SOMETHING OLD; a book to reread
Some books feel like coming home. I’m not sure if I could really tell you the first time I read Good Omens (sometime in college maybe?) because I’m certain the book came in this worn, dropped in the bath, dogeared condition. It’s always felt like a comfortable, curl up by the fire, know every word but it still stirs feelings inside you book. Perhaps that Catholic upbringing of mine has something to do with how familiar the themes of the book seem, as well as the gentle way the grandiose has become familiarly mundane out of sheer infectious contact with humanity. It might just be the readable, welcoming writing style of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, who write like they’re the best of friends welcoming you into the secret they’ve been whispering and laughing about for hours.
Good Omens is a book about the end of the world. It is about the forces of good and evil speeding toward Armageddon with reckless abandon and, I would say, bloodlust on both sides. Every supernatural character we do not spend a lot of time with sees humanity as a bore, or at the very least as something inconsequential to the grand final battle to come. Even our purported main characters, an angel and a demon, do little to actually resolve the main plot – which is preventing the Anti-Christ from bringing about the Apocalypse – instead bumbling about trying to be not too good and not too evil respectively, having grown comfortable on Earth and each harboring a certain fondness for the human race at large.
It’s ultimately a story about love, and not the romantic kind for once, at the center of it. It is an optimistic, hilarious book that, even in my hiatus from reading as a whole, I’ve reread more times than I can count. So help me, this little book about the almost end of the world makes me hope.