Friday, January 08, 2010

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Damn, what a great book! I can't believe this book was written in 1992 and I didn't get to it until 2009/2010. This book had all of my favorite things in a novel (all the things I love about my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut): dark humor, satire, irony, and fun poking at authority.

The authority that gets poked fun at here is organized religion and its hypocrisy. We meet Om, a "small god" in the form of a turtle. He isn't very nice. Omnia is a pretty fundamentalist religious state where there is a sort of "religious police" (sounds like Iran and other fundamentalist states) that basically feel that if you are suspected of something then you must have done it...after all, there must have been some reason you were suspected of evil-doing or evil thinking or unpure thinking, etc. A really not-nice guy named Vorbis runs the "religious police". Finally, we have our hero, Brutha, who shows small gods and religious zealots the error of their ways. Brutha tells his god that "You could have helped people. But all you did was stamp around and roar and try to make people afraid". Om is a fan of smiting...

As a confirmed atheist who can't stand the hypocrisy of organized religion and who despises religious zealotry (and most forms of zealotry for that matter), this book spoke to me. A few of my favorite quotes:

"You should do things because they are right. Not because gods say so" - Brutha

"Don't put your faith in gods. But you can believe in turtles" - Terry Pratchett

Believe me. This is a great book!


Nymeth said...

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyes. Vonnegut does remind me a lot of PTerry. I'll read more Vonnegut, and you'll read more Terry - deal? ;)

Rich said...

Nymeth, you've got a deal! I'm reading Nation right now and Lost Continent is next.