Book Review #5: Good Omens (BBC 4 Radio Dramatisation) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Posted 6th February 2017 by Wattle in Books, Reviews / 12 Comments

Book Review #5: Good Omens (BBC 4 Radio Dramatisation) by Terry Pratchett and Neil GaimanGood Omens (BBC 4 Radio Dramatisation) by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Full Cast
Published by BBC Worldwide on December 22nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Humour
Length: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Owned
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: five-stars

A full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s apocalyptic comic novel.

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday in fact. Just after Any Answers on Radio 4….

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse - War, Famine, Pollution and Death - are assembling.

Witchfinder Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor’s cryptic predictions.

Atlantis is rising; fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan.

Everything, that is, but for an unlikely angel and demon duo, who have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. If they are to prevent Armageddon they’ve got to find and kill the one who will bring it about: the Antichrist himself. There’s just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him…

Adapted, sound designed and co-directed by Dirk Maggs (Neverwhere, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) this first ever dramatisation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel features a large cast including Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Josie Lawrence and Paterson Joseph.

I was at work a couple of Fridays ago, and as the Thursday beforehand was a public holiday there was next to no one in. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to pop my headphones in and listen to something, but I didn’t want to start a long audiobook. Then I came across this version of Good Omens (which I’m counting as a book, because it’s pretty much an abridged version) and thought ‘yes! That will do!’

It’s only 4 hours and 20 minutes long, I had to take a couple of breaks when I needed to concentrate on something important but I listened to it all that day 🙂

I giggled a fair bit during this: “Earth is a Libra”, I mean…come on!
 
The radio adaptation is a condensed version of the story and it just works so well. The sound effects and different voice actors are just so great. I wish actual audiobooks were done like this (I think some do exist?) it would make it easier for me to listen to – I’m struggling with audio at the moment.

As always, it’s all about Crowley for me. He’s my standout character, a demon who doesn’t really want the apocalypse to happen as he’s quite fond of Earth. He and Aziraphale (an angel with a similar outlook) do have a lot in common, even if they are on opposite ‘sides’. What their superiors don’t know, won’t hurt them 😉 There’s a mix-up with the antichrist, witches, witchfinders (hunters, if you will), and the four horsemen (or…persons). What’s not to like?
 
A great, though also very short listen, it was absolutely worth the time and energy spent. It actually made me fire up the proper audiobook of Good Omens, which is my favourite book of all time. When I’m done with that, I’ll probably re-read it again.

Seriously. Favourite. Book. Ever.

AND a tv show (written by Mr Gaiman) has been announced. Woohoo!

Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Performance
five-stars
Quality
five-stars
Enjoyability
five-stars
Overall: 5

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12 responses to “Book Review #5: Good Omens (BBC 4 Radio Dramatisation) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

  1. Radio dramatisation? We used to listen to such a thing back home in the Philippines many years ago! The best ones are the horror ones. My brothers and I used to listen to them in the dark just to freak ourselves out. Lol. Good times, good times.

    • Yeees! There’s one for Neverwhere (another Gaiman book) and James McAvoy voices the main character (like I was going to miss that lol) but when it was announced I thought ‘that seems very old fashioned, do people still listen to those?’ turns out they do and the BBC produce them!

      I guess audiobooks are radio dramatisations cousin in a way, I find the radio ones more fun because of the voice cast being so large (and I do like sound effects, makes it easier to imagine!)

  2. I too wish audiobooks were done like radio dramatisations. I know the Illuminae audiobook has sound effects and a tonne of different voice actors, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet 🙁

    I really want to read this (or listen) before the tv show comes out! I’ve been meaning to read it for forever.

    • Oh that sounds cool, I’m hoping more audiobooks pick up the trend because they’re so fun to listen to 🙂

      I was reading other people’s reviews of Good Omens the other day (I was curious lol) and some people find it convoluted and difficult to follow because there’s just so much to take in, I love it because of the chaos though; it’s a unique read!

  3. Whenever I hear the words radio dramatisation, I always think of families gathering around the old radios and listening to the BBC. I had no idea they still made them. It sounds absolutely entertaining Bre and I’d love to see what others they had in the series. Hopefully it’ll be the kick start you need to get back into the audio books. Wonderful review darling girl <3

    • Yes me too! I always imagine families gathering to listen to their shows 🙂 BBC radio did one for Neverwhere (another Gaiman book) a few years ago and it was the first time I’d heard of a radio adaptation being done, I thought they’d died when tv took over lol that one’s awesome also (I could be bias though, James McAvoy voices the main character).

  4. I hadn’t heard of this one before, but sounds like the audio was done very well for this one. From what I understand sound effect and hiring multiple people makes producing and audiobook more expensive, so maybe that’s why that doesn’t happen more often? Glad to hear you enjoyed this so much!

    • Oooh that’s a really good point, I hadn’t thought of the fact it would be quite a bit more expensive to recreate (and totally explains why they go for abridged versions!)

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