Michael's Reviews > Hogfather

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Dec 01, 09

bookshelves: read-in-2009, fantasy, discworld
Read in November, 2009

"Hogfather" was my first entry into Terry Pratchett's Discworld series a few years ago. At the time, I devoured the book, relishing the wit and satire, chuckling at many points in the story and wondering why it had taken me so long to discover this series of funny novels.

Now a couple of years later, I've picked it up again as part of a book group and while I still like it, I didn't love it as much as the first time.

Could it be that the book isn't as good as I originally thought or is it just impossible to recreate the joy of reading Pratchett for the first time?

It may be a little of both actually. The story itself hasn't changed that much--a group of Assassins is hired to take out the magical Hogfather from the Discworld. Death steps into the role because the world is running short on belief and he wants to try and fill the void until the Hogfather can (hopefully) return to the scene. But this is Death and he takes things in a strangely literal way that leads to all kinds of interesting and often times hilarious results. In fact, the moments when the book really hits it stride are seeing the comedy of errors that comes from Death playing Hogfather and granting each child that comes along his or her own fondest Hogswatch wish.

Meanwhile, the story of Susan, who is Death's granddaughter and a nanny to two children is one that stops and starts for me. Susan's awareness that monsters are real and can be beaten up with a special fireplace poker is nicely done, but there are other moments when this storyline drags its feet a bit, waiting for the inevitable coming together of all these random plotlines in the novels final pages.

It's not that the story is a bad one. "Hogfather" is one of the better Discworld novels. It's just not as great as I remember it being...
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11/24/2009 page 38
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