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Small Gods (2008)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: Gods (2), Discworld (13)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,980163502 (4.17)313
Brutha, a simple man leading a quiet life tending his garden, finds his life irrevocably changed when his god, speaking to him through a tortoise, sends him on a mission of peace.
  1. 94
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the necessity of belief.
  2. 40
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (electronicmemory)
  3. 20
    The Blue Hawk by Peter Dickinson (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although The Blue Hawk is aimed specifically at children/young adults and Small Gods is an adult book, I think both books examine and raise interesting questions about faith and religion and readers who enjoyed one may well enjoy the other.
  4. 10
    Minor Mage by T Kingfisher (MyriadBooks)
  5. 22
    People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (catherinestead)
    catherinestead: A very different style of book from a very different genre, but an interesting commentary on the corruption/misuse of religious faith which complements this book's treatment of the same theme.
  6. 00
    Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Humorous but also insightful stories about ordinary mortals who find themselves caught up in the - often petty - fights of their gods.
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» See also 313 mentions

English (152)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
It was ok,not my favorite Terry Pratchett book though. ( )
  Litrvixen | Jun 23, 2022 |
Loksins kom að því að Pratchett tæki guði Diskheima fyrir. Hann gerir stólpagrín að kirkjustofnun hins almáttuga guðs Om sem er reyndar orðinn frekar aumur og fastur í líki skjaldböku þar sem einungis einn náungi virðist trúa á hann í raun og veru. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
The more Discworld novels I read, the more I respect Pratchett and his pisstaking ways.

This time, he goes after both religion and philosophy (...but mostly religion). It's fantastic in that he skewers it from all sides...those that push the religion, those that follow it blindly, and the gods themselves.

What makes me respect him is, he's never (pardon the pun) preachy, and he always gets guffaws from me. I have to say, staring down 41 books can be intimidating, but now, at about a third of the way through, I'm so glad I've taken the plunge. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
I struggled at the end of this book but that may have been because of Dad’s death. Didn’t connect much with this book probably because I’m not a religious person ( )
  Stephen.Lawton | Aug 7, 2021 |
The turtle moves.

Small Gods is a bit odd in the greater Discworld universe, being one of only a handful of one-off stories (Pyramids and Amazing Maurice are the other two if you count the Industrial Revolution subseries as a series) and being relatively early in the reading order. So with the exception of offhand references (such as to the Great God Om), it's one of the books you could easily read anywhere in your reading order.

That being said, the story is interesting enough. It's basically a story about one of the Discworld Gods (specifically Om) getting stuck in a mortal form and having to deal with the religion that has grown up around his name, to the point that even he doesn't really recognize what he's supposed to have done any more.

It's an interesting enough take on the idea that I've seen in a few other books--that gods have power in relation to how many believers they have--combined with how religions tend to grow more strict as they gain more and more laws over the years.

It's well done and an interesting enough take on the topic, but I feel like it's been done better otherwise. Still worth the read for completeness sake and it would probably work as a pretty good introduction to the world of Discworld (although I think the City Watch books do a better job of that).

Quote for thought:

Just because you can explain it doesn't mean it's not still a miracle. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
The problem with Small Gods is that its plot is complicated without being especially deft, and many tiny scenes exist solely to move stage scenery. Since a fair number of Pratchett's jokes recur from one book to the next, and many of the jokes in this novel are of the running or repeating variety (virtually every character, seeing Om as a tortoise, remarks, "There's good eating on one of those things"), the reader can end up looking for the good lines, like a partygoer digging through a dish of peanuts for the odd cashew.
added by Shortride | editThe Washington Post, Gregory Feeley (pay site) (May 27, 1994)
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brandhorst, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couton, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniele, ValentinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapetanović, GoranTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rayyan, OmarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabanosh, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sohár, AnikóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solé, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.
Quotations
And it came to pass that in time the Great God Om spake unto Brutha, the Chosen One: "Psst!"
The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it's not murder if you do it for a god).
Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time might start to think.
Or, to put it another way, the existence of a badly put-together watch proved the existence of a blind watchmaker.
Because what gods need is belief, and what humans want is gods.
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Brutha, a simple man leading a quiet life tending his garden, finds his life irrevocably changed when his god, speaking to him through a tortoise, sends him on a mission of peace.

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Book description
In the beginning was the Word.

And the Word was: "Hey, you!"

For Brutha the novice is the Chosen One. He wants peace and justice and brotherly love.

He also wants the Inquisition to stop torturing him now, please...
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Average: (4.17)
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