10 Books Like 'Good Omens' To Read While You Wait The Upcoming Miniseries
It might feel like a sign of the apocalypse, but Good Omens is finally coming to television. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's hilarious, irreverent take on the End of Days has been a fan favorite for years, spanning endless debate, fanfiction, and Deviantart masterpieces, and at long last the Powers that Be are going to grace us with an Amazon Prime miniseries. All that's left to do now is re-read our copies of Good Omens and wait. But if you're in need of some more metaphysical humor ASAP, then here are few books that just might fill that Good Omens-shaped hole in your heart.
First of all, if you haven't read Good Omens yet, drop everything else in your life and start there. Good Omens is the story of a well-meaning angel and a fast-living demon who have accidentally misplaced the Antichrist. Now what are we supposed to do on judgment day? It's a smart, witty, ridiculous masterpiece full of witches and motorcycles and biblical mayhem. It should be required reading for anyone who enjoys an apocalyptic laugh.
If you've already read Good Omens, then chances are good that you like absurd humor, surreal circumstances, and very cool demons. Here are the books to check out:
'Gil's All Fright Diner' by A. Lee Martinez
Duke the werewolf and Earl the vampire are just passing through town, hoping to grab a quick bite to eat. When they're offered a hundred bucks to clear up a zombie infestation, they figure it's pretty easy money—but it turns out that zombies are just the beginning of the trouble around town. Between a teen witch and the opening of the gates of Hell, Duke and Earl might be in over their heads in this laugh-out-loud paranormal comedy.
'Mort' by Terry Pratchett
If you like Good Omens, you'll probably like Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, and if you like Discworld, you'll love Mort. Mort is the first of the Discworld novels to focus specifically on Death, everyone's favorite personification. The titular Mort finds himself working as Death's apprentice, which seems like the perfect job... until he realizes that a career working for Death isn't so great for keeping your love life alive.
'Practical Demonkeeping' by Christopher Moore
Travis O'Hearn is good-looking, one hundred years old, and a "roads" scholar. His traveling companion, Catch, is a green demon who eats people. Together, they're about to discover the hidden secrets of Pine Cove, a faux Tudor town full of winos and neo-pagans. Practical Demonkeeping is Moore's first novel, but it's already full of his signature wacky humor and his signature weird demons.
'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman
What lies beneath the streets of London? Well, a metro system and sewers mostly, but also (according to Neil Gaiman) a bizarre labyrinth of knights, assassins, princesses, angels, and beasts. Neverwhere tends a little more towards the creepy than the humorous, but it's still a wonderfully witty fantasy novel for anyone who likes strange monsters and dangerous quests set in and around the London Underground.
'The Dark Lord of Derkholm' by Diana Wynne Jones
Every year, Mr Chesney's Pilgrim Parties takes tourists on a "grand tour" of a mysterious fantasy land. But this year, the inhabitants of fantasy land are sick of it. Mild-mannered Derk has been cast as the "Dark Lord" for this year's tour, with his son as the "Wizard Guide." Derk and his family (including his several griffin children) are suddenly thrown into the strange world of the fantastic tourism industry, without much choice but to fulfill their "evil" roles as best they can.
'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul' by Douglas Adams
So technically this is the second Dirk Gently novel, but you can easily pick it up without any other context. Dirk Gently runs a "holistic" detective agency, you see, and he believes in solving "the whole crime" and finding "the whole person." This philosophy becomes slightly more complicated when he finds himself in the middle of a mystery involving Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, who has been blowing up airports in his attempt to catch the 3:37 to Oslo.
'John Dies at the End' by David Wong
The title kind of says it all. John and Dave are perpetual slackers who get themselves caught up with the strange new inter-dimensional drug soy sauce. Through dimension-hopping and time loops, the two friends wind up confronting the head of a cult, an eldritch biological computer who wants to invade all universes with the terrifying Shadow Men, and things just get weirder from there in this surreal horror comedy.
'The Eyre Affair' by Jasper Fforde
What Good Omens does for the Bible, Jasper Fforde does for all of English literature. The Eyre Affair is set in a slightly different universe from our own, where people watch Richard III like it's The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Thursday Next is employed as a literary detective. Everything changes for Thursday, though, when she discovers her ability to actually jump into books, and soon she's on the case tracking down the kidnapper of Jane Eyre.
'Young Miles' by Lois McMaster Bujold
What to do when you're seventeen and discharged from the Barrarayan academy? Grab yourself a spaceship and become leader of an enormous force of space mercenaries, of course. Sci-fi master Lois McMaster Bujold proves that space operas don't have to be deadly serious with Young Miles, the story of the irrepressible, cheeky, tiny, young Miles Vorkosigan (he's barely more than four feet tall), and his adventures on his way to becoming a great Vor lord.
'The Amulet of Samarkand' by Jonathan Stroud
Sorry, Crowley, but Bartimaeus might win out as the funniest demon in fiction (just don't call him a demon to his face). The Amulet of Samarkand is the story of Nathaniel, a boy magician-in-training. He is sold to the unpleasant Arthur Underwood at the age of five so that he might one day become a powerful magic-wielder for the British Empire. But Nathaniel has decided to jump the gun and summon a demon way beyond his grade level: the wisecracking djinni Bartimaeus. What follows is something between Faust and a buddy comedy, and it's hilarious.