Author: Terry Pratchett
Length: 354 pages
My Rating: 5/5 stars
It’s no secret that I adore everything Terry Pratchett has ever written. This is my 7th Discworld novel and it has entirely lived up to my expectations. Now, I sort of broke my own rules on this book. I saw the TV movie//miniseries first. I must say, it was terrific, so I immediately wanted to read the book version. The book is, of course, better, but the movie did an incredible job of it. Unfortunately, because so much of Pratchett’s humor is embedded in the very printing itself (using all capital letters for Death’s voice, capitalizing “important” places, etc.), it can often be difficult to translate to video media.
This book was amazing. It is a satirical look at the holidays through the lens of the Discworld’s celebration of Hogswatch. Hogswatch is pretty much the Discworld “Christmas”, complete with a fat man in a red suit called the Hogfather. However, the year in which the story takes place, the belief of the people is affecting the very fabric of reality. An assassin called “Teatime” has the impossible task of erasing the Hogfather from existence and the only one who can step in to save the day is Death–Pratchett’s anthropomorphic expression of the Grim reaper.
This may sound like a wild ride, and you’d be right. Because this is actually a very convoluted and complex plot, I’ll paste the description from Amazon here:
Who would want to harm Discworld’s most beloved icon? Very few things are held sacred in this twisted, corrupt, heartless — and oddly familiar — universe, but the Hogfather is one of them. Yet here it is, Hogswatchnight, that most joyous and acquisitive of times, and the jolly old, red-suited gift-giver has vanished without a trace. And there’s something shady going on involving an uncommonly psychotic member of the Assassins’ Guild and certain representatives of Ankh-Morpork’s rather extensive criminal element. Suddenly Discworld’s entire myth system is unraveling at an alarming rate. Drastic measures must be taken, which is why Death himself is taking up the reins of the fat man’s vacated sleigh . . . which, in turn, has Death’s level-headed granddaughter, Susan, racing to unravel the nasty, humbuggian mess before the holiday season goes straight to hell and takes everyone along with it.
If you love Terry Pratchett, you simply MUST read Hogfather. I would not, however, recommend this for readers who have never read a Discworld novel. Because you meet characters who are explained in more depth in other novels, I would reserve this read for a time after you’ve gotten a few Discworld tales under your belt. It was a terrific story and I loved it to pieces, but if you’re looking for a good place to start reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld stories, I’d say begin with something like Going Postal or Guards! Guards!.
This has been a book review within the A Christmas Tale Blog Event! To see other posts in the blog series, check out the following: