Book Review | Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Title: Hogfather 

Author: Terry Pratchett 

Publisher: Transworld Digital

Release Date: November 1997

Source: Kindle Own Copy


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...'
It’s became a tradition each year to start this just before Christmas.  In my eyes Christmas hasn’t properly started until I’ve watched the Hogfather and read the Hogfather too!  

If you are not familiar with the story, Hogfather is book 20 of the Discworld series and it brings the festive season of Hogswatch to Ankh Morpok.  In Discworld there isn’t a jolly fat man in a red suit with a sleigh pulled by reindeers, nope we have a large hairy beast of a man with a sleigh pulled by stinky hairy pigs.  I’d expect nothing else from Mr Pratchett.  

But there are problems afoot, the Hogfather has vanished and his duties are being carried out by a tall dark skeleton with a scythe and his elf friend.  Yes Death and Albert are looking after things much to the horror of parents and shopkeepers but sheer delight to kids whose every wish is being fulfilled provided that they have of course been nice.  Gods help them if they’ve been naughty!

Two young children are looking forward to the arrival of the Hogfather and their governess is shocked to find Death in their parlour, especially as she is Susan, Death’s granddaughter.  She takes it upon herself to try and find out where the jolly fat man has gone and comes across a villain that will give you the creeps and his dastardly plan to end Hogswatch.  If you’ve seen the Sky TV adaptation of this then you’ll remember the assassin Mr Teatime, the man with the hair of a cherub, the voice of Michael Jackson and the creepiest eyes known to man.  Susan will need eyes in the back of her head to defeat this villainous assassin and save Hogswatch.

The Hogfather is a great read, it’s festive, it’s funny and it’s most importantly highly rereadable, I never get bored reading it.  Besides the main plot we also visit the Unseen University and the wacky wizards that reside there, Archchancellor Ridcully’s quest to use the fancy shower room seamlessly flows in to the Hogfather plot line!

If you’ve not read any of the Discworld novels, I’d say you could happily read this as a stand alone.  I certainly recommend it.

Turtle Recall ‘21
Not Buying Books ‘21


  1. Hello Heather!! I wanted to use Hogfather for my Wednesday Wisdom post end of last year on books featuring Father Christmas (the word Ruddy). It just, just did not make the cut... I haven't read it yet and actually haven't read a Terry Pratchett in about 20 years. Need to get myself dusted I guess.

    Elza Reads

    1. I just got in to the tradition of reading it each year. I’m taking part in a Pratchett challenge this year so I’m hoping to get more Discworld books reads, well that’s the plan!

  2. I have never read Hogfather but now I'd like to try it next holiday season:-)

  3. I so much wanted to love this series but I just couldn't get into the books at all and I don't know why! They weren't bad books at all but obviously just not my thing. I did love the cover art on the books though!

    1. I think these books are like marmite! They do have great artwork, throughout my copies there are umpteen variations of them, all great fun.

  4. I have not read any of Discworld. I sure did enjoy your review though!

  5. Hogwatch is one of my alltime favourite Pratchett reads - I always laugh aloud at the department store scene:)). And we also have the film, though I don't think it's as good. Great review!

    1. I must admit to enjoying the tv version, it’s a Christmas tradition along with reading the book!

  6. I'm not too familiar with Terry Pratchett's books -- shame, really. I love your Christmas tradition. :D

    1. There are so many in his collection, I think it’s quite a daunting prospect to start his books!


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