Books I wish I read when I was a kid. Yes. I read it right now. Call me crazy…!
The Chrestomanci Chronicles is an awesome fantasy series by British writer Diana Wynne Jonnes. I started and finished with Volume I (first two novels) yesterday, and I’m reading Volume II right now! And you know a book has got to be awesome, when Neil Gaiman calls it “…always perfectly magical.”
It is time for yet another book review! The book in question is Good Omens (The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
The world is going to end soon; next Saturday, to be precise, right after tea! Anathema Device is a witch. Newton Pulsifer is a witch hunter. They team up to stop the Apocalypse that the seventeenth century prophetess, Agnes Nutter has predicted in her Nice and Accurate Prophecies (where nice means precise). And they aren’t the only ones.
Crowley the demon and Aziraphale the angel, are representatives of Good and Evil stationed on the earth. As the End-of-Times is nearing, they seem to be in a bit of a mess. Not only have the managed to develop a liking for the earth, but they have also lost the one who is supposed to bring about the Armageddon – the Antichrist (who is an entirely different 11 year old boy from the one they thought was the actual son of Satan!)
While a whole lot of people, including the Four Horsemen (Bikers) of the Apocalypse are out to track the Antichrist, somewhere an 11 year old boy is naively using powers he doesn’t know he possesses to change the world according to his will.
Before you know it, you are transported into a zany, faced-paced, indescribably awesome world, full of characters so surreal; they might as well walk right out of the book. Who knew the Apocalypse would be so funny!
Aziraphale stared out at the rushing hedgerows.
“It all seems so peaceful,” he said. “How do you think it will happen?”
“Well, thermonuclear extinction has always been very popular. Although I must say the big boys are being quite polite to each other at the moment.” said Crowley.
“Asteroid strike?” said Aziraphale. “Quite the fashion these days, I understand. Strike into the Indian Ocean, great big cloud of dust and vapor, goodbye all higher life forms.”
“Wow,” said Crowley.
“Doesn’t bear thinking about it, does it,” said Aziraphale gloomily.
“All the higher life forms scythed away, just like that.”
“Nothing but dust and fundamentalists.”
“That was nasty.”
“Sorry. Couldn’t resist it.”
The book is ‘ineffable’. That’s what it is.
It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might.
And there’s the way she writes, the quick wit, the stereotypical characters that you’ll find in every “Muggle” school as well (every class has a Hermione, a Luna, and an irritating pair of Lavender and Parvati), the adventure, the mystery, the way every piece fits – how all the books are interconnected, it seems as though she thought of all seven books together; it’s one whole story with seven books as seven chapters and Quidditch – who can think of anything more wonderful than Quidditch! Like I said, there are a hundred reasons.
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