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Small Gods : a novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett []



I’ve read many of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. They are great fun. The Discworld is an imaginary planet in an imaginary universe and everything, even the Discworld’s fundamental physical laws, is written so as to parody or satire our own world. Pratchett isn’t content to leave it at that however, he also parodies literature of all sorts, but especially fantasy novels; he affectionately sabotages these by taking their best known cliches and stereotypes and acting as if they made sense. The results are hilarious.

Small Gods is probably my favorite of the Discworld novels. I have returned to it again and again, and I enjoy it every time. Perhaps it is because libraries and books play such an important part in the book, but I think it is mostly because of the book’s two unlikely heros: the great god Om, stuck in the form of a tortoise and incapable of performing even the smallest miracles, and a lowly novice monk, Brutha, the only living creature who still believes in the great god Om. Om is arrogant and ill-tempered, but endearing in his impotence and confusion as he struggles with his new fondness for lettuce and fear of eagles. Brutha is slow, illiterate, and quite accustomed to be looked down upon, but he has an amazing memory, faith in his god, and an absolute determination to do the right thing.

Things, of course, get complicated. They always do in the Discworld. There is a war and an inquisition, gods and philosophers, a labyrinth and a steam engine. Brutha plods through it all. Om, on the other hand, is carried most of the way. And they are both changed by their experiences. They have to be, because that’s how these kind of stories work, but that doesn’t stop the transformation from being satisfying, and even a little surprising.

Small Gods stands well on its own. You don’t need to read any other Discworld books to appreciate it, and, indeed, it would be a good choice for your first Discworld book.