December 7th- The Hogfather
This is part of the Christmas Book Advent Calender, where we post a new Christmas/winter book recommendation every day leading up to Christmas. More info can be found here…
December 7th- The Hogfather recommended by Stephen/Rinion of the ThirstforFiction Forums
Published in 1997, Hogfather is fantasy–comedy novel written by Sir Terry Pratchett, the 20th to be set in his weird and wonderful Discworld universe.
The story takes place around the festival of Hogswatchnight, the Discworld’s equivalent of Christmas. Children everywhere are waiting expectantly for the Hogfather to show up on his sleigh (pulled by flying pigs) and deliver them presents. But this year a dangerously unstable assassin has been hired to kill off the Hogfather, and the “Fat Man” has disappeared. It is up to Death, the skeletal grim reaper, to don a false beard and pillow-stuffed jacket, and spread the festive cheer while trying not to terrify people.
In the meantime, Death’s smart-aleck adopted granddaughter Susan sets out to discover what has become of the real Hogfather with the help of Bilious, the “Oh God” of Hangovers.
Hogfather is filled with vivid characters, a lot of belly-laughs, and a highly creative solution to the mystery of the Hogfather’s disappearance. It also finds the time to poke fun at the silly ways people act during the festive season. Pratchett also offers in the background a fascinating commentary on why exactly humans teach children to believe in things like the Hogfather/Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy in the first place.
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 Death (but with jolly robins and tinsel too). As they say: You’d better watch out…