Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

I’ve decided to try to read and review all 200 books on the BBC Big Read list. You can read more about the start of the project or see a list of all the books I’ve read and reviewed.

So my first reread and review is #102 Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. There are three good reasons for this: (1) this is one of my favourite books, (2) I already had a copy and was saving it for a rainy day and (3) it’s been a rainy day, literally as well as metaphorically.

Small Gods is brilliant. It’s a story about people and gods and where ethics come from and doing the right thing. It’s also a fast-paced tale about nearly getting killed a lot. Philosophy, it turns out, can be quick on its feet.

I’ve read Small Gods before, so I knew what to expect. It’s my favourite Pratchett novel but as I haven’t read the book in at least a year, I’d forgotten about some of the small details. As in most Pratchett novels, the joy is in the details. There are lots of little puns but there are beautiful, big ideas too. The ending – the last couple of lines – always stay with me but I won’t quote them as they’ll make no sense out of context. Plus: spoilers, sweetie!

Read it if…
If you like Pratchett, or Neil Gaiman or Diana Wynne Jones or Douglas Adams or any sort of comic fantasy, you should definitely read this.

If you’re interested in ethics and atheism/religion, and how the two intersect, then read this. It’s a surprisingly thorough and complex while being as easy to read and digest as a banana.

If you’ve never read any Pratchett before, Small Gods is an excellent place to start. It’s a stand-alone novel which doesn’t involve any characters from any of the previous novels so you won’t feel like you’ve missed out or worry about spoilers. It’s also – did I mention? – brilliant.

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