Author Topic: Quotes from "Good Omens"  (Read 375 times)

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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Quotes from "Good Omens"
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:34:12 AM »
I was chatting with OCG the other day when the topic turned to what books we preferred to read. I suggested that he should pick up Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's "Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch " for both it's humor and insight in to human nature. I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes.

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“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of p0ker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

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“Anyway, if you stop tellin' people it's all sorted out afer they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive. ”

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“If you sit down and think about it sensibly, you come up with some very funny ideas. Like: why make people inquisitive, and then put some forbidden fruit where they can see it with a big neon finger flashing on and off saying 'THIS IS IT!'? ... I mean, why do that if you really don't want them to eat it, eh? I mean, maybe you just want to see how it all turns out. Maybe it's all part of a great big ineffable plan. All of it. You, me, him, everything. Some great big test to see if what you've built all works properly, eh? You start thinking: it can't be a great cosmic game of chess, it has to be just very complicated Solitaire.”

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“You don't have to test everything to destruction just to see if you made it right.”

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“Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he…”Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” Crowley got a commendation for the Spanish Inquisition. He had been in Spain then, mainly hanging around cantinas in the nicer parts, and hadn’t even known about it until the commendation arrived. He’d gone to have a look, and come back and got drunk for a week.”

If people are interested, I'll post more.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 09:35:55 AM by Disciple of Sagan »
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Offline Jag

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 10:11:16 AM »
"Good Omens" is the book that introduced me to Neil Gaiman - now he's one of my favorite writers.  :)

"Baby Cakes" from one of his short story collections (Smoke and Mirrors, perhaps?) is the creepiest page and a half I've ever read. He's a master story-teller.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 10:19:31 AM »
"Good Omens" is the book that introduced me to Neil Gaiman - now he's one of my favorite writers.  :)

"Baby Cakes" from one of his short story collections (Smoke and Mirrors, perhaps?) is the creepiest page and a half I've ever read. He's a master story-teller.

Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" is my all-time favorite comic book series. Have you had the chance to read "Neverwhere" or "American Gods"?
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Offline Jag

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 12:49:36 PM »
Neverwhere is one of my faves - have you seen the BBC-produced mini series? It's a bit dated and sort of hokey, but it follows the book really well. American Gods is wonderful too. Ananci Boys was less engaging, but follows American Gods if I recall correctly. I just finished "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" a couple weeks ago; I've read roughly half of his novels published so far. I haven't indulged myself in his graphic novels yet, but I've heard they're fantastic. They're reserved for a time when I can't find anything to read. It does happen on occasion.

Have you read any Patrick Rothfuss? The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fears are published, with a third to follow soon-ish. Given what I'm piecing together about your taste in books, I think you might like those.

Edited to add: I just realize that my favorite Neil Gaiman book is most likely whichever one I've read most recently. I really love his voice and his style.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 12:51:14 PM by Jag »
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Offline cwschizzy

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 01:30:47 PM »
I've heard of Gaiman before, but I've never picked anything of his up. I'm intrigued; I'll have to now.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 01:38:12 PM »
Neverwhere is one of my faves - have you seen the BBC-produced mini series? It's a bit dated and sort of hokey, but it follows the book really well.

Yup! I own it. It was a tad on the hokey side, I agree. I loved the book, though.

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American Gods is wonderful too. Ananci Boys was less engaging, but follows American Gods if I recall correctly.

I really enjoyed American Gods, but just like yourself I couldn't get in to Ananci Boys to the point where I never finished reading it.

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"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" a couple weeks ago;

That's one I still need to add to my reading list. Is it good?

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I haven't indulged myself in his graphic novels yet, but I've heard they're fantastic. They're reserved for a time when I can't find anything to read. It does happen on occasion.

If you can track it down, his "Death: The high cost of living" is really a great read. It's about Dream's older sister Death, and how once a century she takes on mortal form for a day in order to interact with humans in a setting where she isn't whisking them off to whatever fate awaits them upon dying.

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Have you read any Patrick Rothfuss? The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fears are published, with a third to follow soon-ish. Given what I'm piecing together about your taste in books, I think you might like those.

No, but I just added them in to my iPad to see if they are downloadable from the online book store. I'll let you know if I can get them.


« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 01:40:44 PM by Disciple of Sagan »
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 01:40:15 PM »
I've heard of Gaiman before, but I've never picked anything of his up. I'm intrigued; I'll have to now.

I think you'll be pleased that you do. :)
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 02:44:41 PM »
He's one of the few decent fantasy authors that doesn't owe a great deal to Tolkein.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 07:34:18 PM »

Have you read any Patrick Rothfuss? The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fears are published, with a third to follow soon-ish. Given what I'm piecing together about your taste in books, I think you might like those.

I'm not Disciple of Sagan, but just chiming in to say, I LOVE hose books! Have gotten my daughter into them as well...I think she's even more obsessed with them than I am. We have both read them through at least 4 or 5 times (I think I'm on my 6th re-read of The Name of the Wind now), and have been on tenterhooks waiting for the third one for a good couple of years now. Rothfuss really needs to get his act together and finish it one of these days.

I was initially a bit disappointed in The Wise Man's Fear...in particular thought the Felurian sequence seemed out of place and went on way too long, but every time I re-read it, it seems I pick up on more subtle (sometimes, indeed, not-so-subtle, but there are times I need to be whacked over the head before I get something) hints which will play into Kvothe's search. Now I have grown to like it just as much as The Name of the Wind.

They are beautifully written even aside from the storyline, and I really hope that his seemingly interminable work on crafting the next one pays off!

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 11:27:05 AM »
Quote
“Nothing [the demon] could think up was half as bad as the stuff [people] thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into their design somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse.”

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“I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset 'cos they act like people.”

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“I don’t reckon it’s allowed, going round setting fire to people,” said Adam. “Otherwise people’d be doin’ it all the time.”
“It’s all right if you’re religious,” said Brian reassuringly. “And it stops the witches from goin’ to Hell, so I expect they’d be quite grateful if they understood it properly.” 

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“If you take the long view, the universe is just something small and round, like those water filled balls which produce a miniature snowstorm when you shake them. Although, unless the ineffable plan is a lot more ineffable than it's given credit for, it does not have a giant plastic snowman at the bottom.”

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“IT WASN’T A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. It should have been, but that’s the weather for you. For every mad scientist who’s had a convenient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is finished and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who’ve sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor clocks up the overtime.”
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

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Offline Jag

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2014, 08:50:24 PM »
I don't want to hijack the thread to talk about a different author, but.....
Rothfuss really needs to get his act together and finish it one of these days.
He has a whole 'nother thing he's doing on the side - he established a literacy foundation that's doing astonishingly well. I think he's also involved in a web production aimed at kids maybe? Which doesn't excuse him from finishing what he started, damn it!
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I pick up on more subtle hints
This ^^^, combined with this:
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They are beautifully written even aside from the storyline,

The man can craft a story, and it takes more than one read (for me at least) to catch some of the subtleties embedded in them. I wholeheartedly agree that they are beautifully written, and even if you overlook some of the details, you certainly don't feel as if you missed part of the story. It just gets better with each reread.

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and I really hope that his seemingly interminable work on crafting the next one pays off!

Here here!!!!!

Back to the topic of the thread  :angel:

Have you read anything by Neil Gaiman? Like Rothfuss, he's an  extremely talented story teller; unlike Rothfuss, he's prolific. Plus he writes very well in several different forms; his short stories are as well written as his novels, and his children's stories are wonderful - "Coraline" is fantastic, and I really enjoyed "The Graveyard Book" and "Odd and the Frost Giants". And he writes graphic novels too (I'm not familiar yet, but DoS is a fan of them).

I have a copier-paper sized box labelled "Emergency Book Stash" in a closet at my boyfriend's house. It contains my go-to favorite books, to be easily located when I have time to really indulge myself outside of a textbook. It's almost half Neil Gaiman (the other half is Stephen King, John Sanford, Elmore Leonard, Tim Dorsey and a scattering of other random much-love books). To be fair, the two Rothfuss books made it to my apartment in my college city - I want them right at hand for a reread when I hear a release date for the next one.  ;)
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2014, 11:24:23 PM »
I've only read a couple of Neil Gaiman's books so far, and, to be honest, it took me a little bit to warm up to his style, but that may just be because after reading Good Omens I was expecting something a little bit lighter. The first one I read was American Gods, which my son had brought to read on the plane when he came for a visit last summer. He took it back with him, though, and I really could have used a re-read to better digest it. Then I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane (my daughter's copy in this case...I should really buy my own) a couple of times around Christmastime. I do love his imagination and way with words, though, and will be reading more.

I also enjoy Terry Pratchett (to get back to Good Omens), and actually had one of his Discworld books (a gift from a friend) for some years before I ever heard of Good Omens (which was a gift from a different friend). My only problem with him is that I always seem to get hopelessly lost in his convoluted plots because I get too caught up in all his nifty little turns of phrase to remember to follow what's going on.

I always read books multiple times, though...even ones which I might not have cared for the first time around, and often find that I enjoy them more after a couple of runs through. I think it's because I always read them way too fast the first time, and end up missing big chunks where I hadn't noticed my mind wandering.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 02:57:40 AM »

I also enjoy Terry Pratchett (to get back to Good Omens), and actually had one of his Discworld books (a gift from a friend) for some years before I ever heard of Good Omens (which was a gift from a different friend). My only problem with him is that I always seem to get hopelessly lost in his convoluted plots because I get too caught up in all his nifty little turns of phrase to remember to follow what's going on.
Do you remember which Discworld book it was, jyn?

If you're interested, I can recommend those books in the series that were more stand-alone stories.

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Offline eh!

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 03:22:56 AM »
Hey I'm writing all these books and authors down.  awesome. dos do you mind if we extend yr thread to just awesome books?
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2014, 03:26:17 AM »
Sure! I'm always looking for good recommendations (with Patrick Ruthfuss 1st on my list).

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2014, 03:35:29 AM »
Not from US but the book "republic of suffering" broke my heart into a thousand pieces .


hey you want to do a mutual recommendation and give each's review.

more join in the better. 
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2014, 03:43:55 AM »
Do you mean review the book we recommend, or review the book the other recommends? (Sorry, I'm three hours past when I should have gone to sleep and my brain is running on fumes).
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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2014, 03:51:32 AM »
Like you choose a book for me to read (a thin one) i post review.. you read one i choose for you . you post review.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2014, 04:05:42 AM »
The only problem is that I'm notoriously slow with finishing books lately between work and looking after my mother, but we could start by exchanging the title and the genre of the book we would recommend to see if it's something we'd be interested in reading (for instance, I'm interested in sci-fi, horror, sword & sorcery and humorous novels... not big on crime drama or war themes).

What kinds of genres are you interested in?

I'll check back tomorrow... falling asleep at my keyboard.
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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2014, 04:18:49 AM »
I was sort of hoping a bit it would not mean a full commitment to reading a whole book within a time frame cos i would have prolly cheated and googled a review.


i mainly read science literature in journals, as for novels i am a ballard, kafka, Nietzsche. and rollins junkie amongst others. don't know what genre that all is. i read Nietzsche. as literature not philosophy .
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 04:25:02 AM »
Maybe others who are interested in the authors you mentioned would be willing to give it a shot. I would be willing to read a brief synopsis of a book you would recommend to see if it's something I could get more in to.

Off to bed. G'night
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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2014, 04:37:54 AM »
Night.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2014, 12:32:09 PM »

I also enjoy Terry Pratchett (to get back to Good Omens), and actually had one of his Discworld books (a gift from a friend) for some years before I ever heard of Good Omens (which was a gift from a different friend). My only problem with him is that I always seem to get hopelessly lost in his convoluted plots because I get too caught up in all his nifty little turns of phrase to remember to follow what's going on.
Do you remember which Discworld book it was, jyn?

If you're interested, I can recommend those books in the series that were more stand-alone stories.

The discworld one was Soul Music. I think it took me three starts to finally get through the whole thing because for some reason I would  lose the track of the story about 3/4 of the way through. I've probably read it three or four times since then, though. There are so many lines in there which make me giggle.

I've also read his Small Gods, and one other, which I believe was Wyrd Sisters or something? I think that got lost somewhere in our last move because I haven't seen it lately. And don't recall whether or not I finished it.

Another of my favorite authors is Bill Bryson, though I have to admit that I liked him better when his books were funnier. His last two or three I have not really had the urge to re-read, while some of his older ones, like Notes From a Small Island, Neither Here nor There, A Walk in the Woods and a couple of others have literally fallen apart from being read so much. On the whole, I tend to prefer non-fiction to fiction. If I'm going to read fiction, though, I'd prefer that it be more in the fantasy realm. If it's just a story about people who could be real, I'd just as soon read about those who ARE (or were) real. I enjoy memoirs in particular, if they are well-written.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Quotes from "Good Omens"
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2014, 12:44:17 PM »
The discworld one was Soul Music. I think it took me three starts to finally get through the whole thing because for some reason I would  lose the track of the story about 3/4 of the way through. I've probably read it three or four times since then, though. There are so many lines in there which make me giggle.

If you've read Soul Music, then you would have been exposed to the character of DEATH, who is perhaps my favorite character in the entire series.

I would recommend 1st to read "Mort", where DEATH comes up with the (comically bad) decision of taking on a human apprentice. Then, if you enjoyed that, my all-time favorite book is "Reaper Man", where DEATH is forced to retire due to his having picking up personality quirks from his long centuries of dealing with humanity. It's both extremely funny and poignant over his learning what it truly means to be mortal after spending time walking in our shoes.
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.