The forces of Heaven and Hell are assembling to bring about the end of the world. Only an angel and a demon who have grown to love the earth, a straightforward witch by the name of Anathema and her witch-finder consort, and the 11 year old Antichrist himself, may be able to save humanity.
First of all, this novel is hilarious. With Gaiman and Pratchett steering the ship I would have expected no different, yet the humor bears acknowledgment. I have never read anything quite like their brand of kind, occasionally dark lunacy. I imagine they consider humanity with equal parts bemusement, love and exasperation.
What do I love about this novel? The comedy is a given, but I think what is greatest about the story is its heart. Even in the face of the end of life as we know it, quite probably brought about by our own ineptitude, it is repeatedly obvious that Gaiman and Pratchett believe in us, in people, even though we spectacularly mess things up on a regular basis. The Antichrist, Adam Young, is at the center of the Earth’s moral battleground. Head of a pack of mischief-making kids in a sleepy English town, when the forces of good and evil amass Adam Young must ultimately choose whether or not to save humanity.
What is his choice? Ultimately it is this capacity to choose – whether for the “right” or for the “wrong” – that makes humanity so interesting. There is a curious flatness about the angels and demons who have remained in heaven or hell, respectively, that pales in comparison to the walking contradiction that is humanity. Crowley and Aziraphale, the demon and angel representatives on Earth, are drawn into the world of humans, ultimately becoming more human than satanic/divine, and therefore, according to the novel, more dynamic. Life is not black and white, Gaiman and Pratchett remind us through the choices of their characters, and thank goodness for that!
So if you are in the mood for some solid British apocalypse humor with heart, give this book a try. It will make you laugh, it will make you think, and it will absolutely be a fun, wild ride.
Freebie Bonus Interview!
Hear what the authors have to say about their collaboration, the apocalypse and everything in between.
Pratchett & Gaiman: The Double Act