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Hogfather

(Discworld #20)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  72,686 ratings  ·  2,298 reviews
Susan had never hung up a stocking . She'd never put a tooth under her pillow in the serious expectation that a dentally inclined fairy would turn up. It wasn't that her parents didn't believe in such things. They didn't need to believe in them. They know they existed. They just wished they didn't.

There are those who believe and those who don't. Through the ages,
...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 2nd 2006 by Corgi (first published November 7th 1996)
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Norma Dangla I didnt understand either. It has something to do with the Librarian playing the organ, but beyond that... Anyone knows?…moreI didn´t understand either. It has something to do with the Librarian playing the organ, but beyond that... Anyone knows?(less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  72,686 ratings  ·  2,298 reviews


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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
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Joey 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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Melindam
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
description


Charity aint giving people what you wants to give, its giving people what they need to get.

Theres a tip, though. Just ho, ho, ho will do. Dont 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 Father Christmas) to arrive on his sleigh drawn by 4 hogs and bring their presents.

If they
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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 Discworlds 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 1992s Small Gods (his 13th) leaves off.

Hello, inner child, I'm the inner
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Bradley
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, humor, 2018-shelf
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. :)
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
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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. ITS A HABIT THATS HARD TO GIVE UP. ONE PUFF OF BREATH IS NEVER ENOUGH. YOULL 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
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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 Douglas
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
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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
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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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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 Pratchetts 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? Youve never read any of the Discworld novels? Really? Doesnt that damage your street cred as a self-appointed authority of science-fiction and fantasy? I mean these books have only been around FOREVER. Pratchett
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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.
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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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.
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
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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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Max
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I try to read this every year. Its fantastic. Needed it this year especially. ...more
Tanya
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the night before Hogswatch.
And it's too quiet.


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,
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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 Discs 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
...more
Richard
Dec 22, 2014 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 dont think there was anything really stand out in this one compared to the others I
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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 and
...more
David Sarkies
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
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,
...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hogfather might be the twentieth novel in the Disc world series but it was my first book in the series (and my first by this author). I always suspected Terry Pratchett might be my cup of tea and I wasn't wrong. I immensely enjoyed reading Hogfather. It is the perfect book to take one's mind of problems. Very imaginative and funny in its setting and world building, this novel also features a wonderful female protagonist: Susan. Death is quite an interesting character as well and an author of ...more
Melissa McShane
12/9/19: Not much to add this year, except I laughed a lot and disturbed my husband, who was also reading but whose book wasn't as good as mine. Ho. Ho. Ho.

12/23/18: It never ceases to amaze me how well Terry Pratchett, an atheist, understood the nature of belief, of how belief is a peculiarly human characteristic and what it means that humans need things to believe in, for good or ill. Hogfather is one of my favorite Christmas books, and I try to re-read it every couple of years at this season.
...more
Juho Pohjalainen
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the more absurd Discworld novels, as premise goes, yet it also turns out as one of the most heartfelt with one of my favourite villains.
Toby
May 16, 2011 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 ...more
D.L. Morrese
May 13, 2013 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. ...more
Suzanne
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor, uno-yellow
OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death. OTHERWISE, WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR? ...more
Connor
Nov 23, 2014 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?
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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,
...more

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 (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)
  • 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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“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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