On the first day of the rest of our lives, the cycle begins again. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Good Omens.
I suppose there never really could be an ending, at least not one where a side “won,” and this whole book has been basically telling me this the entire time. Each side needs the other to exist, or else it’ll all start over again. There really is a poetic sense to how Good Omens ends, but before we get to that, I’d like to talk about each of the character finales that we get.
What a strange couple. I am fascinated by their dynamic. They start off with Newt knowing not much of anything, and Anathema knowing everything. Her life has been spelled out by her distant relative, so she knows how it is all going to unfold. I’m glad the authors address this. I can’t even conceive of what a bizarre, jarring experience it must be to suddenly live life knowing nothing after knowing all of it. What exactly does Anathema do now that she must continue on completely ignorant of what is to come?
That’s answered when a man working for a law firm of sorts arrives with a box. It’s a box of prophecies, though the man has no idea what’s inside the box he is carrying. It’s interesting to me that the resolution to everything was in Agnes Nutter’s prophecies, since the contents of the box all concern things that happen after the Apocalypse is delayed. SHE KNEW EVERYTHING THE WHOLE TIME. She knew who would peek in the box, and she knew that Anathema would have an existential crisis over her identity. So there’s something beautiful to me about the thought of Anathema and Newt spending the rest of their lives interpreting Agnes’s prophecies, assuring things come out all right. But there’s also something beautiful in the opposite idea. All I know by the end of their section is that Newt asks Anathema if she always wants to be considered a descendant of Agnes Nutter. There’s no direct answer, but you could read this ending both ways. And I like both those endings.
Of course, I was most looking forward to what happened to these two. MY BABIES. It seems that both are being ignored by their superiors because of bureaucratic nonsense. Understandably so. How could either side determine the ineffable plan of God??? But there still might be an End of the World. They just postponed it. So the end of the story for these two is kind of sobering. They have their world before them, they still have their jobs, but what does that mean? If they do what they’re meant to do, does that mean they’re ferrying the world to its inevitable end? How many times can you delay the Apocalypse anyway?
I like that it’s Crowley who is the one to suggest that God might change the rules. He might become human, and the Apocalypse could be Heaven/Hell versus Humans. But Crowley is always a secret optimist, and he has to hope for a better future than one where every living creature on Earth has to be wiped out. Or else how does anything else make sense? How does the beginning make sense if the ending is so nonsensical? I guess I’d have to agree with Death. It’s INEFFABLE. But I’d like to think that this book and these characters have helped me to make sense of the world I live in.
I’d also like to imagine that Crowley and Aziraphale are sitting in some restaurant in London right now, and Crowley is badgering Aziraphale about the ridiculous suit he’s wearing.
Really, it was only a matter of time before Shadwell came around. RIGHT? He’s been so determined to be uncomfortable, on the go, always moving, and eternally busy, that it is shocking to him that Madame Tracy settles him down. I wonder what the question he asked her was. What’s your take?
HAHAHAHA HOLY SHIT, I FORGOT ABOUT HIM. Poor kid! The forces of darkness thought he was the Antichrist. Well, at least he got a little vacation out of it, yes?
I expected that this book would end with Crowley and Aziraphale, but in hindsight, I like that it’s Adam who gets the last POV narration. He kind of was the center of this story, and his name fits the tale well. Adam was there in the beginning, and now this Adam is here at the end. He’s still just a kid, and I don’t know if he retains any of his Antichrist identity. I suppose it’s not really important.
To me, Adam represents knowledge. Knowledge is what saved him. It’s what saved the world. He used the knowledge of what the Apocalypse would do to stop it from happening. He used knowledge to refuse power and to refuse Heaven’s war. And now he’s left on earth with more knowledge than probably any other mortal on the planet.
That’s what his actions mean at the end. He takes the apple from the tree, but he does so knowingly. He is aware of the consequences, something the Adam from The Beginning didn’t know at all. And what is the problem with eating that silly old apple?
Oh my GOD, I loved this book tremendously. And it’s clear to me that this book is MEANT to be read a couple trillion times. How many things did I miss along the way? SO MANY THINGS! It’s interesting to me how similar each of the three books I’ve read by Neil Gaiman have been, at least in the sense that they all accept that gods are real beings. They twist that central premise in various ways, though, and I am SO HAPPY with what I just read. That just means I should probably read Discworld sometime next year, shouldn’t I?
These three videos are a COMPLETE reading of this chapter, and I thank my friend Robin for commissioning me to read this chapter. I hope you enjoy them, too!
Anyway, on to more books! On Monday, I’ll be starting both the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant and the Song of the Lionness quartet by Tamora Pierce. The Master Schedule has now been updated to reflect the order of posts. Join me as I read through BOTH series! HUZZAH.
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