Hogfather: Happy Hogswatch!

Hogfather by Terry PratchettHogfather by Terry Pratchett

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsUp, Gouger! Up, Rooter! Up, Tusker! Up, Snouter!

Apparently they celebrate something like Christmas – Hogswatch – on the Disc. Why not? Children write letters to the Hogfather, who travels around the world delivering presents in a sleigh pulled by hogs. But no one really believes in the Hogfather, right?

Sadly, the Auditors have decided to hire Ankh-Morpork’s Assassins Guild to delete Discworld’s Hogfather, or the Fat Man, as they call him. It’s an unusual assignment, thinks Lord Downey, since the assassins don’t believe that the Hogfather exists. How can they fulfill the contract? However, a particularly ingenious (and psychopathic) assassin, Teatime, thinks he can do the job.

Meanwhile, Death has taken over the Hogfather’s duties. He’s up to the task, though he carries it out in his own way. For the most part, he takes the role to heart: although Death can walk through walls, he agrees to shimmy down chimneys to deliver presents to the children of Ankh-Morpork. The seven-foot tall skeleton wears a pillow under his robes, dons a fake, beard, and he’s practicing his “Ho. Ho. Ho.” delivery. He’s determined to make people believe. Sometimes, however, Death goes a little further with his gifts than some would prefer: when a little girl asks for a horse, he explains that a horse will be waiting for her when she gets home. The parents are unimpressed. But when Corporal Nobby Nobs sits on the Hogfather’s lap, he gets a crossbow.

Susan Sto Helit, Death’s granddaughter, is working as a governess. She is strict, but when the children see bogeymen or other monsters, Susan does not ignore these creatures. Unlike most adults, she can see them, too. So she grabs a poker from the fireplace, goes to the basement, and bashes the monster’s head in.DISCWORLD by Terry Pratchett

When Susan realizes that her grandfather has begun playing Hogfather, she decides to investigate with help of the Wizards, the Oh God of Hangovers, the Death of Rats, and a raven that’s always looking for a tasty eyeball or two to snack on.

Hogfather is a lot of fun. My favorite part of the novel – after the Oh God of Hangovers – might have been when Susan and the Wizards realize that they have the power to create fairies and goblins that personify common phenomena. They create a god of indigestion, a creature that eats socks, and a Hair Loss Fairy that rips the Dean’s hair out. The Give the Dean a Huge Bag of Money Goblin, however, does not appear.

Like any of Pratchett’s novels, the plot chugs along without stopping to provide excessive detail. Hogfather is festive, but mostly funny. Recommended.

And Happy Hogswatch!

Hogfather is the 20th Discworld novel, and the 4th to feature Death as a central figure. Although I hadn’t read the previous Death novels, I was already familiar with the Wizards of Unseen University. Susan and the Auditors were new to me. Regardless, I still felt that I could follow along.

Discworld — (1983-2015) Discworld is a satirical fantasy world created by Terry Pratchett to poke fun at 1980s fantasy novels. Since then, they’ve evolved so that they now make fun of everything. Mr. Pratchett explains Discworld: “The world rides through space on the back of a turtle. This is one of the great ancient world myths, found wherever men and turtles are gathered together; the four elephants were an indo-European sophistication. The idea has been lying in the lumber room of legend for centuries. All I had to do was grab it and run away before the alarms went off… There are no maps. You can’t map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs.” The Discworld novels are presented here in publication order. To read more about the Discworld “arcs” and reading order, see this Wikipedia article.

Terry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. EricTerry Pratchett Discworld: 1. The Color of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards Guards! 9. Ericbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Moving PicturesReaper Manbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Witches Abroadbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Small Godsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Men at Armsbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Soul Musicfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Maskeradebook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Feet of Claybook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Hog FatherJingobook review Terry Pratchett Discworld The Last Continentbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Carpe Jugulumbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Carpe Jugulum, The Fifth Elephantbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld The Truthbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Thief of Timebook review Terry Pratchett Discworld The Last Herofantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Thud!book review Terry Pratchett Discworld Making MoneyTerry Pratchett Unseen Academicals DiscworldTerry Pratchett Unseen Academicals Discworld, Snufffantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Discworld for Kids:

book review Terry Pratchett Discworld Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodentsbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld THe Wee Free Menbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld A Hat Full of Skybook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Wintersmith I Shall Wear Midnightbook review Terry Pratchett Discworld Wintersmith I Shall Wear MidnightThe Shepherd's Crown: Number 41 of the Discworld Novels Series


FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr  SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail
If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it (and anything else) at Amazon. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee. Click any book cover or this link. We use this income to keep the site running. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Thank you!

RYAN SKARDAL, on our staff from September 2010 to November 2018, is an English teacher who reads widely but always makes time for SFF.

View all posts by

2 comments

  1. My favorite section of this novel is a discussion between Susan and Death-as-Hogsfather, something to the effect that children have to practice believing in little lies like the Hogfather so they can later learn to believe the big ones like Justice, Honor and Love.

  2. Only some people have the ability to see things as they are, eh?

    Happy Hogswatch, Stefan!

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published.