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Small Gods Mass Market Paperback

4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperTorch
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061092177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061092176
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,037,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
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 them. Each small god lies in wait, desperately seeking to make someone believe in him; on the Discworld, gods need people more than people need gods, for belief is the food of the gods.

The story takes us far away from the environs of Ankh-Morpork to Omnia, a land on the Klatchian coast ruled by the priesthood of the Church of Om. It's an arid, harsh world where the Quisition works tirelessly to beat the sin out of individuals deemed to be suspicious (and almost no one is safe, for the priests regard the very existence of suspicion as proof of guilt). You would think that the Great God Om would bask in the glory and power of all that faith being demanded of the people, but ritual has replaced substance in Omnia; the people may worship Om, but they don't really believe in him anymore. For the past three years, the Great God Om has been stuck in the body of a one-eyed tortoise and has only now been able to find one man with the true flame of faith burning inside him. Unfortunately for Om, that one believer is Brutha, a novitiate in the Church whom, all would agree, is just a little bit slow on the uptake and is just about the last person Om would have chosen to become his new Prophet. Brutha does have a perfect memory, but all that memory crammed into his mind leaves little room left over for actual thought.
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Format: Paperback
-- sooner or later.
Pratchett has done the unthinkable - kept a series (and a humor series at that) alive and fresh well into its second dozen. This book started that second dozen.
It's about Brutha, a minor novitiate even among novitiates who are all minor. He's doing what he does best, hoeing the beans, when his god arises before him in physical manifestation:
A turtle. Slow. Partial to lettuce. Not fond of being turned over or dropped. Not much for conversation when it gets cold out. And, as near as Om can tell, the god of Brutha only. No one else seems to be paying much attention when the god calls down plagues, or at least some really nasty rashes.
In Prathcett's hands, this small start yields a very worthy bit of amusement. No, there's really no point to what Pratchett writes (well, that's what he wants you to think). Brutha crosses his world, overturns empires as easily as he overturns weeds in the bean-patch, and dies happy. Everyone dies, and Brutha has seen lots of the other ways - this really is a happy ending.
For all of its shallow jests, this book has rewards for the serious reader. Brutha wins in the end by be slow, thick, and mind-bogglingly even-handed. Om finally comes out of his shell and really makes his entry, even among the more exclusive clubs of the gods. Everyone gets what they deserve in the end, no matter what you thought they deserved. By the way: observe Om, the lowly turtle, and the place of the turtle in Discworld cosmology.
Pratchett fans: watch Vorbis. Yes, the character dies, but that doesn't mean much in Discworld. He may reincarnate as Vetinari, or maybe as Vetinari's evil identical twin. Death is there, all caps, but really quite a congenial chap - says "Thank you" when you pass him the bottle, sort of thing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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