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Hogfather

(Death #4)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  86,279 ratings  ·  3,090 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 and
...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 2nd 2006 by Corgi (first published 1996)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  86,279 ratings  ·  3,090 reviews


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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pratchett-terry
Father Christmas should watch out who is his sick leave substitute, although even a strange rebranding won´t be able to stop the commercialization of sticky, superficial holiday bliss.

Power vacuums are nasty things, just imagine what happens if an unimportant, human factor disappears, weakens, or changes sides, pure anarchy, and chaos, even worse, real progressive change is suddenly possible. And that´s nothing compared to Discworld level of power, Pratchett uses the idea of a well balanced univ
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Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions upon finishing reading fantasy books.

4.5/5 stars. One of the greatest Christmas stories ever told

This was a wonderful story, and Terry Pratchett continues to amaze me at what he is able to conjure up in that genius brain of his. Not only is he able to come up with truly unique fantasy plots, but he has the ability to make me laugh from start to finish along the way.

Story: 4/5

The story itself is fun, unique, and enjoyable. I love
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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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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 th
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Melindam
For me this has been the perfect Christmas read ever since I first read it. :)

description


“Charity ain’t giving people what you wants to give, it’s giving people what they need to get.”

“There’s a tip, though. Just ‘ho, ho, ho’ will do. Don’t say, ‘Cower, brief mortals’ unless you want them to grow up to be moneylenders or some such.”


IT IS THE NIGHT OF HOGSWATCH (Terry Pratchett's answer to Christmas) when all children around DISCWORLD have hung up their stockings and waiting for the Hogfather (aka
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Lyn
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”

From Discworld’s inception, readers have known that Sir Terry Pratchett has fired a shot across the bow of convention, especially religious institutions, with his concept of a flat world atop four elephants who themselves stood atop of great turtle. Hogfather, his 20th Discworld novel first published in 1996, takes off where 1992’s Small Gods (his 13th) leaves off.

“Hello, inner child, I'm the inner ba
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Bradley
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2018-shelf, humor
Re-read on Xmas!

And it couldn't have better timing. Who else would like to see Death taking on the role of Discworld's Santa?

Or better yet, have Susan get involved. :)

Or have a hit put out on the Hogfather while Death flies with the pigs?

OR HAVE TO DEAL WITH RIDCULLY's BATH? *shudder*

Well, here's to ants in the AI! I've just upped my score on this one to a full five. For some reason, this Pratchett tickled me in all the best places. :)
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Phrynne
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a reread of one of my favourite Pratchett books which stars two of my favourite characters, Death and Susan Sto Helit. If ever I were to get into a reading slump (not that that ever seems to happen) I am pretty sure this book would pull me out of it.

As usual the author's humour is spot on and his philosophising is done with a light touch. The book travels between the wizards at the university, Death on a sleigh handing out presents to small children, and Susan attempting to find the Too
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BrokenTune
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
IT GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN, LIFE, said Death, stepping forward, SPEAKING METAPHORICALLY, OF COURSE. IT’S A HABIT THAT’S HARD TO GIVE UP. ONE PUFF OF BREATH IS NEVER ENOUGH. YOU’LL FIND YOU WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER.

When it comes to favourite Christmas reads, Terry Pratchett's Hogfather is as perfect as they come for me. It certainly beats Charles Dickens when comes to spreading seasonal cheer and tell an uplifting tale of what makes humans ... human.

Hogfather has got all the classical elements of sto
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Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 26, 2009 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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Markus
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
With a normal Christmas ruined, I felt the need to load my batteries with the maximum amount of Christmas content. I've listened to absurd amounts of Christmas music of dubious quality, watched Die Hard for the first time, drank my sorrows away with mulled wine, and now felt charitable enough to finally give Discworld another chance after realising this is probably the closest the fantasy genre has to a Christmas novel!

The result? This might be my favourite Discworld novel out of the ones I've t
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Trish
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 20th Discworld novel so, technically, I've read this out of order (I haven't read #19 yet) but it being Christmas made me and my fellow buddy-readers mix it up a little because it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

It is almost Hogwatch Night, the Discworld's version of Christmas and the Hogfather (Santa) is ... a little different. For starters, he's gone. And when he does show up after all, he's a skeleton and his pixie is ... well, Albert plus a considerable number of sherries.
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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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Ken
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pratchett's festive treat is certainly a great way to celebrate the 20th Discworld book in the series.

Ever since I'd first step foot in Prachett's fictional world of Ankh-Morpk I'd always been excited to reach this one.
Out of the many novels I reckon this is the one that everyone has probably heard of, I even skipped a couple just to read this in December.

How does one even go about reviewing this crazy story?
Well the simple premise is that the Hogfather (similar to our Father Christmas) has gone
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Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
Discworld's take on Santa Claus and the nature of belief in general. It provides a great starring role for Susan, Death's granddaughter, much more so than her prior appearance in Soul Music. Mister Teatime (pronounced Teh-ah-tim-eh, don't you know) came onto the scene as an interesting villain, but later devolved into a one-dimensional psychopath. The faculty of Unseen University have really grown on me during my current series re-read.

The story leaves you feeling like you missed something in p
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Kerri
Jan 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved

“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 UNIV
...more
Tanja Berg
Aug 02, 2011 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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Lindsay
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, humor
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019.

The Hogfather, Discworld's Santa Claus analogue, is missing and Death is filling in. Death has also carefully instructed his granddaughter Susan Sto Helit not to get involved, so she leans into her family heritage and investigates the latest interference by the Auditors of Reality.

This is one of the Discworld books that I've reread the most, including both print and audio, and I've seen the mini-series a couple of times. So
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Paul
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Still as good on every reread. Pratchett at his best with better insights in to humanity than anyone else.
Tanya
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Hogfather, Discworld's version of Santa is... indisposed, and meddlesome Death decides to fill the vacant position. I wish I'd realized a month earlier that this is essentially a jolly good Christmas story, it would've made for a great seasonal read; I feared that reading it in January would mar my enjoyment, but that wasn't the case at all.

Death is one of my favorite Discworld characters, but the books focused on him can be a bit much, and so far, I haven't enjoyed them as much as I always
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Michael Jandrok
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my big reading goals for 2018 was to finally dive into Sir Terry Pratchett’s well-loved and legendary Discworld series, and what better way to do that than to tackle the obligatory Discworld holiday novel, “Hogfather?”

(screeching record sound………) WAIT!! Hold on, here…..YOU, Jandrok? You’ve never read any of the Discworld novels? Really? Doesn’t that damage your street cred as a self-appointed authority of science-fiction and fantasy? I mean these books have only been around FOREVER. Prat
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Olivier Delaye
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My 2012 two cents: I just about peed my pants with this one!

My 2017 two cents and five mills: just re-listened to this last week, which is kind of appropriate this time of year, and I loved it just as much the second time around, if not more. The fun never seems to stop giving with these books, really. Actually, I finished it while I was doing my cardio at the gym, and people must have thought I had a few screws loose, laughing as I was on the treadmill for, at least to them, no reason at all. I
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Melissa McShane
12/22/20: I don't actually know how many times I've read this, but enough that I didn't expect to be surprised by it. But Susan and Death's conversation about humans learning to believe the little lies (i.e. the Hogfather bringing presents to all the good little boys and girls) so they can believe the big lies (i.e. justice, mercy, love) really struck me this time. Death says, in essence, that those things exist nowhere in the universe in any concrete way, and yet humans insist on believing them ...more
K.
Trigger warnings: death, murder, violence.

25/12/2019
Perfection. The end.

28/11/2018
I love everything about this. EVERYTHING. Especially the peeing pig and how long that joke is dragged out for. It's spectacluar.

25/12/2017
Yes, I reread this even though I'd just finished it in January. Whatever. It's amazing and I love it.

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 b
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Nicole
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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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Wiebke (1book1review)
I cannot express how much I love this book. The writing, the story, the characters all of it comes together to make a perfect book.
Julian Worker
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a marvellous character Susan Sto-Helit is and Death too. Death who has a heart and understands the human character so well. This is another imaginative and beautiful story with good guys, bad guys, wizards, and other eldritch beings. I am always sad when I finish one of Terry Pratchett's books, but I have two more in my possession, so that's something to look forward to. Terry Pratchett puts a smile on my face and that's worth so much on these winter days when I'm stuck at home most of the ...more
Max
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I try to read this every year. It’s fantastic. Needed it this year especially.
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 goofe
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YouKneeK
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
It finally happened. I finally made it up to Hogfather in my Discworld reading list. I was a bit early for Christmas, but at least I reached it within the general winter holiday time frame.

Hogfather is the fourth book in the Death subseries. The Hogfather, for those uninitiated in the madness of the Discworld, is the Disc’s version of Santa Claus. He delivers gifts to children on Hogswatch Night. There are problems this year, though. The mysterious beings known as the Auditors have hired the Ass
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39,375 followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, i
...more

Other books in the series

Death (5 books)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2)
  • Soul Music (Discworld, #16; Death, #3)
  • Thief of Time (Discworld, #26; Death, #5)

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133 likes · 22 comments
“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.”
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“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.” 2005 likes
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