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Hogfather [Hardcover]

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HO HO HO Jan. 11 2009
Twas the night before Hogwatch, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... because the only person stirring was Death in a Hogsfather costume.

With the possible exception of Tim Burton, only Terry Pratchett could come up with such a deliciously warped idea and actually make it work. "Hogfather" follows Pratchett's tradition of gutsplitting fantasy-satires, and manages to mingle plenty of unsentimental observations about human nature with a feel-good message -- not an easy thing to do, especially in a Christmas-related book.

On the night before Hogswatch, the Auditors enlist the Assassins' Guild for a very special job: "delete" the Hogfather (think a tusked Santa Claus). For this, Lord Downey calls on the psychotically childlike Mr. Teatime -- and soon Death finds that the Hogfather has vanished. So he takes on the Hogfather's duties for the night, much to the disgust of his granddaughter Susan, who is trying hard to have a normal life.

But realizing that something is very seriously wrong with the world, Susan begins investigating terrible reasons that the Hogfather has vanished: belief in him has somehow vanished from the world, courtesy of Mr. Teatime, a locksmith, a wizard and a little gang of thieves. And the wizards discover that strange creatures are coming into existence, such as the Verruca Gnome and the Eater of Socks (not to mention Bilious, the Oh God of Hangovers).

Now Susan must somehow find a way to bring back the Hogfather -- or else despite all Death's best efforts (AND WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR HOGSWATCH, SMALL HUMAN?) the world will lose much more than a jolly fat anthropomorphic personification.
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5.0 out of 5 stars COWER BRIEF MORTALS. HO HO HO. Jan. 23 2007
"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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of Terry Jan. 21 2007
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars great story, misprinted book
the story itself is amazing, but my copy was misprinted and 50 pages were missing. i actually had to get another copy, which was annoying.
Published 2 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Great
Definitely one of the best Discworld stories, hilarious of course but with it's own dark moments thrown in as Pratchett is known to do.
Published 9 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars My Christmas Read
Hogfather is a book I read every December. The world of the Hogfather includes magic, mysticism and hilarious 'human' characters. Read more
Published 9 months ago by MaryJane Danyluk
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical!!!!! (with 5 exclamation marks)
Hogfather is a wonderful and funny look at the absurdity of humanity and the necessity for that absurdity. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Anastasia Beaverhausen
4.0 out of 5 stars Death dons the Red Suit. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Not Pratchett's funniest or best Discworld novel, but when considered against other possible holiday reads, especially within the fantasy genre, this one's a gem. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2007 by Perschon
5.0 out of 5 stars a christmas classic
The story runs parallel to our Christmas celebrations, and sheds some light on how some of our old traditions may have gotten started. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2007 by darkhorse dave
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel
Perhaps one of my favorite Terry Pratchett novels, Susan Sto Helit and her grandfather, Death, are back and play well off each other. Read more
Published on May 18 2002 by M. Pak
5.0 out of 5 stars HO HO HO
This was my first Pratchett novel and I don't think that there could be a better introduction to Discworld. Read more
Published on May 12 2002 by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Eve's Novel
I must say this is one of my favorite Discword Books, ranking among Interesting Time, The Last Continent, The Science of Discword and The Fifth Elephant. Read more
Published on April 11 2002 by Paarko Seitaar
4.0 out of 5 stars First Pratchett Novel
Just a quick review. I picked this book up a year ago because the artwork vaguely reminded me of The Nightmare before Christmas. Read more
Published on March 1 2002 by Clint J. Desena
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