Enter Discworld – a flat, circular planet seated upon the backs of four elephants, standing on the back of a giant turtle. This is the setting for numerous Terry Pratchett novels, namely, 39 of them.
“Small Gods” was the Discworld novel I plucked from thin air to start reading: my first experience reading Terry Pratchett, despite the recommendations over the years.
Normally, I say away from series for reviewing purposes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this novel was brilliant as a stand-alone story.
The god Om finds himself trapped in the body of a tortoise, stripped of his godly powers. You can imagine the frustration that little tortoise experienced, walking barely faster than a snail’s pace with no more godly powers and an insatiable craving for leafy greens.
Pratchett doesn’t make you strain too hard to empathize with this pitiful scenario. Om’s frustration is made abundantly clear, and hilariously so.
Imagine a tortoise screaming “The devils of infinity fill your living bones with sulphur!” and “Your feet to fly from your body and be buried in a termite mound!”
Om finds himself a young Novice named Brutha in the city Omnia, the only person that can hear him, and quite possibly the only person who can help him.
I found this novel to be intellectually stimulating, as well as absolutely hilarious (a tortoise screaming curses? Come on!). The novel’s themes - organized religion, politics and philosophy – are in-your-face and thought provoking.
Pratchett reveals, with well-organized ease, the hypocritical undercurrents that seem to flood politics, the ridiculous and needed ways of the philosopher and the necessity of skepticism.
This novel had me dying of laughter and smirking at the swirling of ideas. It was a quick, easy read, but it was hefty with ideas.
I highly recommend this novel to any and all readers.