In August, Open Book Club will be discussing Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, a zany tale of the blundering of the Armageddon. Featuring an angel, a demon, an 11-year-old Antichrist, and a doomsaying witch, Good Omens is a fun-to-read book filled with unmistakably British humor.
To get our conversation started, Lizzy, our fabulous Bookstore Coordinator put together a few questions:
1.) How do you view the treatment of traditional Christianity in this book, particularly in regards to the characters Aziraphale, Crowley, and Adam? What, in your opinion, is the relationship of free will and “God’s ineffable plan” in the events of the book?
2.) What are your thoughts on the recurring theme that no angel or demon could even think up the horrible things humans do to each other or the wonderful things they do to help each other? How do you see the role of humanity in the book vs. the role of the supernatural?
3.) Do you find a message in this book? If so, what? Do you think its satire works as intended?
4.) In your opinion, would this novel work better if viewed as a “political” novel (as books with religious themes tend to be viewed, currently), or if viewed as a humorous novel that happens to satirize religion? In what ways does the humor add and detract from its message?
5.) How do you view the roles of Agnes Nutter and Anathema? Do their prophecies fit in to the satire or are they merely there as a deus ex machina? What about the roles of other secondary characters? (Newt, Shadwell, Madame Tracy, The Chattering Order of St. Beryl, etc.)
6.) Are you familiar with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s other work? Do you think that as co-writers they were able to fit the novel together seamlessly, or did you notice the different writing styles?
7.) Did you know the Witch-finder General was a real thing in England????
Join Open Book Club for the Good Omens discussion on Tuesday, August 9 at 6 pm in the Open Books store. For more information on the Open Book Club and for a complete list of books we’ve selected, click here!