Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Tortoises are cynics. They always expect the worst.

From 14 July 2011:

Finally finished Small Gods last night. Stupid work cutting into my reading time drew it out a bit. Ever notice this always happens towards the end of the book, when you just want to keep reading with the momentum? Or is it that we only notice then because the want to read is so much greater.

But I enjoyed the book immensely. I must say as much as I like Ankh Morpork, I prefer his books set outside it such as this one and especially Good Omens (co-written by Neil Gaiman). The Pratchett outlook and analysis on religion, ritual and philosophy was refreshing. The stupidity of it all was cleverly displayed, without Prachett smacking you over the head with it. And the idea of how much we influence and change the gods to fit our moulds was fantastic, with the example of Patina – goddess of wisdom who was supposed to have owls to do her bidding but now had penguins due to a crappy sculptor’s representation of the bird in a statue. Philosophy didn’t get away unscathed, with the quip by the philosopher Didactylos standing out - “logic is only a way of being ignorant by numbers.”

So onward I go, leaving the Great God Om behind (although my attempts to be allowed to buy a tortoise as a pet and name him Om are still occurring. They are being met with a resounding “No” however). I’m starting The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald at lunchtime today. We’ll see if it’s as good as everyone says it is.

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