Hogfather by Terry Pratchett is the second Discworld book about Susan Sto Helit. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]
The guild of assassins gets a special assignment: their next target it the Hogfather, right before Hogswatchnight. The guild director hands the task over to Mr. Teatime who is on it with the perfect mix of relentlessness and crazy. Death who notices that things are going wrong, decides to take over for the Hogfather. And then Susan – who has taken on a rather quite job of being a governess and would like to keep it that way – also gets involved to save the Hogfather since his death has ramifications nobody could have predicted.
After Soul Music was pretty lukewarm for me, Hogfather again reminded me why I’m still reading the Discworld novels. It’s funny and intelligent. I loved it.
Death is finally great again in this book – no pointless soul-searching. But I still like Susan better than him. And I loved Teatime. But who I adored most was Ridcully. With every bit more I read about him, I love him more.
And I just loved the story. The idea that there is a certain amount of faith in the world and it will look for believers wherever it can find it is absolutely brilliant.
Summarising: absolutely fantastic.
Here are my favorite quotes:
that was a parent’s job. The world was so full of sharp bends that if they didn’t put a few twists in you, you wouldn’t stand a chance of fitting in.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
“Oh, it’s largely intuitive, Archchancellor,” said Ponder. “Obviously you have to spend a lot of time learning it first, though.”
It’s amazing how good governments are, given their track record in almost every other field, at hushing up things like alien encounters.
The truth may be out ther, but lies are inside your head.
I get teary eyes every time I read the “little match girl” bit.
The little match girl is generally enough to get me teary. Damn Andersen. ;)
But I know what you mean.