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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COWER BRIEF MORTALS. HO HO HO.
"Hogfather" is the twentieth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 1996. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

"Hogfather" is sometimes known as the third book in "The Death Trilogy". Like the trilogy's first two instalments...
Published on 23 Sep 2006 by Craobh Rua

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not his best
FUNNY IN PARTS AS YOU WOULD EXPECT BUT IS DISJOINTED IN PLACES AND DOESN'T FLOW LIKE OTHER PRATCHETT BOOKS I'VE READ.
Published 19 months ago by Anthony J. Knott


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COWER BRIEF MORTALS. HO HO HO., 23 Sep 2006
"Hogfather" is the twentieth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 1996. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

"Hogfather" is sometimes known as the third book in "The Death Trilogy". Like the trilogy's first two instalments ("Mort" and "Reaper Man") it gives Death - tall guy, somewhat underfed, carries a scythe, big grin - more than just a brief cameo. Like "Reaper Man", it's the Auditors who are causing problems. The Auditors are in charge of the universe : they see that atoms spin, that gravity works and that things move in curves. However, they hate life - especially humans (too many irregularities). In "Reaper Man", they wanted to force Death into retirement. This time, they want the Hogfather - Discworld's version of Father Christmas - `removed' from office (or grotto, perhaps). To this end, they've hired the disturbed (and disturbing) Mister Teatime from the Guild of Assassins to make sure he stays `removed'. Luckily, Death has discovered what's going on : with Hogswatch Night looming, the Grim Reaper dons a false beard, strategically places a cushion and takes control of the sleigh.

Death shares the spotlight, though : his new duties cause some problems for his grand-daughter, Susan Sto-Helit. Susan is working as a governess in Ankh-Morpork and, as part of her job, she regularly beats up the bogeyman with her trusty poker. In her free time, she occasionally drops into Biers for a drink ("Sometimes you want to go...where nobody knows your name"). It's in the pub that She's warned about her grandfather's strange behaviour by the Death of Rats and his eyeball-obsessed sidekick, Quoth the Raven. Initially, she isn't at all pleased to see the pair, but she has no choice but to get involved. The last time Death neglected his Duty, Susan was expected to take over...

Despite his profession, Death is one of the funniest characters the Discworld has to offer, and Hogfather sees Pratchett on top form. Quoth and Death of Rats are a welcome addition - they're a great double act. It may be a slight advantage to have read at least one from "Mort", "Reaper Man" or "Soul Music" before this (all are very funny) - however, even if you haven't you'll still find "Hogfather" hilarious. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death's limited understanding of life is a hilarious read, 3 Jan 2003
By 
Graham Willis (Braintree, Essex, England) - See all my reviews
One of the longest Discworld novels Terry has written makes for an incredibly hilarious read, thanks to the inclusion of some brilliant new characters and multiple stories that are read almost simultaneously: The wizards and their discovery of some strange beings that inexplicably come into being ('Sock Eaters', 'The oh God of Hangovers', and possibly the funniest being the 'Verucca Gnome'), Susan and her quest to solve the whole mystery and Death and Albert. The book really makes you think philosophically which is more interesting than it sounds! I don't want to give too much of the fantastic plot away (because I can't be bothered), but it is classic Pratchett.
CLICK 'BUY' NOW!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Hi! I'm the inner baby sitter!', 8 Feb 2007
This was definitely one of my favourite Discworld books. I first started to read it at someone else's house - then I was heartbroken when I had to go and hadn't quite finished it.
Why? Firstly because I love any Discworld volume in which Death features as a central character, but also because it features my favourite character, his granddaughter Susan Sto-Helit.
So what happens in it? Well someone, or something, wants to kill the Hogfather (fat bearded man, wears red, says ho ho ho a lot, etc.) For this purpose, the assassin Teatime is employed.
Teatime is a character who appears quite amicable at first - right up until the point where he pulls out a knife and kills you stone dead. And he's also a mastermind - so his plan involves taking control over children to stop them believing in the Hogfather, accompanied by his gang of thugs.
With this plan underway, who is going to stand in for the Hogfather?
Guess.
HO. HO. HO.
Susan is currently working as a governess, a job which largely involves beating up the under-bed monsters with her trusty poker. Apart from these minor irregularities, she is leading a relatively 'normal' life, until suddenly, to put it in her words, 'the old circus comes to town', and now Susan's got to don a black robe, leave her job and go out to determine exactly what is going on . . .
One of my favourite parts of this book was possibly the idea of personified forces coming into existence as creatures, such as the Hair Loss Fairy, the Eater Of Socks and, of course, the Oh God Of Hangovers ('Well, if there's a god of wine . . .')who accompanies Susan on her quest. I like the Unseen university scenes - which are usually responsible for providing the comedy. I also liked the demonstration of Susan's fearlessness when pitted against a being that can personify itself as your worst nightmare - 'Good grief, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren't you?' and the subtle appropriateness of the villain who's 'in touch with his inner child' confronted by a governess, and the irony of who becomes the Tooth Fairy's replacement. I particularly liked the end (but I don't mean to give the wrong idea, I mean that I liked the whole book but particularly liked the end). And, as usual, the plot gives the implication that Death is Not So Bad After All, and would rather prefer being the Hogfather (with his manservant Albert by way of being the Hogfather's Little Helper, naturally).
Oh yes, and there's a film adaption, which I watched when it was first on. Good, I liked it, all things taken into consideration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of Terry, 13 Dec 2004
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The release of this book evoked some distress among Terry Pratchett fans. Expecting another City Watch or Rincewind book, this one took most by surprise. Initial reactions were muted praise at best. Over time, more readers came to understand that this book introduced a new aspect of PTerry's thinking and writing. After a string of hilarious fantasies featuring Rincewind or the Wyrd Sisters, he presented here an unexpected dark side.

The story itself is almost simplistic, although classic Pratchett. The Auditors, who elsewhere attempted to give Death the sack, have decided that Hogswatch Night is a source of cosmic disorder. Contracting with the Assassin's Guild to have the Hogfather "brought to an end", they unleash a disturbing series of events. And cause Pratchett to introduce the first truly evil character in the Discworld series.

No-one likes the Patrician. But his job isn't designed for popularity contests. Ipslore cheats death to have revenge on his fellow wizards, but overzealous parents are no novelty. Mister Teatime [pronounced "Teh-ah-tim-eh"], however, is a real departure from Pratchett villains. He is consummately evil, cleverly choosing the most vulnerable segment of society in his attempt to control all the Discworld. This is the first truly repulsive character Pratchett's created. Reading Hogfather makes you wonder: is there a real-life model for this character, or has PTerry created him wholly? If the first, we must find and destroy him/her. If the latter, there's a terribly dark place in Pratchett's psyche and we have to wonder what else is in there.

The irony of Death substituting for the missing Hogfather is pure Pterry. Death's ongoing struggle to understand humans is vividly presented in this novel. He replaces a department store Hogfather in one of the most hilarious scenes in Discworld literature. Pratchett also responds to the rising tide of feminists by raising Susan Sto-Helit from near obscurity. She is destined to become a leading figure in the Discworld series. Her raven associate is almost as cynical as Gaspode the Communicating Canine. Pratchett uses these characters to demolish the more fervently held myths we hold dear. With a finesse other writers must envy, Pratchett uses the Discworld to mirror our own - the motto he's given us often. From a hesitant acceptance of this book as "another Discworld novel", Hogfather has become one of the leading examples of Pratchett's expressive talent. It's worthy of a second read. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discworld, We Expect the Finest!, 25 July 2002
By 
M Farrar - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Terry Pratchett, the genius of writing, has done it again. If you've read Discworld before then you will know exactly what I mean. If you haven't, then why not?
This is one of the best Discworld books, in my humble (Mr. Windling phrase in 'The Truth') opinion, along with most of the Watch books. Nobody can dislike Death, and his well-meaning attempts to make the world a better place. Not much Gaspode (a dog who talks) but never mind. Although Susan is not the best character, a little cardboard, at least the Grim Squeaker and the Raven are back again from another brilliant story, Soul Music.
One of the best things about this story is that, although it is suitable for children and adults, Terry Pratchett makes a big point of helping us to understand that many children are not as stupid as adults credit them for. I, being thirteen, fully agree with this.
Read this book. If you haven't got it, order it now. Christmas will never be the same again...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Introduction to Pratchett, 17 April 2011
Inspired by the dramatisation on TV a few Christmases ago, this was the first Terry Pratchett book I read, borrowed from my school's library. It quite literally opened up a world for me, and introduced me to the joys of tongue-in-cheek, parodic fiction.

In itself, it is a delightfully funny story, and although enjoyed more after getting to know the characters from previous books (as I discovered when I returned to it later), previous experience of Pratchett's work is not needed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A particularly festive yet dark Discworld novel....., 17 Nov 2010
I must say that this is a particular favourite of mine, and as with previous books in the Death series, it keeps getting better the more I read it. It is centred around the assasination of the Hogfather (Discworld's version of Father Christmas), and the odd assasin, Mr Teatime, who has the plan to carry it out. In order to prevent a disaster, Death and Albert step in and take over the role in order for belief in the Hogfather to remain.

Its a wonderfully festive book, and I love how the elements of Christmas are captured, yet it is somewhat darker than the other books in this series, and provokes some interesting inside into the beliefs which humans have. Absolutely marvellous, and I particularly love the conversations between Death and Albert about traditions at Christmas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'nk you Mr Pratchett, 22 April 2000
By A Customer
HO HO HO! This is definitely my favourite book in the series! It's the one that had me laughing out loud on the train and getting funny looks off people sat near me! Basically, the creepy Auditor guys have found someone who can get rid of the Hogfather. Enter one Mr Teatime (pronounced 'Teh-uh Tim-uh' or something like that), an assassin who sees thing diferently (ie, he's a raving lunatic). I won't give away the plot, but it brings back my favourite characters Death, Susan, the Death of Rats and the Raven, as well as the Faculty of Unseen University and several new characters. This is the best so far, bringing together all the best points of the festive season and other anthropomorphic personifications (tooth fairy, bogeyman, etc) Watch out for the bit with the poker at the end, and Death's very literal take on the Hogfather in the Maul! It will also have you wondering why indeed nobody has ever asked THAT question (I'm not telling you what the question is, you will have to read the book to find out!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great work from the team of Planer and Pratchett, 6 Jan 2000
By 
Paul M. W. Green (Wheeling, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If there is any way to improve on the experience of a Terry Pratchett book, it is to listen to it being read by Nigel Planer. The term reading is perhaps inaccurate, a better term would be performing. The books are brought to life with an expert humor and timing.
The tape is out and available; if the price is a bit steep, you can do yourself and your neighbors a favor and get your library to buy it. The local libraries around here are all getting copies and they circulate at a great rate.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abridged ... but still a good story, 17 Feb 2008
By 
Su (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This was my first Pratchett audio books and, though abridged, was a joy to listen to, especially when travelling.

I love the way Tony Robinson (not one of my favourite actors) voices the characters, it is virtually perfect. I would love to see him narrate the entire book, rather than the abridged version.

ISIS books produce the unabridged version - but a quick word of advice - Nigel Planer is deadpan with little alteration in his voice. At times he appears bored with the story, pausing where there shouldn't be pauses and placing emphasis (when he gets round to it) where it shouldn't be. It appears to be a paycheque for Planer.

Robinson, on the otherhand, appears to be a Pratchett fan, is narration is full of the depth of the true connoisseur.

Overall, abridged or not, I'd sooner have Robinson than Planer.

One final comment about the ISIS audio books - avoid the MP3 versions which have every chapter on one single disc. The chapters don't run properly due to the numbering system that they are using for the individual tracks. Instead of 01, 02 ... 10, 11, etc they have used 1, 2, 3, etc meaning that you start on track 1 then move to track 10, 11, etc. If you are after a straight run without problems, fork out the extra money and buy the multi disc versions, you can play these anywhere on any system.

If you're new to Pratchett, or travelling, or going into hospital, then the abridged version are well worth having.
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Hogfather: Discworld: The Death Collection (Discworld Hardback Library)
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