Review: Hogfather

‘Twas the night before Hogswatch
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Except for Death…
And his granddaughter Susan.

It’s the night before the most joyous day of the year, but something is weird — even by Discworld standards. In her role as nanny, Susan has been running into more bogeymen than usual, and that was before the talking crow and the Death of Rats showed up in the sitting room.

The Hogfather, the jolly soul and spirit of Hogswatch, seems to have vanished into thin air. The most psychotic member of the Assassins’ Guild is somehow involved, and now Death—a decidedly non-jolly entity, and also Susan’s grandfather—has donned a red suit and beard and is handing out presents. What’s next, bodies falling from the sky?

It’s going to be a long Hogswatchnight.

By the pricking of my thumbs…

The Hogfather is, as you might have guessed, the Discworld equivalent of Santa Claus. But he is so much more than that. Many gods were born of blood, sacrifices to the universe in exchange for the daily rising of the sun. The Hogfather is no exception, and he is partly responsible for keeping the world turning.

But not everyone is a fan of the human race; there are some who would prefer that the sun never rise again. That’s where Mr. Teatime (pronounced Teh-ah-tim-eh, he must frequently mention) is particularly useful…and frightening. He’s probably the only person on the Discworld to consider how best to kill a god.

The perfect story

No one’s mind works quite like Terry Pratchett’s, which is a shame, because the man’s a genius. He mixes philosophy with ridiculousness, danger with humor, and blurs the line between the fictional Discworld and our own spherical home.

With an amazing cast of characters (of whom Death is my particular favorite), plot twists, and extremely clever and suspenseful writing, Hogfather had me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.

Another challenging yet rewarding trip into the Discworld series, Hogfather is not to be missed.

Kick-ass Quotes

“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.”

“Mister Teatime had a truly brilliant mind, but it was brilliant like a fractured mirror, all marvelous facets and rainbows but, ultimately, also something that was broken.”

“OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death. OTHERWISE, WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR?”

What’s your favorite storyline in the Discworld series? If you’ve never read it, what’s stopping you?

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6 thoughts on “Review: Hogfather

  1. Ah, Master Tay-uh-tee-muh! I love that little pronunciation quirk.

    Actually the ones with DEATH and Susan are my favourites, hands down. The Thief of Time is my favourite Discworld novel. A good second, though, are the ones with Sam Vimes. They had to grow on me, but now I really enjoy the sort of social justice elements of him.

    1. Teatime is a cool character, but he scares the tar out of me. Have you seen the film adaptation? I have no idea who the actor is, but he deserves an award for Creepiest Guy Ever.

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about the entire Discworld series, but particularly about Thief of Time as well. Maybe that should be the next one I pick up; although I’ve read the first two books of the Tiffany Aching story arc, and that one’s pretty darn awesome as well.

      1. I haven’t seen the adaptation, but I think my library has it! It should definitely be a wintertime watch for the household…once we get past the fallish Halloweenish bits and are in proper holiday season, I shall brew up some mulled wine and maybe some tasty treats and have it on an evening.

        Thief of Time is much more philosophical than some of his other Discworld books, which are either more political or sociological. Of course I say that firmly categorizing the whole series under satire instead of fantasy, so take that as you will. 🙂

        1. It’s become part of our holiday tradition too. Along with “Little Women,” “Love Actually,” and “Muppet Christmas Carol.” 😀

          I prefer sociological and philosophical over political, so I imagine I’d enjoy Thief of Time. I’ll put it on my TBR list. Yes, the entire series is definitely satire — and it’s genius.

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