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Small Gods Mass Market Paperback – February 25, 2003


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Mass Market Paperback, February 25, 2003
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarTorch (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061092177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061092176
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Discworld is an extragavanza--among much else, it has billions of gods. "They swarm as thick as herring roe," writes Terry Pratchett in Small Gods, the 13th book in the series. Where there are gods galore, there are priests, high and low, and... there are novices. Brutha is a novice with little chance to become a priest--thinking does not come easily to him, although believing does. But it is to Brutha that the great god Om manifests, in the lowly form of a tortoise. --Blaise Selby

Review

"Delightful . . . logically illogical as only Terry Pratchett canwrite." -- -- Anne McCaffrey

"Pratchett is the funniest parodist working in the field today,period." -- -- The New York Review of Science Fiction

"Terry Pratchett does for fantasy what Douglas Adams did forscience fiction." -- -- Today

"Terry Pratchett is fast, funny and going places. Try him!" -- -- Piers Anthony

"There is no end to the wacky wonders . . . no fantasies as consistently, inventively mad . . . wild and wonderful!" -- -- Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

"Unadulterated fun . . . witty, frequently hilarious . . .Pratchett parodies everything in sight." -- -- San Francisco Chronicle

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Very funny and very moving.
L. Edwards
These stories offer hollowed characters and empty plots as we, the readers, are suppose to bring our own experiences to shore up the novels weak narration.
P. Barrett Coleman
The book really started light, but turned into a very heavy and philosophical novel about the nature of religions and gods - and of people and belief.
Dr. Zoidberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Mike Stone on October 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first twelve Discworld books were adolescent affairs, obsessed with corny jokes, screwball plots, and bumbling but lovable characters. Enjoyable treats all, but in retrospect less substantial than they could have been. "Small Gods", to me, is Terry Pratchett's first 'adult' book. The corny jokes, screwball plots, and bumbling but lovable characters are still here, but only to service a narrative soaked in significant themes and obsessed with our place in the multiverse.
For the most part it stands on its own as a complete story. Except for a few notable exceptions (i.e., an appearance by the cousin of Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, a quick cameo by my all-time favourite Disc denizen The Librarian, and a couple of pregnant references to Ankh Morpork), you don't have to be Discworld savvy to follow the story. It's set in the previously unheard of locale of Omnia, where the Quisition, led by Deacon Vorbis (as evil a character as anything Pratchett has put on paper), tortures into its heretical citizenry a belief in the Great God Om. But the central question in the book, the one that drives the plot forward, is this: what happens when belief dissipates, and is replaced by simple routine? Following the rituals of a religion is not really the same as believing in the power and glory of a God.
And on the Discworld it's not like your wanting for Gods to choose from. There are billions of them, and they're all likely to strike you down where you stand if you insult them in any way. Great God Om used to be the greatest of all Gods, but he's fallen on tough times. The brand of belief favoured by Vorbis is not the kind of belief Om needs. He's losing true believers in the process, and has become quite ineffectual.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Quite simply, Terry Pratchett is the funniest man alive. However, his early books are somewhat coarse, and the later books may confused a newcomer.

Small Gods is an excellent starting point for anyone. The book has new characters, a new plot, and nothing is expected of the reader. Its a wonderful book that will explain everything for someone who's never ventured into the Discworld before. Its also one of the funniest texts around.

Small Gods is also a great books in its seriousness. The book takes a witty look at the perils of making religion too organized - in worshipping the Church rather than the God. It is a book you can read, then mull over for hours - if you didn't break up laughing every two minutes.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig VINE VOICE on December 7, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rough translation: I announce to you with great joy, we have a turtle God. That should have been the announcement that greeted the arrival of the God of the City of Om upon his return to Om. Unfortunately he was greeted by stunned disbelief by his sole remaining true believer. Since the size and power of any God/god on Discworld is directly proportional to the level of belief in each God's by its adherents this god is but a turtle. Out of such co-dependent relationships are small gods and Terry Pratchett's Small Gods made.

Co-dependent seems an apt term in this context. In Small Gods, Pratchett looks at organized religion through the prism of the co-dependant relationship. This theme is set against a backdrop which, if filmed, would have been produced by David Lean and looked remarkably like Lawrence of Arabia. (The Omnian attack on Ephebia and Brutha's trek with Vorbis across the desert between their cities both left me with images of Lawrence's attack on Aqaba and his disastrous trek across the desert with his youthful assistants.) Specifically, Pratchett examines the co-dependency of man and his God(s). Each is entirely co-dependent on the other. The plot, including the hilarious deus ex machina climax, has been well summarized in the product description and in other reviews so I'll confine myself to a few random observations.

No matter how deeply philosophical the underlying theme, the potential reader should know that Pratchett is an excellent writer and capable of some of the funniest lines and paragraphs you are likely to encounter in fiction.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So maybe I'm biased. I've read all Pratchett's book at least twice. I've got both of the map books, and I even met Pratchett for Gods sakes. But SMALL GODS is, and always will be, my favourite. It doesn't have as much of the in-your-face humour of some of the others in the series, or the sly digs to popular culture (Wyrd Sisters, Moving Pictures) but Small Gods is first and foremost, a satire. Personally, I believe this is where Pratchett hit his creative peak, when he had the perfect balance of characters, wit and imagination. Not to mention a real sense of danger - how many "humorists" can pull that off?
Don't think about it. Small Gods has something to say about belief, friendship, zealotry - the whole nine yards... Kevin Smith's new film DOGMA is trying to cover similar ground, but I doubt it'll be anywhere as insightful or entertaining as this.
Just get it... buy it now, on the cheap, and I'm Cutting Me Own Throat...
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