This is a review of “Hogfather” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 20th novel in The Discworld Series and the 4th novel in the Death Story Arc. It follows on, story-arc wise from “Soul Music” but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. It has also been made into a film by Sky One. Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather is so great. I loved it. Teatime was perfect and Susan was too. I mean Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary from Downton Abbey) as Susan Sto Helit? Perfection. Well worth a watch!
The Auditors are back. And they want the Hogfather (Santa Claus of the Discworld) dead. They only way to do this, they decide, is to purchase the services of the Guild of Assassins. The guild nominates the disturbing Mr. Teatime (pronounced Te-ah-Tim-eh) for the job. Mr Teatime is not like other people, and even the other assassins find him to be incredibly creepy. But how does one eliminate a mythical being?
Death has taken it upon himself to fill in for the Hogfather in his absence. So with the aid of a pixie-clad Albert, he’s commandeering the sleigh and delivering presents to children with a pillow stuffed up his shirt and a fake beard adorning his skull. He’s spreading Hogswatch cheer. But Death soon realises that although Hogswatch is renowned to be the jolliest time of year, bad (and sad) things still happen.
Susan, Death’s own grand-daughter is now a governess. She’s the bane of childhood terrors everywhere, from Bogey men to crack bears. But when she finds her grand-father moonlighting as the Hogfather, she knows something is up. So she resolves to figure it out. Along with the Death of Rats and Quoth the Raven, she sets out to put things right.
The Wizards of Unseen University have a dilemma of their own. It seems that for some unknown reason, mythical beings who shouldn’t really be, are. It is getting a little ridiculous. Anytime someone mentions a slightly plausible creature as explanation for say: missing socks, balding heads or additional verrucas, it pops into being. Reason: unknown.
Can the Hogfather be saved? What’s Teatime’s plan? What does Teatime and his band of villains want with the Tooth Fairy? How can a mythical being be murdered? What can Susan do to help? Why are things like the Verruca Gnome suddenly existing?
This book is highly humorous and well thought out. Teatime is so creepy. Death is loveable as always. Susan is my kind of girl. Strong, intelligent, bossy. If you’ve ever wished for a different ending to the story of the little match girl, or wanted to know why the Tooth Fairy exists, and why she takes your teeth and leaves you money, then this is the book for you.
And because I have secretly wanted to do this for some time (but not really known when to start) and because Pratchett is such a literary genius, I have decided to include some of my favourite quotes/sentences from this book.
“Don’t get afraid. Get angry”
–Susan Sto Helit
There was always something that needed transferring from A to B or, of course, to the bottom of the C.
“I don’t have many [friends]…On the other hand, I don’t seem to have any enemies at all. Not one. Isn’t that nice?”
MERE ACCUMULATION OF OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE IS NOT PROOF