I have mentioned in recent posts about my new found love of audiobooks. Their convenience has allowed me to diversify my reading as well as rediscover old literary loves, from the Harry Potter novels through to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
This has resulted in a new discovery- the radio adaptation! My best buddy & literary adviser Sio, knowing my long running love of Neil Gaiman & my recent investigation into Terry Pratchett’s books (specifically Mort), recommended I listen to BBC Radio4’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s & Terry Pratchett’s collaborative publication Good Omens.
And as always she was correct! I can honestly say that I have listened to this series (all 6 episodes) three times now & I am devastated that I will no longer be able to listen to them on my iPad – as to date they’ve been available on the BBC radio iPlayer but have just recently been removed. I had heard via Neil Gaiman’s Facebook that the book was being adapted for the radio however I missed it on the radio & didn’t think to search for it online- therefore I only discovered the series a week before it is removed from the online app.
Back to the Review: The adaptation was wonderfully done and is simply hilarious. I also own the paperback book however previously I had struggled to invest any interest in the topic or genre of this book, despite the written quality naturally imbedded by the very nature of its authors. A book on the apocalypse of Earth, control of which is in the hands of an eleven year old boy is simply not something I am interested in reading – although I do love the Supernatural series. But I have been completely converted! In a brief summary – the anti Christ has been sent to earth & is destined to bring about Armageddon- however the Angels and Demons who inhabit the earth don’t particularly want to leave & are rather comfortable. Therefore two very unlikely friends, the demon Crowley & the Angel Aziraphale join together in an attempt to stop the apocalypse from happening – during which much hilarity ensues. There are also some deep lessons hidden behind sarcasm & innuendo- from devil worshiping nuns who coo & count the “toesie-woesies” of the anti Christ through to Pollution replacing Pestilence as one of the Horsemen (Sorry…Horse-people, as War is a woman! And a seriously kick ass b***h,) of the Apocalypse after the invention of antibiotics.
One of my favourite quotes, although it’s minuscule in the overall plot, however Crowleys tone at being handed the anti Christ has had me in stitches;
The quality of this adaptation is even better than the audiobooks I have listened to, to date. The actors are all amazing & I may have a small crush on Crowley for his voice alone. The music (which includes a lot of Queen) & sound affects are also perfect for example the torturous screams we can hear in the background anytime Crowley rings Hell. Another of my favourite aspects of the adaptation is the overlays from the BBC radio presenters to talking about apocalyptic events in completely average conversation. From Gardens question Time discussing the consequences of Fish falling from the sky….
“Well, I’m a keen rose grower, but my prize-winning Molly McGuire lost a
couple of blossoms yesterday in a rain of what were apparently fish. What
does the team recommend for this, other than place netting over the garden?”
— R.P.Tyler on Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens
Or those pesky Tibetans digging tunnels all the way through the earth,
“…now as keen gardeners know, it goes without sayin’ that he’s a cunnin’
little devil, your Tibetan. Tunnelin’ straight through your begonias like
it was nobody’s business. A cup of tea’ll shift him, with rancid yak butter
for preference…” — Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens
And finally this adaptation was made extra special cameo appearance of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman in the first episode as policemen, who sadly come to a tragic end soon after (eaten but a hellish creature from the sound of things).
I honestly couldn’t recommend this book/audio adaptation any more – full 10 out of 10. So If you get a chance to listen to this adaptation, the cd of which is available on Amazon or you could possibly find it elsewhere online, It is totally worth the time invested to listen. It’s also a great opportunity to investigate a new author or genre if you’re new to Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.
Have you ever listened to this or any other radio adaptation? I would love to hear what you think!