Hogfather: (Discworld Novel 20) (Discworld Novels) Paperback – 2 Oct 2006
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What could more genuinely embody the spirit of Christmas (or Hogswatch, on the Discworld) than a Terry Pratchett book about the holiday season? Every secular Christmas tradition is included. But as this is the 21st Discworld novel, there are some unusual twists.
This year the Auditors, who want people to stop believing in things that aren't real, have hired an assassin to eliminate the Hogfather. (You know him: red robe, white beard, says, "Ho, ho, ho!") Their evil plot will destroy the Discworld unless someone covers for him. So someone does. Well, at least Death tries. He wears the costume and rides the sleigh drawn by four jolly pigs: Gouger, Tusker, Rooter and Snouter. He even comes down chimneys. But as fans of other Pratchett stories about Death know, he takes things literally. He gives children whatever they wish for and appears in person at Crumley's in The Maul.
Fans will welcome back Susan, Death of Rats (the Grim Squeaker), Albert and the wizardly faculty of Unseen University and revel in new personalities like Bilious, the "oh god of Hangovers." But you needn't have read Pratchett before to laugh uproariously and think seriously about the meanings of Christmas. --Nona Vero, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Has the energy of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland... It has also an intelligent wit and a truly original grim and comic grasp of the nature of things" (The Sunday Times)
"Our best comic novelist" (New Scientist)
"I'm addicted to Terry Pratchett" (A.S. Byatt)
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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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?
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.Read more ›
Whilst an interesting read with some great characters I found the story wavered on tangents for a while and the plot a bit wavy. Made up for however by the dead cert Susan, more human than dead Death and Banjo the underdog. Would read again just to see what little clues I've missed
Here the Auditors, something far worse from outside this world than ever thought up by H P Lovecraft, have a task for the Guild of Assassins – assassinate the Hogfather. Is it even feasible let alone possible? One thing is for sure Mr Teatime is certain he can do it; after all he has spent many a time working out how to kill different people. But if the Hogfather was to be removed, who would carry on this grand old Hogswatch tradition?
Death finds that he will have to be the Hogfather until matters can be sorted out; after all he knows how important such a thing is for humans, mainly children. But will the Discworld ever be the same again? This is definitely a fun tale that does raise certain points such as the commercialism of Christmas, social inequality, the great philosophical and theological question on faith and whether things can become what they are thought to be due to this, and belief itself.
With Susan Sto-Helit, Death’s granddaughter also roped in it is a race against time to save Hogswatch from being altered for all time. This book also raises the difference between fantasy and reality as we see Susan deal with her two charges’ beliefs in monsters.
I haven’t read this for a while so it was great coming back to it, and as I picked this for the local book group hopefully there will be more than enough to discuss about this story. Always a fun read, as with all the other Discworld books this does throw some weight as it addresses and looks at issues that we are all aware of but don’t really ever take time to ponder over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love it, very entertaining and educational. Good read for the festive season or long summer days. Makes me want to read another one by T. P.Published 1 month ago by Asia
Another foray into the Discworld with Death and his granddaughter, Susan. His attempt to inspire belief in the Hogfather and Hogswatch night leads to many adventures for the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lesley Southworth
I love Sir Terry’s Discworld series, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t too taken with Hogfather – it’s a good enough story, but it just didn’t resonate with me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
Like all the other books i've read by Terry Pratchet, they're out of this world fantasticPublished 3 months ago by Edward Newton
I bought this to make into a gift, it only has 4 star because I sadly did not read it (I'm sure it is my dad tells me so) so it did what I needed from it hard covered small book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Melody
This was a suggested read for our book club and happened to be on TV at the same time, so read and watched together. Read morePublished 4 months ago by PHYLLIS
Who would ever have thought DEATH could be so amusing and friendly. A good read.Published 5 months ago by Rex