This is a re-read for me but as always Terry Pratchett hits the nail right on the head for wit, intelligence and humour wound tightly in this Christmas style fantasy.
The Hogfather – basically the Discworld’s equivalent of Santa Claus – an ‘old god doing a new job’. But he’s disappeared, and belief is waning so Death himself dons the beard and red suit to ensure Hogswatch goes as planned and, more importantly, the sun continues to rise. The humans need to believe in the ‘little lies’ so that they may believe in the bigger ones, such as morality, justice and right. This is what, says Death, makes them human. Yet there are places even Death cannot go. Susan Sto-Helit, technically human but on the Discworld technicalities are a little looser, nobility, governess and Death’s granddaughter seeks to go where none should go and defeat an assassin even the mighty Assassin’s guild fear.
As always the story has many layers – the nature of belief, the fluidic line between right and wrong, human nature and of course a damn good adventure.
Pratchett is a master of touching on the reality of things – humanity and it’s many strange ideas and ways, human behaviour and all it’s quirks and I find there’s an element of Discworld in us all. We can relate to this mad, wonderful, complex world in so many ways.
Two of my favourite quotes lie within the pages:
“The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.”
“Where life can live life will, where life can’t it takes a little longer.”