I am reading a book that tickles my funny bone. It’s absolutely hilarious. Sadly, I can not recommend this book to everybody. The ones who believe that they have a direct line to heaven should avoid this book but for the rest of us, who are open-minded and are cursed with a sense of humor, this book is a must read.
“I mean, d’you know what eternity is? There’s this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there’s this little bird-”
“What little bird?” said Aziraphale suspiciously.
“This little bird I’m talking about. And every thousand years-”
“The same bird every thousand years?”
Crowley hesitated. “Yeah,” he said.
“Bloody ancient bird, then.”
“Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-”
“-flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-”
“Hold on. You can’t do that. Between here and the end of the universe there’s loads of-” The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. “Loads of buggerall, dear boy.”
“But it gets there anyway,” Crowley persevered.
“It doesn’t matter!”
“It could use a space ship,” said the angel.
Crowley subsided a bit. “Yeah,” he said. “If you like. Anyway, this bird-”
“Only it is the end of the universe we’re talking about,” said Aziraphale. “So it’d have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you’ve got to-” He hesitated. “What have
they got to do?”
“Sharpen its beak on the mountain,” said Crowley. “And then it flies back-”
“-in the space ship-”
“And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again,” said Crowley quickly.
There was a moment of drunken silence.
“Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak,” mused Aziraphale.
“Listen,” said Crowley urgently, “the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-”
Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds’ beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly.
“-then you still won’t have finished watching The Sound of Music.”
“And you’ll enjoy it,” Crowley said relentlessly. “You really will.”
“My dear boy-”
“You won’t have a choice.”
“Heaven has no taste.”
“And not one single sushi restaurant.”
A look of pain crossed the angel’s suddenly very serious face.”
― Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
From the Publisher:
When a scatterbrained Satanist nun goofs up a baby-switching scheme and delivers the infant Antichrist to the wrong couple, it’s just the beginning of the comic errors in the divine plan for Armageddon which this fast-paced novel by two British writers zanily details. Aziraphale, an angel who doubles as a rare-book dealer, and Crowley, a demon friend who’s assigned to the same territory, like life on Earth too much to allow the long-planned war between Heaven and Hell to happen. They set out to find the Antichrist and avert Armageddon, on the way encountering the last living descendant of Agnes Nutter, Anathema, who’s been deciphering accurate prophecies of the world’s doom but is unaware she’s living in the same town as the Antichrist, now a thoroughly human and normal 11-year-old named Adam. As the appointed day and hour approach, Aziraphale and Crowley blunder through seas of fire and rains of fish, and come across a misguided witch hunter, a middle-aged fortune teller and the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse. It’s up to Adam in the neatly tied end, as his humanity prevails over the Divine Plan and earthly bungling. Some humor is strictly British, but most will appeal even to Americans “and other aliens.” Literary Guild alternate.
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