Re: Small Gods

While so far, my favorite book by Terry Pratchett is easily Small Gods, it’s not so easy to call it a funny book. In this book, he finally sets aside the urge for constant jokiness, and is content to raise a few smiles or groans, while telling a damn good story. This is the story of a god forced to come to grips with his relationship with humans.

Since gods in Discworld exist only to the extent that people believe in them, the Great God Om is trapped in a tortoise’s body, because the people of Omnia believe and fear his priests. The last true Believer in Om is an illiterate novice, called Brutha. (And yes, despite the force of his thick-headedness, he does become Brother Brutha, but we’ll let that pass.) It begins when:

And it came to pass that in that time the Great God Om spake unto Brutha, the Chosen One:


Brutha and Om grew entangled with the schemes of the exquisitor, Lord Vorbis, who plots to ensure that he will be the next prophet. Over time, the simpleton Brutha grows more thoughtful in his conversations with Om, gaining the wisdom to deal with the god when Om finally gets enough belief to do some real smiting. In between, there’s a lot of discussion about belief, gods, religion, philosophy, war, and why you should never overlook a History Monk. And Brutha leaves the stage with a final act of compassion that’s worth believing in.