5.0 out of 5 stars
Just An All Around Good Book, Jan. 5 2002
Small Gods was perhaps the best book Terry Pratchett has ever written. It was a bit more serious than most of his other books, which was partly why I liked it. The book was refreshing to read, simply because I had never read anything with so much to say that managed to say is so clearly, while still maintaining a light-hearted attitude.
One thing I enjoyed about Small Gods was that it kept my attention the whole way through. The plot was fantastic with many interesting little twists and turns that made me want to keep reading. It was basically about a god who gets reincarnated as a turtle. He figures out that his believers beleive in his church because they are afraid of it, but nothim. It was very well-written and told the story flawlessly. Quite aside from that, it had me falling out of my chair from laughing on several occasions. Needless to say, I enjoyed it.
The book also had great characters. It was easy to relate to them because they acted like regular people, but without becoming stereotype nonentities who just lead their boring lives. There were all different types of personalities with all their different opinions and emotions, but the narration stayed neutral the whole time. One thing that's important in any story is a good villain and this one had it. His name is Vorbis and he's the head of what I assume is the Discworld parallel of the Inquisition. I hated him throughout the whole book. He was a cynic and a sadist, but Pratchett does us the enormous service of never dehumanizing him the whole time. He had motives for what he did, even though they were twisted, and at the end we pity him more than hate him.
It wasn't just fluff. It's very easy to classify all books with humor in them as fluff, but you can't do that with this one. It had an idea behind it throughout the whole book and even somewhat of a moral. This was that people should never ever be treated as things. Pratchett applies this to every character and not just the villain. One thing that I appreciated was the fact that Pratchett maintained a clear head throughout the whole thing. He tried to be inoffensive, but not too hard. There is a fine line between inoffensive and politically correct, and Pratchett didn't cross it. Overall, I thought it was because it made me think.
In conclusion, I give Small Gods two thumbs up and five stars because it deserved it. I felt better for reading it and highly recommend it to everyone who hasn't.