Good Omens Audiobook Performance
The Good Omens audiobook is performed by Martin Jarvis, who is spectacular. As someone rather familiar with David Tennant and Michael Sheen’s work and vocal ranges, I noticed Jarvis seemed to be aware they were cast for the roles of Crowley and Aziraphale. His voices for them almost made me think I was listening to the actors themselves!
The performance was entirely immersive and I enjoyed every second of it, even the annoying character of Chadwell! He even gets the female voices done right. No easy task, especially when you realize how deep his voice can get. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the book just as much by reading it, but Jarvis’ performance sealed it forever to my heart.
The story follows Crowley, a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel, who both work on Earth. Millennia ago, the pair formed a mutual agreement to not get in each other’s way and occasionally take lunch together at the Ritz Hotel in London. Crowley is assigned to the task of delivering the anti-Christ to a specific hospital of Satanic nuns, who will then switch him out with another baby so that the forces of Evil might groom the anti-Christ to bring about Armageddon.
Things go slightly awry with the baby switch; something no one quite notices until the anti-Christ’s eleventh birthday. You know, the day that marks his rise to power and the initial bits of the end of the world.
Aware this doom approaches in mere days, Crowley informs his frenemy Aziraphale so that they might work together to somehow prevent it. Or at least get their Earthly affairs in order for the time they have left. Neither particularly wants the end of the world to come about as both have formed certain attachments to Earth. It makes sense, when you think about it.
Good Omens Writing Style
Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman have chosen every one of their words with care. Together they deliver the end of the world in a style no one can match. The distinctly British humor of it all, a dash of Douglas Adams style zaniness here and there with the Witchfinders Army bit and the obnoxious demon Hastur getting caught in the telephone lines, lend to an unforgettable book.
Imagery leaps off the page, each scene as vivid and real as the last. Each character as developed in one paragraph as any person you intimately know. They paint a world in which you already live, but with extra forces at work and a peanut gallery to amuse.
The Cult of Footnote
The footnotes they use, essentially parentheticals throughout, are entirely unnecessary to the plot but absolutely mandatory to the story. In the audience Q&A at New York Comic Con, Neil Gaiman assured the questioner that the footnotes would indeed feature in the show, and were done with an understanding of their impact to readers. The footnotes might even have their own cult following, I haven’t looked for any social media account called “Good Omen Footnotes,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if one exists.
Preview of the Good Omens Adaptation by Amazon Prime
I’m planning to start on the Good Omens series adaptation on Amazon Prime as soon as the Stanley Cup Finals are done and I get free reign of the TV again. But now having read the book, I can definitely say I’m not precisely sure how they’ll actually adapt it.
I’m glad to know that Neil Gaiman wrote and produced and edited and etc. the entire show because it’d be impossible for someone else to capture. That said, I have concerns about them amping up the action as compared to its relevance in the book. I also worry how they’ll cast Adam Young (aka the anti-Christ). It’s such a specific character, lots for a young actor to handle. That said, I am 100% more excited to see it now than I was before listening to the Good Omens audiobook.
Too Long, Didn’t Read Bottom Line Review
Don’t look for any prophetic takeaways, despite how many nice and accurate prophecies abound within the pages, the Good Omens audiobook is sheer entertainment start to finish. It clocks in at 12 hours and 32 minutes of total joy.