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Hogfather (Discworld #20)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  57,780 Ratings  ·  1,574 Reviews
It's 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 a
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Paperback, TV Tie-In Edition, 448 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Corgi Books (first published 1996)
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Stephanie Knowlson Majority of disc world books can be read in any order. However, if you start at book one you will notice little bits add up in other books along the…moreMajority of disc world books can be read in any order. However, if you start at book one you will notice little bits add up in other books along the way.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nataliya
This is a book about the nature of belief; the reminder that things we think of as essential, eternal, unbreakable are here because we willed them to be. It is the book about origins, of sorts.



This book is a reminder that what we think of as sweet harmless stories come from darker, scary places. And that is for a reason. So many things stem from the simple fact - we, humans, need to believe; we need to create and fantasize to make the world make any sense, to have the world we think of as perman
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Jo Woolfardis
"IT IS THE THINGS YOU BELIEVE IN WHICH MAKE YOU HUMAN. GOOD THINGS AND BAD THINGS, IT'S ALL THE SAME."

Hogfather itself concerns the Discworld, where there are things that control the Universe called The Auditors and they do not like Humans, because Humans are messy. Well, they did invent dullness. And Death is meddling again. His grand-daughter Susan is trying to be normal, but how normal is hitting bogeymen with a poker, really? And we haven't even mentioned the one-eyed Assassin yet, or the
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Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 26, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book is hilarious.

The Auditors have decided that they need to "remove" the Hog Father...so they contact the Assassin's guild and Mr. Teatime (pronounce it "Teh-ah-tim-eh." ) is sent to "inhum" him (but Hog Father isn't human). As you can imagine chaos ensues. With Death taking over the Hog Father's role to keep belief in him alive, while Mr. Teatime (pronounce it "Teh-ah-tim-eh.") and Susan (Deaths grand daughter) are in the realm of the tooth fairy...Teatime trying to use what's there to a
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Nicole
Jan 20, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, plenty of humour with an edge. I did occasionally wonder where and how all the plot threads were going to meet up and how they were connected. I'm not sure the Auditors were strictly necessary to the plot, but maybe they figure elsewhere in Discworld novels I haven't read yet.
I enjoyed the hijinks at Unseen University more than I expected to. The daft old wizards were funnier than I'd seen them be before; underling wizard Ponder and the thinking machine, Hex, are charming.
The send-up
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Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
21/1/2017
I ran out of time to reread this in 2016, so I got in early this year. There is so much INCREDIBLY clever writing in here that makes you think about yourself and your beliefs. There are so many fabulous characters. There are so many iconic moments ("meet the Hogfather at the fancy department store" turning into "watch the Hogfathers enormous hogs piss all over the fancy department store", for one). And honestly? It's just a delight.

26/12/2015
I've adored Terry Pratchett's Discworld seri
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Ashley
“IT'S THE EXPRESSION ON THEIR LITTLE FACES I LIKE, said the Hogfather.
'You mean sort of fear and awe and not knowing whether to laugh or cry or wet their pants?'
YES. NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL BELIEF.”

“YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
'So we can believe the big ones?'
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.”

This is my favorite Discworld book in quite some time. It's just so good!

It's not as quippy or joke-heavy as some Discworld books, but what it lacks in goofery
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Kaethe
2/14/2008

Inseparable in my mind from a Futurama Christmas episode. Which is not a bad thing at all.

***
6/21/2014

Winter solstice holiday book at the summer solstice, why not? A wintry book can be just the thing on a day it is too hot to move, let alone go outside.

Here is Death, trying to maintain faith in the jolly man in the red suit, Albert along to coach and play elf, while Susan is diverted from her job as a governess to try and hunt the down the missing big guy. There is the creepiest assassi
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Richard
Dec 22, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, fantasy
8.5/10

It could be the festive cheer finally working its way into my bones; it could be the snow on the ground adding to the overall feel of this Christmas season; it might even have been watching Bruce Willis yell “Yippee Ki-Yay Mother Fucker” at some Europeans in a building. But there was something about this book which captured my imagination and put it atop the list of best Discworld novels I have read to date.

I don’t think there was anything really stand out in this one compared to the other
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Olivier Delaye
Jun 09, 2012 Olivier Delaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just about peed my pants with this one!
David Sarkies
Dec 20, 2015 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Terry Pratchett's Christmas Special
5 January 2015

I started reading this book because I thought it was going to be a great book to read in the lead up to the festive season, however the only problem was that my timing was completely off – I finished it five days into the new year, which sort of defeats the purpose of reading a book for the festive season. I guess the next time I decide to read such a book, such as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, I should time it so that I finish the book, a
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Tanja Berg
Aug 02, 2011 Tanja Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Re-reading of "Hogfather", one of my all time favorite books, or so I thought. It's almost 20 years since I read it the first time and I estimate that I've read about 3000 books in the interlude. Nope, all of them are not on goodreads, my memory isn't that good and I've only been keeping track the past nine years. Despite the number of new books under my belt, this held up incredibly well.

Susan, the non-biological grand daughter of Death, is employed as a nanny and trying to be normal. This is m
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Marina
Oct 20, 2016 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, own
Hilarious as always, Death sets off on another quest to save the world. This time from reality auditors who are trying to erase humanity by killing the Hogfather (Santa). They do so by employing a monstrous human. So when the Hogfather disappears... Death steps in, which is of course where the hilarity steps in.

There's a huge discussion about what belief is, when we are children, and why it goes away when we grow up. Why we need to believe and what those beliefs do for us. Why do some fairy tale
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Connor
Nov 23, 2014 Connor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
Brilliant. I adored it. I can't wait to get more books in the series. Maybe the witch books next?
Paul
I'll admit that at times I don't really understand what is going on in Pratchett books until the last 100 pages or so. A lot of times it just seems like randomness and for whatever reason, my brain likes to sift out randomness while reading. This is my second Pratchett book and I hope I find one that I end up loving. I liked Hogfather but I was expecting a little more.

I think I may have made a mistake by reading this book in small chunks instead of in large chunks. Because there are no chapters
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Rebecca Foster
Dec 27, 2016 Rebecca Foster rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In Discworld belief causes imagined beings to exist, so when a devious plot to control children’s minds results in a dearth of belief in the Hogfather, the Fat Man temporarily disappears and Death has to fill in for him on this Hogswatch night. I laughed aloud a few times while reading this clever Christmas parody, but I had a bit of trouble following the plot and grasping who all the characters were given that this was my first Discworld book; in general I’d say that Pratchett is another exampl ...more
Monica Davis
Nov 22, 2015 Monica Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Just short of four stars, but worth rounding up. My first Discworld book, and admittedly it took a while to get used to his writing style, (no chapters, and frequent movement from one storyline to another after brief passages). Overall I found this to be clever, entertaining, and quite imaginative, with some interesting underlying messages. Didn't hook me on the series, but every fantasy reader should experience at least one Discworld book. I was not disappointed with Hogfather.
Sesana
This is, I think, the fourth year running that I've read Hogfather in the week before Christmas. So I simply can't even try to give it a real review. It isn't quite my favorite Discworld book (that would be Night Watch), but it's well on up there. It's certainly my favorite Death book, which is saying something.
Μιχάλης
Feb 25, 2013 Μιχάλης rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ενα απο τα καλυτερα Χριστουγεννιατικα βιβλια για οσους δε γουσταρουν Χριστουγεννιατικα βιβλια
D.L. Morrese
May 13, 2013 D.L. Morrese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fun-fantasy
The midwinter holiday on Discworld is Hogswatch rather than Christmas, and the Hogfather is the Discworld's counterpart of Santa Claus. He climbs down chimneys, gives presents, says, "HO-HO-HO," and drives a sleigh pulled by four flying pigs. Many children of the Disc believe in him, which is why he exists. (This is a fundamental characteristic of the magical system in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.) Belief causes the thing believed in to exist, and when belief stops, that existence stops. T ...more
Sarah
I have been a fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series for over 15 years now but I have to admit I've fallen a little behind with the more recent books. I've actually been promising myself for a few years now that I'll reread the series again from the beginning and catch up but for some unknown reason I never quite seem to get around to it. I decided it's time to bite the bullet but rather than read the books in order I used Christmas as an excuse to read Hogfather. This book is a perfect festi ...more
Punk
Jun 10, 2007 Punk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Discworld. Someone's taken out a hit on the Hogfather, but the show must go on, so this year Death's putting on the red suit and delivering the Hogswatch gifts himself. Every few years or so, I like to reread this in December. It's about holidays and winter, but also about that small wedge of truth where myth and belief meet. The story mostly focuses on Death and his granddaughter Susan Sto-Helit, but there are cameos by the Assassins' Guild, Foul Ole Ron's band of beggars, the Unseen University ...more
Ashley Capes
Sep 14, 2012 Ashley Capes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Just finished a re-read of this last night and it's better than I remembered. I try and read this one every year or two and I'm never disappointed.

Hilarious.

Death has his own font!!!

The very premise of Death having to basically fill-in for Santa is perfect comedy and there's so many great scenes (like the ones where Death is listening to what presents children want - all amazing) but the story itself is exciting too, with a lot of inter-cutting and shorter scenes, along with Pratchett's wit and
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Tfitoby
May 16, 2011 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical, funny
I have seen the TV adaptation so many times, it's a Christmas tradition around here, that it is hard to separate my affection for the show with my affection for the writing of Pratchett. The guy from Hustle is great as Teatime and the girl from Downton Abbey perfect as Susan Death, and they both bring the two central characters to life in such a way that the book feels very flat in comparison but as a standalone Discworld novel on the nature of belief it's almost as good as Small Gods with the s ...more
Maria
Mr. Teatime has been hired to off the Hogfather. So Death steps into the Hogfather's robes and beard in efforts to save Christmas and make kids believe again.

Why I started it: Perfect Christmas book...

Why I finished it: I was delighted how much the book was like the movie. Yes, I did watch it first. Hilarious and thought provoking. That is a rare and valuable combination!
Nathan
The Complete Discworld Reread

Find a group of five people who, like me, have read the entire Discworld series. Ask them to name their top five books in the series. Two will show up on every list, Small Gods and Night Watch. Two will differ greatly depending on which sub series is a personal favorite; at this moment I would say Feet of Clay and Wyrd Sisters. And on four out of five lists you will see Hogfather. I am that fifth person who never figured out why.

I read nineteen Discworld books in th
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José
Aug 24, 2015 José rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: discworld
Reseña en español de Papa Puerco: Click Aquí
Mis otras reseñas de Mundodisco en este enlace

In this hilarious book we get to know Discworld's version of Christmas and as everything in this bizarre universe, it's hilarious. For some mysterious reason (that involves a sinister assassin called Mr. Teatime) the Hog Father is missing, so the children wont receive their presents. Luckily for them, Death will take the role of the big jolly fat man and with the help of his grumpy servant, he will travel t
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Melissa McShane
I love this book. The interactions between Death and his granddaughter Susan are perfect. It's something I re-read every year, a reminder of all the symbolism behind the waning of the year. And there's so much going on in this book: the wizards and their investigation of why there's suddenly a Verruca Gnome and a Cheerful Fairy wandering the halls of Unseen University, the horribly creepy Teatime and his clever but simple plan to "inhume" the Hogfather, Death's scramble to keep the sun rising, a ...more
Roviragrao
Oct 10, 2012 Roviragrao rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relecturas
(Relectura Mundodisco #20)

Tras un largo parón vuelvo a la relectura del Mundodisco y veo que sigue en un punto tan álgido como al dejarla.

Esta novela nos habla de la naturaleza de las creencias con el estilo reflexivo y divertido marca de la casa.

La Muerte y Albert protagonizan grandes momentos en su particular Noche de la Vigilia de los Puercos. Y también destacaría como mi secundario favorito de la novela al Oh Diós de las resacas, genial.

Una de mis preferidas de la serie de la Muerte, culmin
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Chris
I always say that this is what Nightmare Before Christmas should've been. Seriously. I love Susan. I love the poker. I love Alfred as the elf. Seriously, just read it.

(oh, and I love the comments about conspiracy theories).
Suzannah
Nov 06, 2012 Suzannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read December 24, 2015

Re-reading this book reminds me why I can't take much of Terry Pratchett. But, this would be my choice for Best Discworld Novel. Also, still an excellent exposition of postmodern story theory. I usually don't appreciate postmodernism, and this left a bad taste in the mouth as always, but I'm recommending it because a) it's funny b) it's awesome c) it's compelling and d) you need to know what postmodernism is on about, and this is easier than taking a class.

Or let me just
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1654
Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
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More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.” 1630 likes
“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.”
1625 likes
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