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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Terry Pratchett's Small Gods
A Discworld Graphic Novel (Hardback)


Writer: Terry Pratchett
Adapted by: Ray Friesen
Artist: Ray Friesen
Publisher: Doubleday
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 0 857 52296 2
130 pages
Publication Date: 28 July 2016

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was: "Hey, you!". This is the Discworld, after all, and religion is a controversial business. Everyone has their own opinions, and their own gods, all elbowing for space at the top. In such a competitive situation, it's not exactly helpful to be reduced to the form of a tortoise, a shape far below god-like status in anyone's book. The Great God Om, tortoise, needs followers, and fast. Brutha the novice is his Chosen One - or at least the only One available. He wants peace and justice and brotherly love. He also wants the Inquisition to stop torturing him now, please... Follow the misadventures of Om and Brutha in fully illustrated form for the first time in this new adaptation of Terry Pratchett's bestselling novel...

I've never understood the appeal of Terry Pratchett (death threats I await you). His world building and general ideas were phenomenal, but I never really got on with his sense of humour - it just seemed too obvious and, dare I say, a little lazy. But you can't get away from the fact that, like Tolkien and JK Rowling, Pratchett attracted a cult like status amongst his followers and could pretty much do no wrong.

Ray Friesen has done a remarkable job of adapting Pratchett's Small Gods into an easily digestible graphic novel. Again, I found little here that made me smile, let alone laugh out loud (other than Friesen's rather humorous drawings.

His layout style is also intriguing. He's gone out of his way to ensure almost every page has a different look and feel to it, so that not only are we mesmerised by the unfolding story, but also by the beautiful way it's presented.

It's probably not going to come as much of a surprise that if you're not a fan of Pratchett that you won't really enjoy this graphic novel, but if you are a fan you'll love what Friesen has lovingly crafted here.


Darren Rea

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