“Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.
But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder aloud how the snowplow driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionarys look up the spelling of the words. Yet there is the constant desire to find some point in the twisting, knotting, raveling nets of space-time on which a metaphorical finger can be put to indicate that here, here, is the point where it all began…”
I always struggle when it comes to comparing Pratchett with other authors. Often, he is tossed into the same pot as Douglas Adams or that guy who wrote Zombie Lover. Unfortunately, the only similarity I have ever discovered is that all three of these authors can be described as writing humorous fantasy novels. I dare say, that lovers of British humor will probably like Pratchett. If you love reinterpretations of myths, tales, and folklore (think the Myth series by Canongate) Pratchett is your man. If you want a degree of somberness, philosophizing, and realization in an intelligently written book, Pratchett delivers that too. As long as you don’t mind blurting and snorting chuckling noises into the pages of Pratchett’s books (often raising querying eyebrows from others) that’s even better.
Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather does all of this and more in a reinterpretation of a story near and dear to many: Santa Claus. The philosophical edge of Hogfather focuses on belief and the power of belief (one of Pratchett’s favorite themes). The Hogfather has disappeared, Death (yes, capital “D” death) has assumed the Hogfathering role, and Death’s granddaughter Susan has been hauled in to help sort out the mess. Funny, terrific story, and Pratchett as usual wittily explores all of the folkloric tendrils surrounding the story.
At this point some may be wondering if March was my month for Terry Pratchett (which it isn’t, because every month is for Terry Pratchett), but what really goaded me into rereading this novel is the film adaptation that came out this last Christmas. I had heard about it, but promptly forgot it until I read that the adaptation of Pratchett’s first two novels The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic was in the works. Now if only that “long wait” on Netflix would speed up!