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Small Gods
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on August 5, 2017
While not in the nucleus of Discworld canon, by any means (even Ankh Morpork and the Librarian only get brief cameos), Small Gods is one of the more powerfully philosophical books in the series so far, without sacrificing the humor and wit Pratchett is rightly known for. Moreover, after the likes of Moving Pictures and Witches Abroad, which consisted mainly of tightly and loosely stitched (respectively) vignettes and homages and outright transplants of other work, Small Gods refreshingly returns to complete, coherent original narrative, while still giving breadth and diversity enough to support the plurality of independent subplots Pratchett appears to increasingly prefer. Slightly distracting, although I would not go so far as to say detracting from the book overall, is Pratchett's lingering tendency to frame some scenes in ways almost anticipating a cinematic production over a literary work- e.g. awkwardly brief cuts to purely "visual" foreshadowing, or descriptions of visuals and scenery so direct and/or generic as to be more at home in a VFX storyboard than a piece of impactful prose. But, on the whole, as I continue through the series, this one may very well have displaced my earlier favorite, Equal Rites, as a top recommendation.
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on December 23, 2016
Wanna read a brilliant,funny story about "Religion" vs "Faith"? This is the book for you. Terry Pracchett's "Small Gods" skewers organized religion with a Discworld Tale about Brutha, the last True Believer in the Great God Om who, due to lack of faith, has been reduced to the form of a small tortoise. Om needs Brutha's help and the sincere, loyal initiate will gladly help his deity and maybe teach HIM a lesson in humanity.
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on July 15, 2017
I've read everything TP has ever written, and I decided to go back and re-read the collection. I just finished this book and I have to say that this book is truly one of the best fiction books I've ever read--in any genre. It's philosophy, humor, religion all rolled into one. This book is an example of why fans revere Terry.
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on September 16, 2016
Terry Pratchett's writing is a wonderful balance to the seriousness, and sometimes dryness, of those books we read for our improvement. I often read one alternately with a history, scientific, or even serious novel. They are all well written, funny, often critical, extremely original stories with a message worth thinking over.
"Small Gods" pokes fun at religion, philosophy, government, and as always human nature. The plot is complex for Pratchett, but woven expertly. As always there rarely is a page where you don't slap your forehead and laugh-or groan. That is why I love Terry Pratchett and am grateful he was such a prolific writer.
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on March 17, 2016
A Religion that is full of priests, clerics, and clergy. Holy books, holy orders, and righteous commandments to lead a nation. Strong armies, devout citizenry, and devious inquisitors to "Guide" the faithful. However the only true believer of the God is a young neophyte, what are the God and follower to do?

This is Terry Pratchett at his finest. A satire that both makes you laugh and think. A look at what religion has been, it's faults, it's failures, and its evolution. All told with Pratchett's eye for righteous indignation and unflinching compassion.

This book addresses religion, have faith that it is worth your time.
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on May 8, 2017
In this novel of the Discworld, Terry Pratchett takes on religious fundamentalism, a problem faced by major religions of our own world--Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and probably a few others. Pratchett depicts the adventures of the god Om, suddenly incarnate as a tortoise, and Brutha, the only person who recognizes Om, as they confront a society subjugated by a religion purporting to worship Om. The wit of the author entertains while gently engaging us to think about the human limitations and needs that lie beneath the creation, acceptance, and enforcement of the fundamentalist viewpoint.
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on April 13, 2014
The first book by Pratchett that I read was Guards Guards which I wasn't terribly impressed with, although it was entertaining enough or me to see it through to the end. Subsequently I picked up Small Gods. There is quite a difference between the two. While Guards was kind of cute, albeit simplistic, Small Gods is a unique novel unto itself. Interesting imagery, an interesting premise, and some memorable characters. Really it's not possible to compare this book with any other that I've read, because its style and content is so unique. It's definitely brilliant in its own narrow sort of way. Just as it's hard to compare to other books, it can't be easily classified as fantasy, sci fi or something else. I would say it's a philosophical kind of novel and it should please readers of literature as much as sci fi.
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on March 11, 2014
This is simply the best of the whole bunch. And a bit unique in the series, as it really stands alone. Happened so much longer ago, and no need to know anything else about Discworld...in fact this was the first of the series I had read, and knew this was where I wanted to go.

I have read the entire series, and am going through it all again...and will start Small Gods tonight (my third read).

Other than this book, one should read ALL the others in correct order, but this one is okay all by itself. I would therefore recommend it as a good intro to the series, as some of the others, and especially the earliest are hard to read, and take just a bit of getting used to.

This book is also a fantastic view of religion in general! A very wise and good read!
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Although I had read around ten of the Discworld books (mainly the Watch books along with a couple of others), I had not read them in order. This time I am reading all of them from beginning to whatever is end at the moment. While I enjoyed this series from the very first book, at this point in the series the books just get funnier and funnier. WITCHES ABROAD was a complete stitch and SMALL GODS was, if anything, even funnier. The great god Om, who has very much against his will been incarnated in the body of a wee little tortoise (there's good eatin' on them), is one of the funniest characters that Terry Pratchett has ever created, which is saying quite a lot, while Vorbis is one of the most delightfully evil ones. There are countless delicious lines, wonderful ideas, enticing twists, and hysterical scenes, enough to make this one of the funniest of all the Discworld novels.

I'm now at approximately the one-third mark in my reading of all the books (UNSEEN ACADEMICALS was #37 in the series, but given that I started reading the series in September 2009 and that Pratchett, despite his illness, is bravely pushing forward with new books, I figure that he'll have published #38 and #39 by the time I get to #37, praying to God that his health remains good) and I'm delighted that they just seem to be getting better and better. I'm about to start hitting most of the books that I've already read once, but I look forward to working through them again, especially now that I am familiar with so many more secondary characters. Since Pratchett is English and I'm American, I can't claim him as a national treasure, but surely I can claim him as an international one. I can't say for certain that he has made the world a better place, but he has certainly made it a more entertaining one, and surely that an improvement of sorts.
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VINE VOICEon June 13, 2007
I've read all the Discworld books. This is something I take great pride in. I have almost all of them on my bookshelf. The ones I don't have, I'll be getting soon.

Much as I like, enjoy and frequently read the other books in the series, this is the one that remains with me the most.

I am an atheist. I don't "grok" religion, as the kids today say (or possibly not). I think it's fine for other people, more or less, but like drugs, alcohol and voting Republican, it's not something I choose to have any involvement in.

That said, I do recognize that religion, for whatever reason, plays a great role in the lives of others, so it is, therefore, something worth learning about and understanding.

This book is what you get when Terry Pratchett explores religion directly. He touches upon it in other books (notably Thud!,The Fifth Elephant and Feet of Clay), but he tackles it head-on in this book.

"Small Gods" is in many ways a very different Discworld novel. It doesn't take palce within the main time-period the other books occupy. It doesn't take place in Ankh-Morpork or Lancre. None of the previously established characters, aside from Death, appear in the book (though Dibbler sort-of does, and the book establishes the History Monks and Lu-Tze). Really this book, more than any of the others, stands on its own.

The plot of the book is basic. Boy finds god. God turns out to be a tortise. Hilarity ensues. But the book also explores in great detail the inner-workings of faith and religion (two very different things), the consequences of what happens when zealots out for their own agrandizement rather than that of god take over a faith (Pat Robertson, I'm looking at you! Benedict 16, too! Where's the Biblical basis for a Pope, I ask?), and importantly explores what happens when the structres of religion and the church become more important than the god(s).

This is an excellent book. Highly recommended for people who enjoy Discworld, those who have never read it (great starter book), and those who like philosophy. It's a perfect book for the faithless and the faithful, for atheist and Anglican (and Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, Zoroastrian and Mormon. I know there's more than Anglican, but, well, the "a-to-a" thing scanned well. Besides, I don't think this is a good book for Scientologists. I doubt L Ron Hubbard would've appreciated a better author horning in).

Don't go any further along the road of life until you've read this book.
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