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Hogfather audiobook – Audience Reviews

Review #1

Hogfather full audiobook free

Densely wrapped satire cleverly tucked in around a holiday plot loaf of good cheer, and baked with a robust premise which is both refreshingly poignant and wildly geniusits an important Hogswatch on the Disc this seasonmind the bellsGlingleglingleglingle!!!

Do you believe in the Hogfather?! Its rather important. Belief is the foundation of this carefully woven satire with an in-world holiday that closely resembles a common tradition on our own world. Pratchett pulls out all the stops in this layered tale that explores both the importance and meaning of belief.

The story is strong right out of the gate. Within very few pages I found myself laughing out loud, pulling my head out of the book, and wondering how on the Disc he could cover so much ground so quickly. Thats Pratchett for you.

Death personified plays a strong part in this book stepping into an unusual role when some bothersome forces have decided to finance a rather dark conspiracy for this seasons holiday. These meddlesome figures have ordered the end of the Hogfather and have the money to make this seemingly impossible task happen. In earth-speak, theres a hit out on Santa Claus.

As in other yarns told by this master storyteller characters abound on the page and stack up at a steady pace. He jumps from heroes to villains, from foibles to set pieces and back again. The point of view shifts continuously and all without the benefit of chapter breaks (which is nothing new for a Discworld book). Never too worry, youre in good hands and the narrative progresses expertly and always forward. Its all part of the fun with a Pratchett novel. You get so many unique and distinct voices that its nearly impossible to get caught up in the chaos which the characters themselves are embroiled. All the thread lines of plot work in parallel and compliment each other keeping you well invested with the trials and tribulations of the chief protagonist (Susan) whos investigating why her grandfather (Death no less) has taken it upon himself to play the role of the Hogfather this year. Somethings gone all too wrong.

We get a better appreciation for whats at stake on the greater Disc by chumming along with the bumbling wizards of the Unseen University as their preparations for the holiday turn into misadventures and existential explorations, which lead to the invention of a true-to-life artificial contraption in the form of the Discs first computer: Hex (another fun character).

Pratchett also has us following the baddies as they go about their business of mucking things up for everyone (intentionally and not so intentionally). We get a range of interesting characters here from the indolent bruiser, Banjo, and his overly clever brother, Medium Dave, to the straight up psychopathic killer, Teatime. Their journey is fascinating and you cant help but feel curious to see where theyll end up. Pratchett manages to tread some very interesting notes with these antagonists by deftly committing wonderful comedy for the reader, while at the same time intruding with real and actual disturbing acts that remind us that these chaps are playing for keeps and its not all fun and games. Yet, the author holds that line never managing to descend into pointless violence and depravity for its own purposewhatever the motives of the characters. The other side of the coin is always lurking there on the backside to reveal the absurdity of things.

Deaths granddaughter (whos a sort Merry Poppins character on steroids) reminds us that there is much good left on the Discespecially for those kind-hearted folks who just want a bit of normal now and again, and when the chips are down, by gosh, theyre ready to fight for it! Her cunning and persistence lead the way as she explores the unraveling mystery which is threatening the general order of things on the Disc (whatever order means on a flat Disc-shaped planet). She knows something isnt right and it has to do with the supernatural. Her inner conflict with this is oddly humanist. Shes related to Death himself and just wants to be left alone (everyone has a relative of some sort that sometimes theyd rather not see), but she wont give in to isolationism when it gets right down to it. So, she becomes a sort of sleuth and adventurer looking for the clues that will help her discover what has really gone wrong.

All the while that things are getting upendedthe characters have to wonder whats behind the curtain of belief. Even, Susan, the protagonist whos related to Death and knows he is real, has trouble believing that something like the Hogfather is real and what role he could possibly have on the Disc besides living in the hearts and minds of children.

Well, Pratchett gets to the center of all this nonsense in his sort of philosophical and satirical way and leaves you with those thoughts you usually get when you read something particularly good. And, of course, the story underscores this all. Perhaps its the sort of thing you might expect from a fantasy writer, but perhaps its more than thator, exactly that? Pratchetts wisdom seems to cut right to the core of life and what it means to be alive. This novel really gets at that.

Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: No Deodorant In Outer Space. The podcast is available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Tune-In Radio, Stitcher, Google Play Music, YouTube or our website.

Review #2

Hogfather audiobook in series Discworld

Nothing like jumping into the middle of things.
The Hogfather movie was my introduction to Discworld, not the least Christopher Lee’s voice work. Necessarily the book followed – you never know how different the two may be. Much to my pleasure, not so much.
Pratchett grows on one rather fast. He has a way of weaving technology, humor, myths, magic, human and nonhuman foibles, and murder together into a captivating story. Who’d have thought Death had a heart?
Very hard to put down. Reading at bedtime can result in an all-nighter.

Review #3

Hogfather audiobook by Terry Pratchett

Every year since our twins with tiny we would wrap picture books and put them under the tree on Dec. 1 and they would unwrap one each night until Christmas Eve and we would read it before bed. A tradition they looked forward to each year. They are getting older now and the picture books are not as exciting, so we have adopted a new tradition in the same vein. We love the love create from this book. It’s a bit cheesy, Death is one of our favorite characters and Pratchett is simply a priceless author. So, when I came across this beautiful copy of the book I immediately knew what our new tradition would be. Starting this year we start reading the Hogfather each night as our countdown to Christmas, then watch the movie on Christmas Eve. We love it. This copy is unique, beautiful, and will be treasured.

Review #4

Hogfather audio narrated by Nigel Planer

I had heard of the <i>Discworld</i> series by British author Terry Pratchett, but had never read any of it. Then a relative showed me the Sky One (a British network) adaptation of the book, <i>Hogfather</i> (here reviewed), and I thought it was brilliant. I had to read the book.

I don’t know much about the “meta” or overall mythology, if you will, of Discworld. I do know what little I have read and has been revealed to me via the novel and little tidbits I picked up online. Essentially, in the Discworld, there is what some have referred to as a “fantasy kitchen sink” situation, or a world where “all myths are true”. One of these is the “Hogfather”, who seems to be designed upon the Santa Claus/Odin connection roots of real life. The religious roots of him as a bishop are not really mentioned in the book. Though, to be fair, (this is just my opinion), one of the forms the Hogfather takes alludes to this, possibly.

Referencing the idea in many fantasy books that someone’s biological matter (hair, nails, so on) can be used to control them or cast magic on them, the villain hired by the ultimate bad guys manages to actually come up with a plan to destroy a god, in this case, the Hogfather.

Sensing that something is wrong with the world on the night of Hogswatch Eve (the Discworld analogue of Christmas Eve) Death (yes, <i>that</i> Death) takes it upon himself to stop this plot and enlists (through some subtle manipulation) his adopted grand-daughter Susan. Despite being the child of the adopted daughter, she somehow inherits powers from him. I don’t know the background books well enough yet, so I admit this is confusing.

The question is whether the villains can succeed in ridding the world of annoying belief in the form of the Hogfather, or if Susan and Death can keep that belief alive. It will be one hell of an interesting, and hilarious, journey.

This is one of the most entertaining and funny books I have read in a long time. Terry Pratchett is a master of both situational comedy and turning words to funny effect. He’s not as good as PG Wodehouse, but who is? And the characters were incredibly engaging. Granted, it helped I saw the tv adaptation first, and imagined the characters looking like they do there. Even so, I think they were masterfully done. Teatime was chilling and creepy, Death was funny and kind of melancholic in how he can’t do more to help others, and Susan was a badass female character that was cool despite being annoying in her angsting about being “normal”.

Sometimes Pratchett could be a bit annoying in his commentary and so forth. He was a tad preachy, but this didn’t occur except for about three scenes, and only one of those was beyond the pale. The other two were sensible in their questioning of different social and moral assumptions we make of others, and of how we do “good” for the wrong reasons at times.

I could do without the veiled notion that belief is made up for our sakes and not absolute, but if this is the maximum that Pratchett attacks religion, I can certainly take it.

A very funny and brilliant read, and one I heartily recommend.



Review #5

free audio Hogfather – in the audio player below

Which part of Christmas do you prefer? The gift giving? The mysterious Santa? The religious aspect? Terry Pratchett has put it all in this book, only, being Pratchett, expect to be entertained, to laugh out loud, to recoil in mock horror, to explore the metaphysical side of the holiday, and to finally put the book down with a sigh of satisfied relief. With a combined cast of Wizards, Death and his nearest relative, an opportunistic raven, and a maniacal assassin, you won’t want to put this down.
Ok, I admit it. For me, Pratchett can do no wrong. And he doesn’t here, either. Why only 4 stars? It should have been longer.

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