Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Review: Hogfather

HogfatherAuthor: Terry Pratchett
Title: Hogfather
Publisher: Harper Torch
Publish Date: Sept 8, 1999
Rating: 4 stars
Book Blurb: What could more genuinely embody the spirit of Christmas (or Hogswatch, on the Discworld) than a Terry Pratchett book about the holiday season? Every secular Christmas tradition is included. But as this is the 21st Discworld novel, there are some unusual twists.

This year the Auditors, who want people to stop believing in things that aren't real, have hired an assassin to eliminate the Hogfather. (You know him: red robe, white beard, says, "Ho, ho, ho!") Their evil plot will destroy the Discworld unless someone covers for him. So someone does. Well, at least Death tries. He wears the costume and rides the sleigh drawn by four jolly pigs: Gouger, Tusker, Rooter, and Snouter. He even comes down chimneys. But as fans of other Pratchett stories about Death (Mort, Reaper Man, and Soul Music) know, he takes things literally. He gives children whatever they wish for and appears in person at Crumley's in The Maul.

Fans will welcome back Susan, Death of Rats (the Grim Squeaker), Albert, and the wizardly faculty of Unseen University, and revel in new personalities like Bilious, the "oh god of Hangovers." But you needn't have read Pratchett before to laugh uproariously and think seriously about the meanings of Christmas.

Review: Everything is a little different in Discworld, but they have their own kind of Christmas, it is called Hogswatch and its man in the big red suit is the Hogfather!

This book was laugh out loud funny, but most of Pratchett's books are. His alternate reality  really makes you look at "our" world in a different light and in this book, it reminds us a bit of what Christmas is really about and if you take certain things out of our it Santa or God or whatever, we really will cease to be.

The cast of characters is fantastic in this book, Death is star of the show, taking over for the Hogfather to try to save Discworld. I also loved all the other gods and fairies that kept popping up. The "oh God" of hangovers really was hilarious. I'd tell you more but that would spoil things.

The more stable character in this tale is Susan, the granddaughter of Death, who is trying to figure out just what the heck is going on, while trying to remain a little normal. It isn't easy to be normal when your grandad is Death.

The great thing about the Discworld series is that the books for the most part can stand on their own. That's a good thing, since there are around 40 books in the series.  So if you are in for a little fantasy festivity and some mystery and mayhem, check out this book.


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