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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let there be lettuce! Let there be slices of melon!
In Small Gods, the thirteenth novel of the Discworld, Terry Pratchett gets philosophical, religious, and existential on us, delivering a remarkably insightful look at man and his relationship (or lack thereof) with the gods. There are gods everywhere on the Discworld - you can't swing a simian librarian without hitting one - except, of course, only a few people can see...
Published on July 6 2006 by Daniel Jolley

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3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read, entertaining, a bit offesive
Pratchett takes a hard swing at all organized religion in this book. Though the humor and interesting plot kept me turning pages, as a Christian, some parts that were intended for humor actually ended up offending me. (such as how sheep are stupid and need to be led...and much more that relates with Christian theology).
Pratchett once again displays his ability to...
Published on Dec 1 2000 by Amazon Customer


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4.0 out of 5 stars Really great - standalone Discworld, March 12 2001
By 
kresnels "kresnels" (Culver City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
If you haven't read Terry Pratchett before, prepare yourself for some great laughs, inventive plot, and sharp satire. Pratchett's facility with satire within such an overfed genre (fantasy) is always a breath of fresh air.
Small Gods starts in Omnia, a country organized around a fundamentalist religion. Novice Brutha (our hero) is a simple, honest novice at the Temple who discovers that the voice that is speaking to him is coming from a tortoise claiming to be his god - Om. The tortoise explains that he's got some head-cracking to do, and he needs help. Why? Because he's a tortoise! Brutha gets set on a path walking between belief in his God and skepticism, while the evil Quisitor Vorbis tries to foment a holy war between Omnia and neighboring Ephebe. As the plot moves forward Brutha has to decide whether to do what he's been told or what he feels is right, even if the directions come from a tortoise.
Initially, I thought that Small Gods was a too obvious with the "question religion" type message, but I got over that because of some great writing by Pratchett: you shouldn't have to die for the truth - it's dying for lies makes more sense. Most of all, your god doesn't want you to die for it if the God's existence is dependent on you - you should live a long and fruitful life for your god.
If you're really put off by snarky references to religious tradition that may be too close for comfort, you may have probelms with Small Gods. But if you have a pretty good sense of humor and you're ready for some challenging satire that will make you think a little and entertain you, then go get some Terry Pratchett, for small Gods' sake.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read, Feb. 9 2001
By 
"the_halberdier" (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
Terry Pratchett is an awesome writer and "Small Gods" is a fantastic book. Pratchett has singlehandedly created his own genre and has garnered himself a huge following -- and it's easy to see why. "Small Gods" has to be one of the wittiest books ever written, with incredibly sharp one-liners, in-jokes and pratfalls. Great names and clever words hide subtle parodies and satire, which are a bonus as the plot is entertaining enough on its own.
I tried to read this book in contracts class when it first came out and kept on getting busted for laughing out loud, no matter how much I tried to hide it. The only other author able to do this for me is PJ O'Rourke. If you read it on public transport, people will look at you and think you're kinda strange, unless they too know who Pratchett is, in which case they will envy you reading and try to catch furtive glimpses of the text over your shoulder.
This is one of my favourite books of all time -- read it and love it too. If I could award it 6 stars, I would.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Turtle Moved Me..., Aug. 2 2000
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
This is my first experience reading a Terry Pratchett novel, as well as my first introduction to Discworld...and I am impressed! Small Gods has a bit of everything--it is full of imagination, philosophy, satire, and gets down right funny at times!
The story centers around Brutha, a religious novice in Omnia, a worshipper of the Great God Om. The only thing is--he is the last true believer and the only person who can truly speak to Om. Going from there, this is Brutha's story of self- and religious- discovery. None of the people around him seem to know what to make of him, and his connection to Om, a very small god who is learning that if your last believer dies, it is not a pretty situation for a small god. But the world of Omnia is being upset by this new religious group obsessed by the fact that a Turtle actually swims across space with the world held up by four elephants upon its shell...it's a whole new world in this book!
I can't wait to try another novel in the Discworld series! I highly recommend the same for anyone wanting some pure reading pleasure!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful...., March 28 2000
By 
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
You don't normally describe a book as beautiful, but this is one that deserves it. Some people say that this is darker than most of Terry Pratchett's other books, but stop and consider why this is so... because it's about humans and their religions? Isn't that interesting?
On the one hand, extremely and disturbingly profound. And on the other hand, also extremely, and hilariously funny. What more can one ask for? Oh, memorable characters (one almost hates to use the word, some of the people are so REAL), a lot of extremely good quotes and one-liners (Terry just has a great way phrasing things), and a story-line that you will want to read over and over again (so buy the book already! You'll be getting a bargain, considering the usage and mileage you will get out of this book).
"Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you."
"And it all meant this: that there are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal, kind family man who just comes to work every day and has a job to do."
"... what was worse was listening to his voice, which was certainly powerful and full of intent conviction, swinging backward and forward across the tune without ever quite hitting it."
"Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum."
Enough said? Check out the L-Space Web for more Pratchett quotes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best book in the best series by the best author, May 1 1998
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
Most of America has not yet caught on to the Discworld series, but those of us who have are fiercely devout followers, and this book is a prime example of why. On the surface, it is a hilarious and touching story of a once-mighty god and his last remaining believer, but Pratchett's astounding wisdom and understanding of human nature take it much deeper, through labyrinths literal, metaphorical, and moral. At the center are the questioning of a religion where belief centers on the church, rather than the god, and the way a sole believer can shift his god's way of thinking and take a religion with it.
At the same time, Pratchett employs his usual side-splitting humor and vile puns to show us the silly side of serious philosophy, atheism in a world with thousands of gods, and exactly why tortoises hate eagles. And that even an orang-utan Librarian from across the sea can help if books are burning.
If I was asked "Which is the best Discworld novel?" I'd say, with the possible exception of Hogfather, this one.
Finally, a tortoise has learned how to fly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's good reading in of of these, you know?, Sept. 17 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the kind of book that makes you give up on trying
to be a writer. It's that good.

A particularly stupid and clumsy boy starts hearing
a voice inside his head, which claims to be that of
his god. He explains that he has lost his powers because
nobody believes in him any more; they're too busy going
to the temples and organizing religious cerimonies to
really BELIEVE. So the best he can manage is turn up as
a small, one-eyed tortoise that everybody keeps trying
to eat.

After convincing the boy that what he says is true, the
god sets out to win his worshippers back. And also to
find some lettuce.

This is definitely the best book I've ever read and
probably one of the best books ever written. If you can
imagine a book that is at the same time deep, extremely
well constructed and tremendously funny... then you
have a better imagination than I do. If you can't, the
good news is you don't need to: It exists.

"Sell you grandmother, but GET THIS BOOK!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Humor, or Frivolous Theology?, Sept. 10 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
Terry Pratchett may have accomplished the miracle of going
from the ridiculous to the sublime, and back again. In fact,
he may be the best philosopher writing today.

Anyone familiar with Mr. Pratchett's other works knows he's
funny. _Small Gods_ is certainly funny. In a nutshell, it's
the story of a boy and his god. The problem
is, the Great God Om has become a small tortoise due to
the lack of faith of his worshipers. Instead of making divine
pronouncements and throwing fireballs, he's reduced to throwing
sparks and speaking in the mind of his only true believer,
a simple young man named Brutha. During their adventures, we get
to meet some of the best and worst denizens of the discworld,
and Pratchett airs some really thought-provoking theories of
the origins of the divine, the nature of belief, and the power
people have to shape the conditions in the world around them.

Of course, you don't have to buy into these crazy ideas. After
all, it's only a "light fantasy comedy" book. Right? RIGHT?

Seriously (or foolishly as the case may be) check this one out.
It's a rare book that makes you think while you're laughing
and laugh while you're thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've read 'em all, but..., June 7 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Small Gods (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read, July 24 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
I was picking through my mom's book collection, and found Small Gods to be a little different from the rest. I had no idea when I began to read it how different it was! From the first page onward I could not put it down. Terry Pratchett takes us into a private world, so similar to our own, and yet not. Religion is brought out into the open in a humorous, insightful way. We see a little bit of ourselves in the blind faith of Brutha, the novice with the amazing memory, who, out of thousands of hollow believers, truly has faith in the Great God Om, *holy horns* who through a failed attempt to become a massive white bull, compleate with fire and might, instead becomes a humble tortoise, whom most everyone will admit, "there's good eating on one of those." Pratchett adds a little intriuge, betrail and a hint of human cruelity to this wonderful book, perfect for long, otherwise boring, summer days.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett takes on religion, Aug. 20 2000
By 
Rory Coker (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Small Gods (Mass Market Paperback)
Each of Pratchett's Discworld novels takes on a particular theme of literature or aspect of society. Here is his take on organized religion, and on religion in general. Both as a humorist and as a novelist Pratchett's output is quite variable in quality, rarely reaching the peaks set by such superior works as INTERESTING TIMES or MEN AT ARMS. SMALL GODS is above the average, and for Pratchett, that's quite good indeed. Pratchett's hero, Brutha, is an apparently retarded and ambitionless monk who's slated to become a new Messiah, but the leader of the established church has his own ideas about who that Messiah should actually be. Furthermore, by an incredibly unlikely turn of events, the God worshipped by the established church actually exists, although He is handicapped a bit by being incarnated as a tiny turtle. The plot and characters are continually interesting, and the novel moves swiftly.
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