Lost in the chill deeps of space between the galaxies, it sails on forever, a flat, circular world carried on the back of a giant turtle—
—a land where the unexpected can be expected. Where the strangest things happen to the nicest people. Like Brutha, a simple lad who only wants to tend his melon patch. Until one day he hears the voice of a god calling his name. A...more
Small Gods however has little or no ties (bar a few cameos/references that you'll pick up later) to the rest of the series, so it is perfectly fine to read this one on it's own... The same can be said for Pyramids. (less)
The idea of the manifested power of belief, imagination, and prayers is an often seen trope in fantasy and sci-fi, in this case, defined by the simple formula of more believers, more power. But it can go many directions, for insta ...more
This book is, as the title suggests, about gods. Where do they come from? Where do they go? What keeps them moving? Ordinarily, gods don't like this sort of question. People who think are not wh ...more
Pratchett delivers a brilliant parody of religion in this early (the 13th) standalone. In the land of Omnia, the great god Om is worshiped and all who don’t are subject to the Quisition – a satire of the political/theological Inquisition. His high priest Vorbis controls all with fear of holy retribution.
But is it Om or his religion that controls?
The great god Om has a problem. Historically taking the shape of animals like bulls or majestic predators, he f ...more
“YOU HAVE PERHAPS HEARD THE PHRASE, he said, THAT HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE?”
“Yes. Yes, of course.”
“IN TIME, he said, YOU WILL LEARN THAT IT IS WRONG.”
It makes you contemplate so many things. Beyond religion too. There were so many passages when I was musing ‘It’s like this thought has sprung out of my head but it’s written a hundred times better than I would have said it’.
The book is a splendid metaphor for religion. All gods are small ...more
(As an aside i am a little behind in my reading timetable, as I was meant to finish this in January. My challenge shows me ahead, but that is only because I listened to a number of Agatha Christie dramatisations whilst my wife and I were decorating (painting) inside the house.)
Anyway back to "Small Gods". This is in someway slightly different to most of the other Discw ...more
In dire need of protection from non-believing eagles, our tiny little Om-as-a-tortoise will take what He can get, where He can get it. A ...more
Terry Pratchett was a humanist. That is to say, he wasn't religious. He apparently distinguished between religion (as in: religious institutions such as The Church) and faith (as in: what people believe in their own hearts and minds) and was especially critical of the former. I'm much the same. Personally, I find religion silly, period. It has had its plac ...more
Pratchett at his theological best: there are many gods, varying in size and power depending on the numbers who believe in them. The obvious theological/economic issue which then arises is 'How does a small god survive?' Stiff competition calls for creative solutions.
What good is being a god when you're stuck in the body of a lowly tortoise, and your only follower is an uneducated melon-hoer?
Yep, it sucks to be Om.
Now, imagine poor Brutha's disappointment. One day he's quietly minding his melons, the next he's on some wild adventure with a smart ass tortoise who insists he's a god, even though THIS god is NOTHING like the prophets said he would be! For one thing, he doesn't have horns; for ano ...more
Re-read from about 15 years ago, and somehow more satisfying now than it was then. Why? Om... I don't know... :) Flying turtles kinda rock my world.
This is a total Moses coming out of the desert kind of tale, only the GREAT GOD OM is a tiny turtle with only one believer and the kid is kinda hopeless, but a god's gotta do what a god's gotta do. Get Believers. On DISCWORLD.
So yeah, it's ...more
"It is. It has to be! If you muck up people's minds just because you want them to believe in you, what they do is all your fault."
Fun, fun, fun.
I loved the premise of what happens to small gods; gods that either lose their followers or only had a few to begin with? Om is such a god with only one believer left. Ignominy and the dire consequences of losing one's last devotee leads to much elbow shoving and jockeying.
But no tortoise had ever been a god, ...more
'If a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.'Small Gods is the darkest book in this series so far. It is also ridiculously witty and funny if that makes any sense. It should for Terry Pratchett's fans.
He always pokes fun at one thing or another. I think by the end of the series there won't be anything left in this world to be laughed at. The main target of ...more
A story of religion, politics, the nature of man, and why that nature means that we will always have religions and politics, even if they're unnecessary and even harmful. Told with wit, intelligence, and yes, grace, this encourages people to find reasons for living that are predicated on innate goodness, but understanding if you need a bit of a reminder from whatever your preferred belief syste ...more
The main premise of this novel is the relationships between gods, believers, and organized religion. Oh yeah, with that kind of premise, you can find some philosophical witty and wise words here and there on novel.
My favourite as ...more
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books are always pleasant to return to every now and then. I am not a hardcore fan that would have already devoured all 40+ books by now, I am more of a casual fan that likes to dip into the series now and then; to soak up Sir Terry’s witticisms. Small Gods is ...more
For the monk, Lu Tze, History began before his time and his task was to preserve it, more or less. For the God, Om, power began with a shepherd but real power had to be rebuilt from ground up… very closely from the ground. And for Brutha, the illiterate novice with the unquestioning belief? Questions began the day a tortoise appeared in the melon patch he was hoeing, but answers on ...more
'Intellectually amused emotionally detached' best describes my relationship with T.Pratchett.
This book made me realise that despite my love for humour, humour by itself is not enough – I need an engaging story and characters I could care for as well. Unfortunately this story didn’t hook me in and I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Whenever I left the book I had no urge to come back to it.
Humour on the other hand is brilliant! Clever witty cynical ironic – you name it. What it does to r ...more
A small country on the Circle Sea, Omnia is a religious theocracy dedicated to the worship of the great god Om and the whole country is eagerly awaiting the appearance of the next Prophet of Om. Meanwhile, the real people in p ...more
From the perfectly twisted and filigreed mind of Terry Pratchett we have a book that addresses why religion starts stupid and only gets dumber. And no religion is spared!
Brutha is a child-like novice in his religious order, and he will never achieve anything more than novice status. Until one day his god literally falls from the sky and realizes that Brutha is the only person in his entire religion who actually *believes* and isn't just going through the mo ...more
Aaaah this one was really funny. And a good standalone/jumping in point if you aren't reading this series in any order.
The Discworld is a flat disc-shaped world which rests on the backs of four elephants who are standing on the shell of a turtle that is slowly swimming through space (to not even the gods know where).
Here we have the Omniam Church who believes in the Great God Om. Om has manifested himse ...more
The premise is that Gods only have as much power as the people allow - and this is a ...more
The captain frowned. “It’s a funny thing,” he said, “but why is it that the heathens and barbarians seem to have the best places to go when they die?”
“A bit of a poser, that,” agreed the mate. “I s’pose it makes up for ‘em….enjoying theselves all the time they’re alive, too?” He looked puzzled. Now that he was dead, the whole thing sounded suspicious.
Dare I admit that this is my very first encounter with the writing of Terry Pratchett? I’ve seen the praise of his work from my friends and acquain ...more
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One of the most satiric Discworld novels. Pratchett makes fun of the most retrograde aspects of religion (because who believes that the world is round when it's clearly a disc o top of a giant turtle?) in an extremely clever way.
I don't think it is the ideal book to start reading Terry Pratchett though. The first half of the book is amazing and incredibly funny, but the second one was a bit slow for me becaus ...more
And with that, I no longer have an excuse not to hunt down every Terry Pratchett book to enjoy and, probably, treasure. I've loved every book of his I've read to date, but that one line, so self-evident and borderline blasphemous to ANY religion, cements my belief that Mr Pratchett is one of the greatest thinkers and writers of our time. Perhaps delving into the ...more
It's funny and sharp with its satire, exactly as you would expect from Pratchett. And in taking months to read it all of my thoughts and theories have dribbled away to be replaced by a ...more
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Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i ...more