Brutha is a simple lad. He can't read. He can't write. He's pretty good at growing melons. And his wants are few.
He wants to overthrow a huge and corrupt church. He wants to prevent a horribly holy war. He wants to stop the persecution of a philosopher who has dared to suggest that, contrary to the Church's dogma, the Discworld really does go through space on the back of an enormous turtle. (Which is true, but when has that ever mattered?) He wants peace and justice and brotherly love. He wants the Inquisition to stop torturing him now, please.
But most of all, what he really wants, more than anything else, is for his god to choose someone else...
Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.
©1992 Terry Pratchett and Lynn Pratchett; (P)1997 ISIS Publishing Ltd.
"Pratchett is the funniest parodist working in the field today, period." (The New York Review of Science Fiction)
"Terry Pratchett is simply the best humorous writer of the 20th century. Wodehouse, Waugh, Sharpe, etc. all have their merits, sometimes considerable, but Pratchett really is a cut above the rest." (Oxford Times)
In this Discworld novel Terry attacks the subject of religion, while bashing philosophy and science on the side. While Terries satire is indeed set on the very fictional Discworld. It deals with the fundamental issues that lay at the base of human society. While in other Discworld novels, Terries criticism can be a bit random or spread over a wide range of subjects. In Small Gods it is more concentrated and directed, giving us a fuller discussion of the given subject.
Just like in my other Discworld favorite, The Truth.
In Small Gods, that great and funny mirror, in the shape of a disc, that rotates on the backs of four elephants that stand on top of Atuin the great space turtle, shows us a new location on the disc, Omnia. And tells the tale of the rise and fall and rise of the Great God Om. Well falling or should I say dropping has allot to do with it. And well, don't mention eagles, just don't.
Oh, and did I say "Read by Nigel Planer" yeat?
Well, I rest my case.
I thought this went on a tiny bit longer than it needed to, but overall I was very impressed. I loved Pratchett's sense of humor and enjoyed the narration very much. I have never read (or listened to) any other Pratchett novels in this series, and I didn't feel that hindered my understanding or enjoyment of this one.
Small Gods should be considered one of the greatest books of all time. Terry Pratchett is our modern day Mark Twain, using satire to comment on the state of 'civlization' and also bringing the thinking man or woman a great laugh. The narrator, a regular on the unabridged Pratchett circuit is perfectly matched to this work!
If you're coming to "Small Gods" from nearly any other Pratchett Series it may fee 'slower'; Pratchett is tackling Organized Religion here, and not in his usual appetizer portions: this is breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it takes a little more time to set the table, but never at the expense of Pratchett's trademark humor, insight, and wit.
I, too, felt this was slow; until I realized it just wasn't as manic as Pratchett's other books.
There are not only no familiar characters here (except the Librarian and Death), but there are fewer characters in general and, for a fair portion of the book there are only two making their way through the desert engaged, for the most part, in conversation.
And this is where Pratchett shows his chops: no dwarfs, no trolls asking "what be a safety catch?" No carnivorous luggage, no zombies, no wizards, no nac mac feegles; yet long after I had finished "Small Gods' I found myself thinking about the characters in this book, how they suffered, changed, and grew, and pondering the story's insights long after I had put space between me and 'Small Gods' with a number of other Pratchett greats.
I listened to 'Small Gods' again, and it was even better. and no less funny.
Come on: Planer as a self-absorbed God trapped in the body of a tortoise? This is a very, very funny book. Through and through. I not only think this is Pratchett at his best, I think this is the place Pratchett most likes to be.
I've probably converted half a dozen literary snobs to Pratchett and "Small Gods" is where I start.
Nigel Planer reads Terry Pratchett -- it doesn't get much better than this. "Small Gods" is one of my favorite Pratchett books. It has the humor and thoughtfulness that are the hallmarks of his best works.
This was a great book by a great reader! I like the earlier books of Pratchett where he is trying out his big ideas and concepts and this is one of the better ones. Given that on the Discworld a god's power is dependent on the number of believers, what happens when a god returns to find he has many people who pay lip service but only one believer? Ha - you'll have to read to find out. You can find a plot synopsis almost anywhere on the Internet so let me tell you about the audio book. It is well-voiced, the humor is nuanced and thoroughly enjoyable.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
People have been recommending Pratchett books to me for a decade and a half, but I never got around to picking one up until now (after Stephen King, I'm a bit leary of prolific authors). I have to say, I enjoyed this one: Monty Python's Life of Brian meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with a little more of a plot. The humor is more light-hearted and irreverent than-laugh-out-loud funny, but Pratchett's thoughts on theology and the excesses of religion (including anti-religion) have an underlying substance that gets the reader to think. Highly quotable, especially if you're a Unitarian. Can anyone recommend another good Pratchett book?
I love the discworld series.
If you love it too, then get this one - but save it till you run out of other options.
Terry Pratchett is brilliant and there are some amusing theological comments but somehow the story is not as engaging as his others and the characters (not used in the other books) are not as memorable.
But - if you've heard all the others and need a discworld fix - then addiction makes it satisfy.
Brutha is a novitiate - the lowest of the low - in the citadel of the Great God Om. There are tens of thousands in the citadel and millions in the empire, but Brutha is also the only person in all these throngs who actually believes in Om. There are deacons, and preists, and bishops, and archbishops, and iams, and even the Cenobiarch - but when the God Om appears in physical form he can only find that he has one believer.
The fact that the Great God Om (Sign of the Holy Horns) appears as a one-eyed tortoise who is literally dropped into the citadel by an eagle is very confusing to everyone including Brutha. However, as Brutha is the only one who can hear Om, his internal dialogues with his god reflect against the actions of Om's supposed believers.
The conflict between belief and non-belief are highlighted in many humorous and interesting ways in this wonderful and fast-moving story. In many ways I believe this might be the best of the Discworld novels - Terry Pratchett at the height of his powers. It is certainly the most angry of the Discworld stories. There is something almost inevitable about English novelists and their hostility to organized religion and Christianity especially. But, Mr. Pratchett uses the substitution of Om worship to make his criticisms of religion still valid without completely alienating everyone.
This is one of the "must have" Discworld stories that should be in your library. And as always, Nigel Planer's narration is a perfect grace note which makes listening to this audiobook a wonderful experience
I'm a great reader so I never consider the audio to be better, but I will say that I think it does justice to the book.
Good Omens. Nation. What they have in common with Small Gods is Pratchett's take on modern culture, the way he turns things on their heads and makes you look at things differently.
Hard to choose just one. I did especially enjoy his Didactus, but he does them all justice.
Is the world round, or isn't it?
This book is chock full of all the delightful things Pratchett brings to any story: quirky characters that are somehow so much like people you know and a slyly irreverant but never cruel humor being just two of them. Pratchett isn't just a fantasy author, he's a brilliant satirist who uses the fantasy genre to poke fun at the way we see the world. He makes you think.
"Marvellous miniture theology"
Small Gods is perhaps one of the neatest and most complete feeling Disc World books. Carrying at it's core a mixture of dark satire and genuine theology, the story of blundering Bruther's involuntary venture into the nature and origin of religion is highly entertaining. The characterisation of the Great God Om as a grumpy one eyed tortoise more preoccupied with his own survival than with the welbeing of his followers is genius. This book promises that you will never look at a tortoise in quite the same way again, (Well, not without thinking, 'There's good eating on one of them', anyway).
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