|Submitted by Anonymous |
(Jan 28, 2008)
Terry Pratchett's approach to the Discworld novels tends to be to look at either a society, event, or an aspect of humanity, and he examines it, turns it on its ear, and presents his own take on it, causing the reader to re-think his or her opinion and perspective on whatever topic Pratchett has decided to dissect.
In Hogfather, he examines the nature of human belief, and the evolution of our Christmas: from the most primitive mid-winter rituals of blood and sacrifice, carried out to bring about spring, right up to a fat man in a red suit delivering presents to children all over the world.
On the belief side, he has Teatime and his attempt at killing the Hogfather, how does try it? By controlling people's belief in him by stealing their baby teeth from the Tooth Fairy. Odd, to say the least, but interesting no less.
In terms of the history of the Hogfather, it is a series of little informational paragraphs, interspersed throughout the novel, in between the humourous scenes (Death pretending to be a Mall Santa was brilliant) and plot progression.
The novel reads quite quickly, with plenty of jokes and puns and humour to entertain the reader and get some good laughs. Pratchett's witty satirical humour blends well with the plot and the examination mentioned above.
I found myself drawn in to his exploration into the Hogfather myth and the history of Hogswatch night. Mostly, because of the nature of Christmas, and how complacent most people are in the blatant inconsistencies of the holiday and all the rituals and imagery that is attached to Christmas (i.e. what does Santa Claus and elves and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus?).