Thursday, January 21, 2010

Favorite Passages: Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

This might be one of the nerdiest Favorite Passages entries I've ever posted. For one, it's centered around a novel beloved by nerds, written by two writers who are themselves a bit nerdy. Secondly, you have to have a somewhat decent knowledge of classical composers to get just how funny this really is. But I can't help it. I love this book, and I love this passage.

This takes place towards the beginning of the book, when the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, who have both been roaming earth since The Beginning, get together to figure out what they're going to do about the coming Apocalypse. Remember that neither of them really wants it to happen, as they have grown to love their worldy lives. Enjoy!

From: Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

[Aziraphale] turned and faced Crowley.

"We'll win, of course," he said.

"You don't want that," said the demon.

"Why not, pray?"

"Listen," said Crowley desperately, "how many musicians do you think your side have got, eh? First grade, I mean."

Aziraphale looked taken aback.

"Well, I should think -" he began.

"Two," said Crowley. "Elgar and Liszt. That's all. We've got the rest. Beethoven, Brahms, all the Bachs, Mozart, the lot. Can you imagine eternity with Elgar?"

Aziraphale shut his eyes. "All too easily," he groaned.

"That's it, then," said Crowley with a gleam of triumph. He knew Aziraphale's weak spot all right. "No more compact discs. No more Albert Hall. No more Proms. No more Glyndbourne. Just celestial harmonies all day long."

"Ineffable," Aziraphale murmured.

"Like eggs without salt, you said. Which reminds me. No salt, no eggs. No gravlax with dill sauce. No fascinating little restaurants where they know you. No Daily Telegraph crossword. No small antique shops. No bookshops, either. No interesting old editions. No" - Crowley scraped the bottom of Aziraphale's barrel of interests - "Regency silver snuffboxes..."

"But after we win life will be better!" croaked the angel.

"But it won't be as interesting. Look, you know I'm right. You'd be as happy with a harp as I'd be with a pitchfork."

"You know we don't play harps."

"And we don't use pitchforks. I was being rhetorical."

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