RED Hearts: Book To Read, "Good Omens"

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Today's RED Hearts post is by Samantha Gillogly, 21, reporting from West Brookfield, MA, who kindly tells us about one of her favorite books:

A novel about the apocalypse written in 1990 may not sound like it would stay fresh for decades. But Good Omens is the kind of book that deals with fear, fear that the demise of our planet is growing closer every day, in a way that is as painfully relevant today as it was when it was published. War? Third World famine? A massive oil spill?  That was then, this is… also now.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Good Omens is the result of a brilliant, one-time collaboration between two master storytellers: Terry Pratchett (author of the Discworld series) and Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Stardust, and many others).

In a nutshell: Aziraphale and Crowley are two angels (one celestial, the other infernal) who’ve taken it upon themselves to stop Armageddon. Except they have one week in which to do this. And the Antichrist is a 10-year-old boy. And then there’s that messy business of a book of prophecies written by a 17th-century witch who, even in death, seems to know everybody’s business.

Besides the wit and memorable cast of characters (including motorcycle-riding Horsemen of the Apocalypse), what makes this story work so well is its refusal to draw a clear separation between good and evil. Although Aziraphale and Crowley work for opposing supernatural forces, they’ve developed a close friendship over the millennia based on their mutual fondness of the mortal plane and its bemusing inhabitants. Aziraphale enjoys operas and antique book collecting, while Crowley has a penchant for fine wine and vintage cars; these are sophisticated gentlemen.

And while legions of angels and demons work hard to nudge events in one or the other’s favor, the authors make it very clear that the most powerful forces on earth, for better or for worse, are the choices made by individual human beings. Gaiman and Pratchett want us to know that it’s up to us to decide if the future we build will be a heaven…or a hell.


RED Hearts guest poster Samantha Gillogly is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is now available in paperback.