I think Small Gods is one of Terry Pratchett’s best books. You shouldn’t read it if you don’t want a different view of religion, or if you are uncomfortable reading about violence (there is rather a lot in this book, unfortunately). It is a novel of Discworld (a flat world on the back of a turtle, where the unexpected is expected — adapted from the back of the book). If you are familiar with Discworld, Small Gods might be surprising — it is not about the large city of Ankh-Morpork, or the mountains around the Hub. It is a story of the desert, and of a god.
There are billions of gods in the world. They swarm as thick as herring roe. Most of them are too small to see and never get worshiped, at least by anything bigger than bacteria. … They are the small gods, the spirits of places where two ant trails cross. … And most of them stay that way.
Because what they lack is belief.
Small Gods is about a god who stopped being small, and a huge religion was created around him, and then the people stopped believing in the god and worshiped the ideology and the hierarchy of the religion, so he became small again. Then he found a believer, discovered what had happened to his religion, and he got MAD.
Almost every page has a quotable sentence or two, or more. It really makes you think about organized religion, and how we treat religion, and what belief really means.
- Akhirnya’s Continued Adventures in the Discworld Series: Maskerade, Feet of Clay, and Hogfather, CBR4 # 12-14 (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- Honey Get the Luggage, I’m Going to Discworld (literarytiger.wordpress.com)