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Usually I make a note when I happen to know the author (or in this case, one of the authors). It doesn't normally affect my review much, but in this case -- I last read this book before Terry went public about The Embuggerance. That's coloured my recent re-read, putting an edge on the humour that wasn't there last time round. Nevertheless...

This is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and yes, that includes Terry's other output. The Bible is true on a literal level, the Antichrist has just been born and Armageddon is coming, and a somewhat shopsoiled angel and demon would really rather it didn't, thank you very much. Aziraphale and Crowley have spent the last six thousand years doing their jobs on Earth, after that unfortunate incident in the Garden of Eden, and in the manner of undercover agents everywhere, have discovered that they have more in common with each other than their masters. They like humans, and they like the human lifestyle. They don't at all like the idea of returning whence they came. And so they decide to do something about it.

All of which was predicted by Agnes Nutter, Witch, who left a set of prophecies for her descendents. Very, very accurate prophecies written by someone who saw things but didn't necessarily understand what she was seeing. Her present day descendent knows that Armageddon is coming, and sets out to do something about the Antichrist.

Who just happens to be a perfectly normal English boy with a gang, and a dog. The dog is from hell, but the gang isn't, in spite of the collective opinion of the adults of the village. One too many swaps in the nursing home left the Antichrist as a cuckoo in the nest of a completely normal middle class family instead of the American diplomat's, and completely untended by satanic nursemaids to guide him in the wrong path. And thus the stage is set for a satire that mercilessly dissects all manner of things about modern life, and has enormous fun along the way.

Very much recommended.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia
Kobo

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-10 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dsgood
Yes! Yes!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-10 10:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jhall1.livejournal.com
Very much recommended.

Seconded. I loved the tribute to Richmal Crompton's William books.

Did you catch the radio dramatisation that the BBC made and broadcast in six episodes during Christmas week, 2014? I thought that it was excellent. It's available on CD if you missed it. The BBC website had - and perhaps still has - some ancillary material, including an interesting interview with Neil Gaiman.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-10 02:09 pm (UTC)
ext_12726: Me at the computer (Bedtime reading)
From: [identity profile] heleninwales.livejournal.com
I started listening to the dramatisation, but realised I wasn't finding it funny, which was strange because I'd loved the book on first reading. So I abandoned the series and made a note to re-read the book instead.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-10 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jhall1.livejournal.com
It's strange how these things work sometimes. We both loved the book, but one of us enjoyed the dramatisation and one of us didn't.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-11 06:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] houseboatonstyx.livejournal.com
Am I the only person who has noticed some resemblences between this martyr ancestor and the one in a Charles Williams 'spiritual thriller', and the ending of this and the ending of _That Hideous Strength_. And ordinary mortals in a final chapter anti-deus ex machina bringing the world back to ordinary normal? And, and.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-12 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] predatrix.livejournal.com
Did you hear the sad news?

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