The opening of GOOD OMENS is so clever, so sharp and – most importantly – so funny, that it seems a shame the rest of it doesn’t quite match it. I realise that I’m holding it to nearly impossible standards. If the whole book had been as good as those opening chapters then this would be a strong contender for the funniest book ever written. THE CODE OF THE WOOSTERS (or maybe CATCH 22, I haven’t quite settled on a winner yet) would peer nervously over its shoulder as this tale of demonic offspring charged up to wrestle away its crown. But, really, to criticise it for not being that phenomenally funny all the way through is unreasonable. No, this isn’t the funniest book ever written, but it’s still an amazingly funny book. And you can’t hold anything against a book that makes you laugh two dozen times, even if you know in your heart it could have been more.
A comic spin on the movie, THE OMEN, but instead of the antichrist being delivered safe into the hands of Gregory Peck, there’s confusion and he ends up growing up the son of a chartered accountant in Oxfordshire. The ensuing confusion brings together a not very demonic demon and a not very angelic angel, a witch finder general, a witch and the four horsemen of the apocalypse (including Pratchett favourite, Death) to create a story that milks every comic possibility from the apocalypse in a very English style. (I’ve mentioned Wodehouse, but a lot of this Douglas Adams would have been very proud of). True, it manages the odd combination of being a bit too long, and having so many ideas it doesn’t have space to let them all breathe, but all flaws are brushed over in this reviewer’s eyes because – as I might have mentioned – it’s pretty much hilarious from start to finish.