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on 17 April 2016
Small Gods was merely alright, but it was towards the better end of alright – really, as much as it’s an entertaining take on religion, I just don’t care enough about religion in the first place for it to really resonate with me. Brutha, the main character, a man who happens to be both a novice and the Chosen One, wasn’t particularly interesting, although I could certainly recognise the kind of trope that he was based on.

That said, there are a couple of seriously funny moments, scattered throughout – there just aren’t necessarily as many as you might hope for, given Pratchett’s track record. It’s also pretty interesting to get a proper look at how the Disc’s religious factors really work, as they’re often featured in other novels in the series, even if only in passing.

I also didn’t think that it dragged, which is a good thing – even though it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been, I still whizzed through it as I usually do with Discworld novels. It’s also a relatively early entry into the series, and so there are a lot of old school Pratchett fans who consider it to be one of his finest. Clearly I wouldn’t go that far, but I can also half understand why people feel that way.

Ultimately, if you’re a serious Discworld fan then you’re probably going to want to read this at some point, and I don’t blame you – I think you should do, if you’ve read at least a dozen or so of Pratchett’s other works, or if you started with The Colour of Magic and moved on from there. Otherwise, if you’re just dipping into them at random, then save this one for later, unless you can scoop it up as a bargain.

After all, I must stress that while this review is somewhat negative in tone, it’s only because I’ve read the rest of the series and have benchmark expectations that, on this occasion, Pratchett failed to meet. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll feel the same, but it’s a good idea to tread carefully. Other than that, best of luck with it – come back to let me know what you think!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 August 2007
I read all the Discworld novels and liked almost all of them ("Monstrous Regiment" and "Thud!" being those which I liked a little less), but this is my favourite number one (followed very closely by "Hogfather", "Interesting Times" and "Guards, guards!").

Now, this book goes after religion and really it doesn't take prisoners (well, actually the philosophy is treated with the same ruthlesness). Without revealing too much, let it be said that this is basically a history about the gread god Om, who has a considerable existential problem - in the entire universe there is only one man left who actually believes in him, notwithstanding the fact that he still has hundreds of temples and a ferocious clergy leading a vast theocratic warlike empire... Because of this lack of true believers he is deprived of almost all his powers and forced to travel the world under the form of a little turtle, carried and helped by his only true believer who happens to be a very honest but a little slow minded teenager...

Their travels will take them together through a large part of the Discworld and will be full of danger, adventures and especially hilariously funny gags and conversations. Now, I actually am Christian and believe in God so there are moments in this book when I was laughing with a little bitter aftertaste, but still I couldn't resist the appeal of "Small Gods". In fact, the more you know about the Bible and Christianity, the more you will probably appreciate this extremely intelligent and merry book. The usual appearances of DEATH are as always short, but significant and totally comical. The last 50 pages or so are particularly magnificent, especially considering, that when handling such a touchy subject it is always hard to find a satisfactory and smart ending. And here it was done very well.

I warmly encourage you to give it a try and have a really good laugh with this masterpiece of Terry Pratchett.
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2009
This is quite easily the best novel by Terry Pratchett that I have read. There are plenty of excellent gags about religion and philosophy as well as a top-notch plot. The naive and clumsy hero, Brutha, is a novice in the citadel of Omnia. The repellent villain is the vicious religious bigot, Vorbis and the supporting cast includes the great god Om, who is trapped in the body of a small one-eyed tortoise. What is genuinely thought-provoking is the description of an intolerant monotheistic society in which religious belief has been replaced by ritual. In Disc World there are billions of potential gods who require human belief in order to thrive. Om has only one true believer, Brutha, and so cannot change into any form that is more impressive. And, as Om observes, Brutha is not the chosen one that he would have chosen.
Brutha's photographic memory proves useful to Vorbis's twisted plans for defeating the liberal state of Ephebe, which is a loose cipher for classical Athens. There is much fun derived from the sub plots about the philosophers, religions, technology and politics in Ephebe. This is followed by an extended passage when Brutha returns to the Citadel across a desert, saving Vorbis on the way. On their return Vorbis fulfils his destiny in becoming the next prophet, and Om regains his power, but it is Brutha who triumphs, having absorbed the knowledge of Ephebe and applied it with humanity and common-sense.
There are no wizards here and no Ankh-Morpork, just a funny and deeply serious novel.
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on 20 April 2016
What happens when the Disc’s witches go on holiday? Well, we’re about to find out! Witches Abroad tells the story of what happens when Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick travel to Genua to try to make sure that a servant girl doesn’t marry a prince, in a desperate break from tradition. But, as the book’s blurb says, “You can’t fight a Happy Ending.”

Witches Abroad is one of my favourites out of the novels that Pratchett wrote about the witches, although I must admit that I did always prefer them as supporting characters, rather than as the main attraction. Still, here they’re at their best, and their dialogue will have you howling with laughter. I was also a fan of the story line, here – in some ways, it’s a little bit meta, and it’s interesting to watch Pratchett having fun with his narrative, especially since this is one of the earlier books in the series.

If you’re a fan of the witches as characters then I’d definitely recommend this, but if you’re completely new to Pratchett then I’d suggest checking out something like Guards! Guards! instead. That’s not to say that Witches Abroad isn’t a fantastic novel, because it is – it’s just that it’s up against a lot of tough competition. That said, the good thing about Pratchett’s work is that even though you do pick up a few extra nuances if you read the books in order, they all tend to work pretty well as standalones, too. Because of that, if you want to start with Witches Abroad then by all means do so! Have fun.
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on 12 May 2009
Meet Brutha. He is not overly intelligent - in fact people think he is a bit nuts. But that might be because his god is trapped inside a tortoise, one he is carrying around and talking to. As it happens, he is right; and his mission, find some philosophers who can get the god out. Aroad trip is in order. Along the way they experience horrors such as the sea god, ship wrecks and war. All in all, another Discworld extravagant adventure, full of fantasy, humour and anticipation.

This is book thirteen in the Discworld series. I did not enjoy this one as much as others I have read. That said, this book is still funny and worth reading. Pratchett takes you into a fantasy world, filled with gods, all whom need followers to survive. As ever, his writing style is such that I was easily transported to the Discworld and remained focused and interested in the book.

I like to see characters who featured in other books pop up, and this is the case. The most persistant character is Death - who of course had me laughing, and Dibbler - that man is funny too, with the way he tries to bargin with everyone, gods included. Brutha was a great character too, even though this is the only book he will feature in. His simple nature, and his faithfulness to his god made him an enjoyable and humorous read.

Overall, although not the funniest book in this series, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to anyone.

7/10
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on 21 May 2015
Life isn't a fairytale. Unless you're a victim of Lily Weatherwax.

Fairy godmother, Desiderata dies and leaves her fairy godmother wand to Magrat. Unfortunately, she didn't leave a any instructions and the wand automatically reset to 'pumpkin mode'. She also left a letter. A girl called Ella is set to marry a prince in a far-off land called Genua. Magrat has to stop this happening. And she's not allowed to let Granny Weatherwax or Nanny Ogg accompany her. Because the only way to get Granny to do something, is to tell her she can't. Granny and Nanny insist on accompanying Magrat as she flies across the disc to Genua, leaving a trail of pumpkins in her wake.

Along the way, they discover that someone has been turning people's lives into stories. There's a wolf who is stuck between being a human and being a wolf, snakes who are now women but still think they're snakes, and a frog prince, as well as other fairytale characters. We played the snake twins in a recent adaption by Monstrous Productions.

Witches Abroad is brilliantly clever, with all of Pratchett's usual wit. One of the most memorable characters is Greebo, Nanny's cat, who gets turned into a human. Human Greebo is fantastic. He is exactly how we would imagine cats to be if they were human.

This book is definitely worth a read. Just be glad life isn't a fairytale.
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on 5 December 2003
Intelligent, philosophical, witty and delightfuly cynical. Make no mistake, Small Gods will be one of the best books ou've ever read. It incorporates dark humour, philosophy and a subtle reference to the ancient Greek philosopher who met his doom when he was struck over the cranium with a tortoise.
Terry Pratchett draws an ingenious comparison between the world of torture, religion the and sadistic inquisitions of this Earth, and the just plain sadistic religions of the Discworld.
Pratchett at his best.
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on 22 July 2013
bought this and lots of other pratchett books when got my first kindle so could read as liked. All the older books haven't read for a while and can not afford the prices for the hard backs (from middle to latest have a hardback collection). Took great pleasure in re-reading this again. The magic is still there and he's still the only author that keeps me glued to page chuckling away. If you haven't read a Pratchett novel before then buy one quick and be prepared for whole other world of entertainment.
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on 3 January 2008
I have read twenty or so of Pratchett's books, and they are a bit of a mixed bag. Most of my favourites are of the non-discworld variety, with the exception of my absolute favourite, the wonderful Small Gods.

The main plot concerns the visitation of the country of Omnia by the not so great God Om. The main problem being that Om has only one true believer left, a dim witted but kind hearted novice called Brutha, and therefore manifests as a tortoise. Brutha and Om then travel with the arch manipulator Vorbis (Head of the Inquisition) to neighbouring Ephebe, which unlike omnia has embraced science and philosophy.

This book is full of challenging ideas and themes, some of which make you scratch your head and others which make your spine tingle. Vorbis's explanation of "The Fundemental Truth" is a particularly good example of this. Also the books central idea, that all Gods start off small and grow and deminish in line with the power and number of their believers, really makes you think about the nature of faith, fundementalism and organised religion.

There are also moments of great drama, darkness and exceptional dialogue.

Not a new book anymore, but in the days of Richard Dawkins and rising fundementalism of all varities, Small Gods has, like all great satire, maintained its relevance.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 3 September 2016
One of Terry Pratchett's greatest achievements was the creation of Magrat Garlick, Nanny Ogg and Esme Weatherwax - the three witches; the maiden, the mother and the crone (only NEVER say that in the hearing of Ganny Weatherwax). In this story he takes them far from their home in Lancre and away from what is familiar to them as they try to prevent a princess marrying a prince. Of course Granny and Nanny are at home wherever they are and Magrat is a "wet hen" but despite frequent misunderstandings and some strange people they meet the three intrepid travellers are determined to complete their quest.

Although it is an amusing fantasy story there is plenty of opportunity for the author to talk about how we stereotype people and situations and try to impose our own sense of order on them - and also to talk about dwarves, folklore, voodoo, magic wands and the difficulty of working out who is good and bad. There is, as usual, lots of sharp commentary on our own world for those who are looking for such things and lots of downright hilarious story for them and everyone else. And there's a lot of Greebo the cat ...

This is a book that I very much enjoyed. It made me smile and totally engaged me. It is, in my opinion one of the best of the Discworld series.
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