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Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
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Hogfather (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Terry Pratchett

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8,05793399 (4.08)325
Member:AHS-Wolfy
Title:Hogfather
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi Adult (1997), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Fantasy, Humour, Discworld

Work details

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (1996)

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English (90)  Polish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
My partial re-read of Pratchett's Discworld series, starting with the Death books, continues with this one, in which the Hogfather, Discworld's equivalent of Santa Claus, has disappeared after someone put out a hit on him, and Death has to step in to do his job and keep belief in him alive.

With a premise like that, how can you go wrong? The mere thought of Death in a Santa suit trying very hard to get the hang of a proper "HO HO HO" is just inherently hilarious. But there's lots and lots of other delightful stuff in here too, from Death's granddaughter Susan dispatching monsters from under children's beds with a poker and a no-nonsense attitude, to Death's manservant Albert snarking wonderfully while wearing a Hogswatch pixie outfit, to Death's inevitable and endearing inclination to become a little too invested in his new job, to the marvelous creepiness of the Santa-cidal assassin Mr. Teatime, to the fact that when Pratchett turns to contemplating the true meaning of Christmas, what you get isn't saccharine platitudes, but some deconstruction of saccharine platitudes and a glimpse at something much deeper, much older, and much more fundamental. Even the bits with the wizards, which are usually the weak point in these Death-centered books, were fun, with Archchancellor Ridcully being on particularly fine Ridcully-ish form, and an entertaining appearance from Hex the magical computer. (I like Hex. He's basically made entirely of computer-related puns, and it amuses me greatly how that somehow never gets old.)

It may not be an absolutely perfect novel. As sometimes happens with Pratchett, some of the plot stuff maybe gets resolved a little too quickly. And the god of hangovers character -- excuse me, the oh god of hangovers character -- is a bit too much of a one-note joke for me. Nevertheless, this is probably one of my favorite Discworld books, and it holds up beautifully on a re-read. Even in July. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jul 8, 2016 |
I actually liked thinking about some of the ideas in this one. For example: The world is so full of sharp bends that if (parents) didn't put a few twists in you, you wouldn't stand a chance of fitting in." And: "Humans need fantasy to human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.... You have to start out learning the little lies [eg Tooth Fairies, as practice for the big ones like}... Justice. Mercy. Duty. That sort of thing.... {You have}... the most amazing talent."

(Better if you read the whole passage, p. 336 my edition. Better still if you read the whole book.)" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
As nonsensical as Pratchett's Discworld books may seem, they often make a great deal of sense. Hogfather pokes fun at old gods, evolving gods, power, and belief systems. There's even an "oh god," as in "oh god I'm gonna be sick."

The Hogfather is Discworld's version of Santa Claus, and things go very,very astray forcing Death to step in and try to put things right, while his granddaughter tries to behave like a normal person. ( )
1 vote AuntieClio | Mar 28, 2016 |
The snow is falling, the nights are longer, and the Disc is getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year only for the most important man of the hour to disappear. Terry Pratchett satirizes Christmas in his 20th Discworld novel “Hogfather”, featuring Death and his granddaughter Susan attempting to save the entire holiday and the Disc’s sense of belief.

Most of the Disc is getting ready to celebrate the end of the year on Hogswatchnight when the Hogfather comes to give presents to those that have been good throughout the year, mostly kids but some adults would like some stuff as well. However, the Auditors of the Universe want the ‘fat man’ dead and hire an Assassin to do the job who then attacks the Tooth Fairy. How can the Hogfather survive? Only Death himself can fill in for the ‘fat man’ and tricks his granddaughter Susan Sto Helit in figuring out what happened to the Hogfather especially as new deities start popping up in his absence.

The TV miniseries adaptation of “Hogfather” was what made me want to read the entire Discworld series in the first place, so finally getting to read this book has been both an exciting and somewhat hesitant moment because I didn’t know if the actual book would meet my expectations. Happily I was more than happy with the book and think it’s one of the best books of the series because of story, characterization, and satire. There is nothing more I can say because I would just be repeating myself. ( )
  mattries37315 | Mar 5, 2016 |
Another enjoyable and good, but not great, book in the Discworld series. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pratchett, LynAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
De Muth, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galian, Carl D.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, MikeAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To the guerilla bookshop
manager know to friends as
'ppint' for asking me, many years
ago, the question Susan asks in
this book. I'm surprised more
people haven't asked it . . .

And to too many absent friends.
First words
Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree.
Quotations
She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do.
And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.
Time stopped.

But duration continued.
Sometimes, somewhere, somehow, the numbers on the clock did not count.

Between every rational moment were a billion irrational ones.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
IT'S THE NIGHT BEFORE HOGSWATCH. AND IT’S TOO QUIET.

Where is the big jolly fat man? Why is Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho? The darkest night of the year is getting a lot darker…

Susan the gothic governess has got to sort it out by morning, otherwise there won’t be a morning. Ever again…

The 20th Discworld novel is a festive feast of darkness and Death (but with jolly robins and tinsel too).

As they say: 'You’d better watch out…
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061059056, Mass Market Paperback)

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 (Mort, Reaper Man, and Soul Music) 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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

As a first step in destroying humanity, evil men in Discworld try to undermine belief in Hogfather by abducting him. The plot is ruined by Death who takes Hogfather's place in his sleigh drawn by pigs. Part parody of Christmas, part meditation on the role of faith.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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