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Hogfather [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 5 1998 Discworld (Book 20)
ITS 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...

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The master of humorous fantasy delivers one of his strongest, most conventional books yet. Discworld's equivalent of Santa Claus, the Hogfather (who flies in a sleigh drawn by four gigantic pigs), has been spirited away by a repulsive assassin, Mr. Teatime, acting on behalf of the Auditors who rule the universe and who would prefer that it exhibited no life. Since faith is essential to life, destroying belief in the Hogfather would be a major blow to humanity. It falls to a marvelously depicted Death and his granddaughter Susan to solve the mystery of the disappeared Hogfather, and meanwhile to fill in for him. On the way to the pair's victory, readers encounter children both naughty and nice; gourmet banquets made of old boots and mud; lesser and greater criminals; an overworked and undertrained tooth fairy named Violet; and Bilious, the god of hangovers, among other imaginative concepts. The tone of much of the book is darker than usual for Pratchett?for whom "humorous" has never been synonymous with "silly"?and his satire, too, is more edged than usual. (One scene deftly skewers the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas.") Pratchett has now moved beyond the limits of humorous fantasy, and should be recognized as one of the more significant contemporary English-language satirists. U.K. rights: Victor Gollanz, The Cassell Group; trans., first serial, dramatic, audio rights: Ralph Vicinanza.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-Pratchett's 21st Discworld novel to be published in the U.S. examines the nature of belief and reality-and why rich kids get the best toys. The Hogfather, Discworld's jolly, red-suited, gift-giving, anthropomorphic personification of the winter season, is missing, and Death has taken his place. Death's granddaughter, Susan, determined to discover what's behind this, uncovers a plot to assassinate the Hogfather. It's a diabolically clever plan concocted by an assassin who's a few eggs short of a dozen even by Discworld standards. The story is best appreciated in the context of previous novels featuring Death, such as Mort (Bantam, 1989), Reaper Man (Dutton, 1992), and Soul Music (Bantam, 1995).
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Eve's Novel April 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. As you'd probalbly read the editorial reviews, I wont repeat the story twice for your sakes. If you haven't read them yet, you should have.
My personal favorite parts are the ones that concerned the wizard of Unseen University, the masters of dynamic inactivity. Having their Hogswatchnight feast being disrupted by the sudden appearance of things they utter (e.g. They joked about the Tooth fairy,and then suddenly: guess who appears?) Another interesting piece is when the wizards decided to wait for the Hogfather in the dark and fearful UU Library. When Archancellor Mustrum Ridcully wonders about whether the Librarian(an orangutan by the way) will recieve his gifts before us humans. Ponder Stibbons' immediate response is to agree with him on account of the theory of evolution. Ridcully's bitter reply is:"I just thought that because, aphabetically, apes come before man." And they sure do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars COWER BRIEF MORTALS - HO HO HO Dec 14 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So what happens when the Hogfather dissapears from the Discworld?
Terry Pratchett answers this in this great book that will really make you think about what you belive in.
Visit with your favorite Discworld characters during Hogswatch - and see the reaction when Death (as the Hogfather) visits a department store. Find out how Susan deals with monsters (not the POKER!) and just what to give Hex for christmas.
Hogfather is very fast-paced and takes all the cliches of christmas and puts a spin on them as Death looks at them from his own special point of view.
Terry Pratchett is not only a very funny writer, he also has the knack of making you think - when you don't even realise you are doing it. This book contains very subtle insights - that you will find yourself realising only later how important and profound they actually are. He also pokes a sly dig at the X-Files (if you read carefully and don't miss any footnotes, you will find it).
For those lovers of Hex - the Discworld's only computer - you will be pleased to find he has a large role in this - and we watch as Ridcully and Death become computer literate: in their own individual ways.
I loved this book - and I know that you will as well. It's a great read not just for lovers of Terry Pratchett, but for those who want to re-discover the real meaning of christmas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Discworld - that says it all! Nov. 11 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a bit different than the rest of the discworld series, it starts when the leader of the assassins guild gets contracted (by some mysterious entities) to make the Hogfather "vanish". The Hogfather is Discworld's equivalent of Santa, and Hogwatch is the extremely similar version of Christmas. The next thing we see in the book is Death (yes, Discworld's lovable Grim Reaper) acting instead of the Hogfather, that is, going from house to house to fill up stockings, putting little boys on his lap and saying Ho Ho Ho. The rest of the book kind of reads like a mystery novel: how did this happen? why does Death fill up for the Hogfather? I was very immersed in the book, and couldn't wait till the conclusion.

As usual, the result is very witty and is truly hilarious. Towards the rest of the book it became more serious and philosophical, which added another layer of depth to the book. The same ideas which underly "Hogfather" also appear in "Small Gods", and partially in "Pyramids". The fact that the Discworld series always have such an insight into many aspects of being human has always been one of the factors which makes it much more than just a regular fantasy/humor series (a la Piers Anthony), and that's why "Hogfather" is such a great book.

If you love the Discworld (or even if you just "like" it), this book is really for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful on human faith, but funny! July 29 2001
By Phome
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Pratchett has a talent for witty humour and I have trouble not laughing out loud whilst reading his books. Though not as good as some of Pratchett's other books, Hogfather has a deep sense of balance of human faith and belief -- take something away from us and we will naturally fill the gap.
True to form, this book contains the inefficient wizards at the Unseen University who don't recognize evil even when it turns up at their hogswatch night dinner.
Our heroine, Susan, has to face up to the fact that she is Death's grandaughter and against her will finds herself snared into action. She is accompanied by a raven, who consistently mistakes grapes and other items for eyeballs, and the Death of Rats.
Death himself has gone loopy. He's literally sick to death of being Death and takes the place of the Hogfather who has gone mysteriously missing. Some hilarious scenes play out as Death, dressed up with red hat and cloak and fake white beard, fumbles to reinstall children's faith in the Hogfather. Hogswatch in the style of Death ...
And how does the Toothfairy fit in the picture? Well, to find that out you need to read the book. I don't want to spoil the surprise!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Who would've thought, after reading the first few books of Terry Pratchett that this writer would one day produce a book with such depth as this one? Okay, as always it's all wrapped up in a high speed, intricate story with several sub-plots, but that makes the ultimate message Pratchett delivers only more convincing.
So, what's the story all about? As always, the Discworld is in perilous danger, or at least civilization on it is. The "Auditors" (of reality, not money) want to eliminate mankind. Since these beings like everything to be orderly, precise and regular, it's not hard to imagine mankind is a thorn in the eye to them. The way they plan to wipe mankind of the disc is by murdering the Hogfather (Discworlds equivalent of Santaclaus), a job assigned to the less than sane assassin Teatime. DEATH, the only one who understands the danger mankind is in, can't help himself and interferes by impersonating the Hogfather. Meanwhile his granddaughter Susan sets out to stop Teatime (with a little dubious help from the Oh-God of Hangovers). Of course, in the end all's well, but not before Pratchett makes a very keen observation of what defines humanity. Believing in certain 'lies' (like the existence of a Hogfather) is, according to Death (the only truly impartial observer) what makes us human.
I've read the book three times now and I'm still surprised how well Pratchett builds his story and every time I marvel at the insights he shows in what humans are like. It's a very special book, with something for everybody and I really recommend it not only to Pratchett fans.
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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 24 days 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 7 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 7 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 13 months ago by Anastasia Beaverhausen
5.0 out of 5 stars HO HO HO
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2009 by E. A Solinas
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 COWER BRIEF MORTALS. HO HO HO.
"Hogfather" is the twentieth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 1996. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2007 by Craobh Rua
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of Terry
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2007 by Stephen A. Haines
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
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