Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Report: Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

Accurate But Misleading Plot Summary: A layabout with an unsettling reptile fixation disrupts life in a religious community.

One of Pratchett's earliest works and one of my favorites. Small Gods is the story of a thick young monastic with a phenomenal memory who meets a tortoise that may or may not be his god.

It's full of humor, as are all of Pratchett's DiscWorld books, but I find something special in this one that makes me turn to it again and again. It takes place in a world where Gods are not merely real, but also quite intrusive (atheists tend to find themselves attracting a lot of lightning), and it asks some huge questions about what Gods require of us, and what we in turn require of them. It's about belief and religion, about God and His followers, and most of all it's about people trying to figure out where they belong in the spectrum between the godless and the devout.

Oh, and there's a penguin.

Ulysses Rating: 5 - I'll read this again and again.

Monday, April 25, 2011


If you want to hear a six-year-old laugh hysterically, I recommend trying to sing John Denver's "Sunshine" in your best Sylvester the Cat voice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


As a souvenir of Tibet, I once bought a stuffed alpaca. A few months later, I was privileged to be in the crowd outside an auditorium where Tibet’s exiled spiritual and political leader was giving a speech. As he came out, he stopped occasionally to shake hands with individuals. He stopped near me and held out his hand. In a moment of unthinking foolishness, instead of shaking his hand, I handed him my souvenir. He took it with a smile.

Yes, I gave the Dalai Lama a llama dolly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Report: Love's Labour's Lost, by Bill S.

Accurate but misleading summary: "Visiting royalty is forced to deal with the attentions of an amorous group of schoolboys."

Again, reviewing Shakespeare is like discussing bowel movements: nobody cares what you think, and everyone wishes you'd just shut up. However, I can't help myself.

I didn't enjoy this one. Nothing much happened until the 5th act, and when it did I wasn't interested.

Ulysses Rating: 2 - I had a tough go.