He is simply known by his nickname “The Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness. (p. 27). At least that is what Crowley, Satan’s representative on Earth, calls his soon-to-be-master.
This is a hilarious, sarcastic, cynical, and absurd look at the fragility of human nature. For those who want to relate absurd happenings to literal happenings in present day reality, there is lots of material to allow a reader to do that.
But I couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t want to spoil it with reality. I will read more novels with the Gaiman name. And I will take care of them. I will not treat them in a way described at the beginning of this novel. “If we run across a shiny new copy, it’s usually because the owner’s previous five have been stolen by friends, struck by lightning or eaten by giant termites in Sumatra. You have been warned. Oh, and we understand there’s a copy in the Vatican library.” (p. 2).
Over the next 6000 or so years, Aziraphale (the good angel) and Crowley worked out a comfortable arrangement. It seems that agents of all sorts have more in common with their competitors than with their superiors (whom they rarely see). If they unspokenly agreed to a non-interference clause, they could both demonstrate to their masters that they were making remarkable headway against their clever adversaries. When the Apocalypse was announced, they agreed to a secret meeting at the duck pond, along with all the other spies.
Summary of characters:
Sister Mary Loquacious - A Satanic nun from the Chattering order of St. Beryl, her assignment being the newborn nursery baby switch. When she first met the Anti-Christ AKA the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan and Lord of Darkness - she talks sweetly to him and plays with his toesywosies.
Newton Pulsifer - A witchfinder and descendant of the witchfinder, Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer (names were more descriptive in those days). He'd like to believe in a Supreme God, although he would prefer a half-hour chat with Him before committing himself, to clear up a few points.
Adam - The 11 year old Anti-Christ who grew up in a normal home as a normal kid (despite his powers) because of the botched baby swap by Sister Loquacious. He says, "I don't see what's so triffic about creatin' people as people and then gettin' upset 'cos they act like people...Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive." The Megatron's (Voice of God's) face begins to take on the look familiar to all those subjected to Adam's idiosyncratic line of reasoning.
Madam Tracy - A loveable tarot card expert (she took all the evil cards out of the deck) & medium who was forced into partial retirement from prostitution by age. She lived next door to witchhunter Shadwell and brought him cookies.
Shadwell - The witchhunter whose teeth were bad enough to make the tooth fairy take retire her wand. On Sundays, Madam Tracy left a plate of food outside his door...she couldn't help but like him. For all the good it did, though, she might as well be flicking bread pellets into a black hole...in Shadwell's simple world anyone wearing sunglasses who wasn't actually on a beach was probably a criminal.
Crowley - A snappy dresser who always wore sunglasses, Crowley was a demon who rather liked people, even though his job, which he did well, was to do his best to make them miserable. Usually, however, he couldn't think up anything half as bad as stuff they thought up themselves...and just when you'd think they were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they would occasionally show more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. "God does not play games with his loyal servants," said The Megatron. "Whooo-eee," said Crowley, "where have you been?"
Aziraphale - Angelic representation on earth. Although he was, of course, neutered, some thought he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide. Scrupulously good, but not pompous enough to carry a righteous demeanor, his cover was book store owner, and his hobby was collecting Infamous Bibles with errors in typesetting.
The Four Bike Riders of the Apocalypse - joined by a group of mortal Hell's Angels and commissioned by Satan himself to find the lost Anti-Christ on the fateful day of Armageddon.
Crowley and Aziraphale take you on a wonderfully paced journey full of insights and witty observations on life. Pratchett and Gaiman don't let you down as their eccentric cast converges for the climactic scene. Mark Twain, author of "Letters From The Earth" would approve of "Good Omens," the funniest version of the Apocalypse ever written. Highly recommended.
Top reviews from other countries
But on the urgings of a friend, I have now, and for the first time, read one of the novels that he wrote in collaboration with another writer. I’d always resisted that inclination in the past, driven by a sense that I wanted my Terry Pratchett unadulterated or not at all. Ask a Scotsman what the best thing is to add to a whisky and he’ll tell you, “another whisky.” Nothing mixes better with Pratchett than another Pratchett.
After <i>Good Omens</i>, I’ve had to revise that view. It isn’t a Pratchett novel. It isn’t set on the Discworld, for instance, but on Earth. Nonetheless, behind the wit that hums through the book, some of it no doubt down to the co-author Neil Gaiman, there are occasional gleams of pure Pratchett: in the ageing dominatrix, for instance, who is essentially motherly and decorates her boudoir of sin with fluffy toys, or the suggestion that nothing Hell could come up with as a torment would rival what mankind can dream up on its own.
The theme is a parody of the film <i>Omen</i>. A son has been born to Satan. His agents, notably the demon Crowley who is coordinating the whole venture, have arranged that an American diplomat’s wife will give birth that very night to a son in an obscure hospital in the English countryside, which happens to be staffed by nuns from a Satanist order. This will allow a switch to be performed, leading to the devil’s child being brought up in a family which will provide him with the opportunity to plunge the world into the chaos that leads to Armageddon.
Alas, however, even infernal agents, like humans, are inclined to err. The switch is mishandled. So, eleven years later, as the forces of hell and those of heaven prepare to fight their last battle to the destruction of the Earth and the human species, nothing goes to plan.
Which isn’t such a bad thing for Crowley, and his opposite number, the angel Aziraphale. The two of them have grown used to life on earth and have come to enjoy it. No more antique bookshops? No more elegant cocktail bars? (I leave it to you to decide which is to the taste of which of these two). The prospect leaves them both distraught and, having come close to being friends down the centuries through which they have competed with each other, they collaborate to see if they can find a way of preventing Armageddon while avoiding the likely retribution of their respective heavenly and infernal hierarchies.
Throw into the mix a modern witch, who happens to be a descendant of Agnes Nutter, author of some “nice and accurate prophecies” which, are indeed, astonishingly accurate though sadly not always comprehensible until after the events have happened, and then include a misfit of a young man who becomes a witchfinder, and you have all the ingredients for a rollicking, funny and engaging tale. Since the ending is both satisfying and pointed, with the destruction of an object we might have expected to be treated as sacred, the novel has everything one could hope for to amuse and entertain.
Well worth it if you’re at a loose end and want some entertainment written with talent. And, like me, you're regretting the loss of Terry Pratchett. Enhanced, far from diminished, by Neil Gaiman.
You might think a collaboration between two authors, particularly two with such distinctive styles, would read like cut-and-paste, but the story flows along like a Lennon-McCartney composition. Knowing there can now never be anything quite like it again makes it all the more poignant.
Things really do look dire. Except, someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. And the angel and demon who have been keeping an eye on things since mankind were evicted from Eden? Well, they’ve become rather comfy with the way things are. And as they countdown continues, mayhem on an earth-shaking scale begins to unravel their best laid plans.
As familiar as an old pair of gloves; or perhaps the walking boots you’ve used for years.
That’s what it feels like to read this gem of a story from two of the most eccentric writers you will ever meet. Inventive; out there; wickedly funny; heavenly.
A superb recipe for disaster. I didn’t stop grinning from beginning to end.
The story is a rather irreverent take on Armageddon, at a surface inspection it’s clearly a parody of a very well known film but it’s easily arguably so so very much better than the film...isn’t that always the way? What the story is actually about is the eternal battle between good and evil as seen from a child’s point of view, it’s about human nature, immortal forces, life and hope.
I don’t leave reviews often, only when it really matters. Hand on heart I’m telling you that if you haven’t already then you need to discover these authors who mesh so well together in this book. Sir Terry Pratchett is sorely missed by millions but his legacy continues in print. I hope you find the review helpful, I wrote it from memory, now I’m off to reread this book.....
Armageddon approaches rapidly in a quiet unchanging idyllic corner of the British countryside, the AntiChrist has risen or Adam to his friends is accompanied by his faithful adorable Hellhound and it’s almost teatime. The end times are nigh, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse meet up in a motorway cafe but an Angel; Aziraphael and a Demon; Crowley (of M25 infamy) are giving their all to stop that which was writ in Revelations as well as in The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter (Witch). The Witchfinder Army (both of them) are on the move but this time they’re working alongside a witch who not coincidentally happens to be a descendant of Agnes Nutter.
A short summary? An angel and a demon team up to try to stop the Apocalypse from happening when the Anti Christ reaches the correct age. Basically, it's a bit of a spoof on the movie The Omen except can you still consider a work in that parody category when it's arguably better written that it's source? Pratchett and Gaiman's styles of writing complement each other beautifully, bringing out the best in both and removing any perceived weakness someone could somehow relate to either. The characters are incredibly well rounded, and the humor of the book is such that it stands up to multiple re-readings and you will still find yourself gigging over sections.
The story is more than simply engaging, it's enveloping. The pace moves along at the correct speed, keeping you engrossed with each new word. You can't help but care about these characters, about the stakes that they are going through. Not just because the stakes are the end of the world but because we care about the characters and that is far more important, really.
Honestly? Good Omens is one of those books that I recommend to everyone. Because it is simply that good. It's a forever favourite and more people need to read it, really. Because Ineffability.