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. Before saying any more, I should mention that I am partial to the "Death" books in the series. One of the reviews on the back of this book compares it to Alice in Wonderland and I would fully agree with that. It is a perfect mix of sociology (or perhaps more...
Published 5 months ago by Anastasia Beaverhausen
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In the Bottom Half...
This is one of those "bummer" Discworld novels, lying somewhere in the bottom half of Pratchett's output. This is one of those Discworld novels where the plot (what there is of it) evolves entirely off stage, and is never even summarized by Pratchett or one of the characters. You have to guess it from occasional vague indications.
On stage we have the always...
Published on May 19 2001 by Rory Coker
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical!!!!! (with 5 exclamation marks),
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HO HO HO,
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.
"Hogfather" is quite recognizably a classic Discworld novel, with in-jokes, cameos by much-beloved characters, and a deeply weird sense of humor ("And who is Archchancellor of this University, may I ask? Is it Mrs Whitlow? I don't think so! Is it me? Why, how amazing, I do believe it is!"). And while the four main subplots seem scattered and sometimes unclear, as the book goes on they intertwine tightly and suddenly become very relevant to one another.
And since this is based on a Pratchett book, we're graced with some cynical views on humanity and the nature of belief -- and occasionally touching moments, like Death rescuing a little match girl. There's even a bittersweet edge near the end when Susan confronts the core of the Tooth Fairy's castle, and finds something very unexpected there.
But along the way, we're treated to plenty of hilarious dialogue (AND HAVE YOU BEEN A GOOD BO ... A GOOD DWA ... A GOOD GNO ... A GOOD INDIVIDUAL? the "Hogfather" asks Nobby), oddball characters and in-jokes (Bloody Stupid Johnson's bathroom). Barely a scene goes by without something to laugh at, whether it's Teatime's hysterically sick behavior or Death's attempts at yuletide jollity (including a list of things to do at each house, ending with a halfhearted HO HO HO).
The brilliant comedy hits a high note when Death invades a shopping mall's Grotto so he can have the children tell him what they want ("AND BE GOOD. THIS IS PART OF THE ARRANGEMENT. THEN WE HAVE A CONTRACT."), much to the dismay of the store owner.
Susan is not an entirely endearing heroine -- despite being efficient, strong and matter-of-fact, she's kind of chilly. But Death is always a lovable character, with his patchy understanding of human beings and his kindly personality... except to the Auditors ("When he spoke next, avalanches fell in the mountains. HAVE YOU BEEN NAUGHTY... OR NICE?"). The polite psycho Mr. Teatime makes an excellent villain, and Pratchett provides eccentric characters ranging from a hungover deity to the sweet, mentally-challenged Banjo.
"The Hogfather" is a Christmas story with a Discworld edge -- meaning it's funny and unique, but also riddled with deeper messages and sharp satire. Have you been naughty or nice?
4.0 out of 5 stars Death dons the Red Suit. Ho. Ho. Ho.,
5.0 out of 5 stars a christmas classic,
This review is from: Hogfather (Audio CD)The story runs parallel to our Christmas celebrations, and sheds some light on how some of our old traditions may have gotten started. While the plot and players of the story entertwine, the humor is nearly non-stop, except when poignant moments of reflection and sometimes sadness pop up. Pratchett jabs at humans, and the conditions that we have brought onto ourselves.The land that Pratchett has created,( the disc world) runs perilously close to our own dimension, and the ways of the world here on earth. I read this story every year at christmas time. It truley sets the mood of the season for me.
5.0 out of 5 stars COWER BRIEF MORTALS. HO HO HO.,
"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. Initially, she isn't at all pleased to see the pair, but she has no choice but to get involved. The last time Death neglected his Duty, Susan was expected to take over...
Despite his profession, Death is one of the funniest characters the Discworld has to offer, and Hogfather sees Pratchett on top form. Quoth and Death of Rats are a welcome addition - they're a great double act. It may be a slight advantage to have read at least one from "Mort", "Reaper Man" or "Soul Music" before this (all are very funny) - however, even if you haven't you'll still find "Hogfather" hilarious. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of Terry,
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. He replaces a department store Hogfather in one of the most hilarious scenes in Discworld literature. Pratchett also responds to the rising tide of feminists by raising Susan Sto-Helit from near obscurity. She is destined to become a leading figure in the Discworld series. Her raven associate is almost as cynical as Gaspode the Communicating Canine. Pratchett uses these characters to demolish the more fervently held myths we hold dear. With a finesse other writers must envy, Pratchett uses the Discworld to mirror our own - the motto he's given us often. From a hesitant acceptance of this book as "another Discworld novel", Hogfather has become one of the leading examples of Pratchett's expressive talent. It's worthy of a second read. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel,
5.0 out of 5 stars HO HO HO,
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Eve's Novel,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars First Pratchett Novel,
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Hogfather: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett (Library Binding - May 9 2008)
Out of stock