I may have mentioned that we have a fantastic little group going over on Facebook called Worlds of Wit & Wonder. It’s a reading group rather than a writing group (although we have plenty of people who are both), and we essentially spend our time making bad jokes, sharing terrible puns, and getting a little geeky about our favourite genre books. We also do a book and author of the month.
This month, we read Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, because it was Christmas, and it is a Christmassy book.
Well, a Hogwatch book, which is similar. The Hogfather still comes down chimneys dressed all in red and white, and leaves presents for the good children, and they leave him sherry and pork pies. Which is a little disturbing, because he is, after all, the Hogfather. And he still has tusks. And his sleigh is pulled by boar.
But, you know. The same but different.
Which is where Terry Pratchett always excels. Hogfather is a story about what happens when the Hogfather vanishes and Death takes his place to ensure that the children of the world keep believing, and the sun therefore rises (rather than just a ball of flaming gas). It’s also a story about belief and fantasy, and how much we need both in order to be human. It’s about the dangers of losing our imagination, and the evolution of traditions over time, from the bloodthirsty to the more palatable.
It’s also about the Tooth Fairy, the Death of Rats, the Oh God of Hangovers, and the Verruca Gnome. And because it is Terry Pratchett, this all makes complete sense, and carries a much deeper meaning than it does on the surface.
Except maybe for the Verruca Gnome.
Have you read Hogfather, lovely people? What did you think of it? Are you a Pratchett fan? Let me know your thoughts on this and other Pratchett books below!
And if you’d like to watch me babble on a little more about the joys of Terry Pratchett and Discworld (as well as others) you can take a look at my post on where to start reading him here, or learn a little more about his Christmas stories here.
And don’t forget to come join us in the Facebook group!