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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star). See all 187 reviews
on 21 June 2001
Its Christmas in Ankh-Morpork- or as they call it, Hogwatch. This is the first "seasonal" book, but of course can be read at anytime.
This in itself makes for some good jokes- Ridcully claim he is as honest as the day is long ( Hogwatch is the shortest day of the year .) In fact the sideline plot invloving thwe wizards is the best part of the book.
The main story is very confused- There are basically two main events which are recorded as the story- A gang lead by the assassin " Mr Teatime " on a misson, and death and Susan trying to effectivly stop them. But this is where it gets confused. The events that the men are working on have presumably already happened- or have they? This is never made clear, especially as they seem to be working towards a goal, which in other areas of the story seems complete.
There are three very good characters introduced- Teatime is a quite brilliant, well spoken psychopath, Banjo is the muscles ( who uses a page to make where he is up to in his " See Spot run " book , and The career criminal Mr Brown. However it looks very unlikely that these will be used in future books, which is a shame.
Against this is the frankly boring " Oh God of hangovers ", a tawdry single joke that is somewhat overplayed.
The actual story can be somewhat hard to follow in places, and the explainations used at the end are very deep. However this adds little to the story itself, and the ending is somewhat of an anti climax.
There are , however, so totally brilliant side plots. The expensive restaurant comes up with a somewhat novel dish- old boots! Linked to this is the possy of tramps, out of whom duckman stands out. I'm sure there is a book to be made from him.
The main character in this book is effectivly Susan- unfortunatly she is very pretentious and arrogant, and as such seems to annoy the reader- there is little to like about here. In a similar way to Rincewind she desires " normality ", but unlike Rincewind she lacks the folk charm of the anti-hero.
Look out for a heart warming and brilliant cameo from Nobby Nobbs- you can't help bt feel for him!
On joke that fails is the " Teatime " joke- It is actually pronuced " Teh Ah Tim Ah " but what on earth does that mean? I just didn't get it, and its repeated ad neausem
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on 26 April 2000
Not as bad as Last Continent, but definetely not one of the best. I am surprised at the stars, as the book is often quoted by reviewers elsewhere as a poor addition to the Discworld series.
Ok, it is not that bad. It's still readable, amusing, and has a somewhat interesting premise: Death playing at being Santa.
However, I found the story horribly sentimental. The HO HO HO frankly irritating. The jokes much less funny and original than usual (a God of Hangovers... HA, HA, HA...). In the whole a much less quircky exercise that previous novels. Superficial, with no dark edges, no particular originality, and too many concessions to... what?
I think lots of people thought when reading this: lets hope that Pratchett is not changing his style to fit an average and topical American market. (why is it that when a European writer/TVseries/film director/comedian has success in the States there is a need to "change" so as to have success? Just wait for Eastenders: the Movie)
The Hogfather looks likely to remain an exception in Terry Pratchett career. Let's hope so.
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on 6 August 1999
I'm a long-term reader of el Tel, but it would seem that he's burning himself out with having to write two books a year - the really good Discworld novels are getting further and further apart. This is really just pretty rubbish - down there with Equal Rites, Soul Music and the unspeakable Lords and Ladies
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