Book Reads: Good Omens (by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) [☝]Saturday, December 22, 2012
It's December 22, 2012 today, which means the world has surpassed that much dreaded (by some) doomsday as interpreted by the Mayan Calendar. Coincidentally, I finished reading this book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett entitled Good Omens, which narrates about an impending world apocalypse as predicted by a witch named Agnes Nutter and how a demon and an angel team up to prevent this from happening. Full of clever wit, it's a story that will make you contemplate on the 'Great Plan' and if there's really a need for a doomsday for humankind after all.
It has a really nice plot, but on my opinion, the book needed not to be that long to build up the story. The events were dragging for the greater half of the book, but as the narration neared to the most awaited 'apocalypse', I couldn't help but read on to find out what would happen eventually.
There are a lot of passages that really hit me and made me think about a lot of things. Here are some of them:
"[Pertaining to the destined apocalypse] I just don't see why everyone and everything has to be burned up and everything, millions of fish an' whales an' trees an', an' sheep and stuff. An' not even for anything important. Jus' to see who's the best gang."
In the final battle between Good and Evil, we know that the side of Good will win. So what's the point of holding that battle, which will destroy everything, if we know who will be the winner in the end?
The book also talks about the forbidden fruit being placed in the garden of Eden.
"... Anyone who could build a universe in six days isn't going to let a little thing like that happen. Unless they want to, of course."
"... If you sit down and think about it sensibly, you come up with some very funny ideas. Like why make people inquisitive, and then put some forbidden fruit where they can see it..."
"Why do that if you really don't want them to eat it, eh? I mean maybe you just want to see how it all turns out. Maybe it's all part of a great big ineffable plan. All of it. You, me, him, everything. Some great big test to see if what you've built all works properly, eh? You start thinking: it can't be a great cosmic game of chess, it has to be just very complicated Solitaire."
These lines of thought really made me think about things. It kinda makes sense, doesn't it? The book is a parody of an apocalypse but near the end, it exudes a serious tone of questioning established beliefs in our world.
I've read novels by Gaiman before and I have come to familiarize myself with his style of writing - dark, haunting and chilling even - because it exposes you to your deepest fears, may it be imaginary or real. On the other hand, it's my first time to encounter Pratchett's work.
I liked the book because it challenged the foundations of what I believe in, and it showed me a bigger picture of life. It's really a nice read. And like what happened in the book and in real life yesterday, doomsday did not commence. All is well for mankind.