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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The audiobook of Hogfather is narrated by the BAFTA award-winning actor Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Vanity Fair, Quiz). BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually; Pirates of the Caribbean; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) reads the footnotes, and Peter Serafinowicz (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace; Shaun of the Dead) stars as the voice of Death. Featuring a new theme tune composed by James Hannigan.

Twas the night before Hogswatch and all through the house...something was missing.

The stockings are hanging ready, the sherry and pies are waiting by the fireplace - but where is the jolly fat man with his sack? It's not right to find Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say 'Ho ho ho' - but someone's got to bring the little kiddies their presents. Or else they might stop believing. Belief is important in Discworld, particularly on the last night of the year when the time is turning. If the real man in the red suit isn't found by morning, there won't be a morning. Ever again....

A festive feast of darkness, jolly robins and tinsel. As they say: 'You'd better watch out....'

Hogfather is the fourth book in the Death series, but you can listen to the Discworld novels in any order.

The first book in the Discworld series – The Colour of Magic – was published in 1983. Some elements of the Discworld universe may reflect this.

©1996 Terry Pratchett (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Hogfather

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story but poor narration

I really like an audiobook to be performed, rather than just read aloud. Sian Clifford had a good storytelling voice, but a lot of the characters sounded the same and it was a very nursery read along voice, rather than a performance.

I liked Peter Serafinowicz as Death, but the weird jingling noise for the footnotes was really jarring and didn’t work at all. I like that they’ve kept the footnotes in, but there needs to be a better way of putting them in the story.

This is the first of Penguin’s re-recording of the Discworld series, and I was really looking forward to it. This was a disappointing start, especially as they have replaced the Nigel Planer recording so it’s this or nothing. I think I’ll get the Nigel Planer versions just in case. Hopefully the next instalment is better performed.

14 people found this helpful

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The performance is distracting

I found this nigh unlistenable. The voice acting is abominable. It would have been better if the reader just read instead of trying to do the voices. Stephen Briggs is so much better at interpreting Pratchett.

9 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing

I love listening to the Terry Pritchett Discworld series and was excited to hear the new recordings, but am incredibly disappointed. I decided to compare the recording of Hogfather read by Nigel Planer that I purchased through Audible only to find that it has disappeared. It seems to me that if I have spent money to purchase an audiobook, then it should still be there when I want to listen to it. Don’t waste your money.

3 people found this helpful

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good story, narration... annoying?

I was incredibly excited to have a Terry Pratchett book available in USA, but I quickly learned that I was not a fan of the narration. Still one of my favorite Discworld stories. Just prefer the narration by Nigel Planer.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors ever. I am so sorry he is gone! I re-read and listen to his books over and over - and I was beyond thrilled to see a new recording of one of his books. Death and Susan Sto Helit are a couple of my favorite (sorry, I use this word a lot when talking of Terry Pratchett!) and the voices they are given in this reading are absolutely superlative!! Sian Clifford is a wonder - she does male and female voices with skill and style . I am not sure which of the gentlemen voice Death, but he is equally perfect. The “footnotes “ voice is ALSO just wonderful. If you like Terry Pratchett, give yourself the gift of this listen!!

3 people found this helpful

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Good Rendition!

If this is the quality of the upcoming Discworld recordings then I'm optimistic for them!

The voice acting holds up with the characterizations done by Planer and Briggs (which is praise all around) - Ridcully and Death are both particularly well done.

I couldn't give you an easy recommendation between the two versions, but both are worth the credit spent and the time listened.

(And for those unfamiliar with the story, it's excellent - one of Pratchett's most meaningful and moving works, and one I revisit in different media every year around Hogswatch.)

3 people found this helpful

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Only the Accountants and Lawyers ....

Only the Accountants and Lawyers for the commercial parties involved will think this new audio recording is even close to the same level of presentation as the previous version with Stephen Briggs.

I chose Hogfather for my first purchase of the new spate of 'revised' performances in this genre because there are at least two good performances of the book, one by Stephen Briggs and by the cast of the video special.

If this performance managed to produce a more believable portrayal of the female characters while still broadly maintaining the prior quality of male characterization. I would have considered this new offering as a fitting update.

I have always cringed at some of the voice acting by male performers of other Pratchett offerings for female characters. I have endured very annoying conceits in female performances of books from the Witches Cycle of Pratchett books, also considering the especially poor insertion of brief male actors needed to voice Death. I have endured the latter of those issues BECAUSE I could not imagine why a male performer could be anything but far more annoying. But, with 3 talented people getting somewhat equal billing I'd have thought there would be an actually acceptable way to apportion the reading of the overall book to make better use for the large cast of characters.

This offering is just plain PEDESTRIAN. The voice acting by the main reader is just 'maling it in', There is none of the nuance that gives the previous recording and the TV offering it's wit and charm. The performances by the two 'supporting' readers are FAR out-done by the Stephen Briggs version where he does all the parts. Taken all together, Stephen Briggs doing all three jobs, even with the handicap of having to try and present female characters in dialog, is head and shoulders above the presenters in the 'new' version. I am so disappointed in both the lack of substance in this presentation and the wasted, rich resources.

HOWEVER, it is as if the Accountants and Lawyers were the final Creative Directors in this production, with the overall performance no where near that of the others, even with ALLEGEDLY far superior resources.

As this is obviously the level of performance to be expected in other 'updated' releases, I will not be purchasing any more except for books that have not yet been released by Audible ..., MAYBE ..., if I have no choice but losing a performance as previous versions are erased without appeal ...

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant story, underwhelming performances.

Sian Clifford has a pleasant voice, but she sounds like she is reading a story for kindergarten; when in fact she is reading one of Terry Pratchett's darkest Discworld novels.

Unfortunately, these new recordings leave a lot to be desired. The format of having footnotes be separated by a jingle was already left by the wayside in Planer's day, because it was bad; Nighy is fine as the footnote narrator, if somewhat laconic.

Serafinowicz is okay as *a* Death, but he almost completely fails to capture the dorky side of the *Discworld* Death. I fear Planer will never be outdone when it comes to voicing Death - sombre, yet adorkable.

Completely gone is the amazing dialect work of Briggs. Overall, the different voices are bland and uninspired.

The only thing the new recordings have over the old ones, is the technical quality; and that's just not good enough. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration is solid

Lots of reviewers disliked the narration which put me off buying this book at first. Honestly, I thought it was a solid performance. Sian Clifford is perfect for Susan, the kids, Teatime, the watch, the thugs, etc. One of the wizards was a little shouty and the gnomes were a bit grating but that's it. Sound quality was good, no annoying mouth sounds, no terrible accents. The poor reviews seem a bit overblown to me. I will definitely be re-listening to this production in the years to come!

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't get through it.

The narration, music, production, .... made this unlistenable... at least for me. I love the story!

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  • Greg Hill
  • 12-12-21

A rushed cash grab

I really don't know why they bothered. The audio level is all over the place to the point of causing real pain as the volume spikes on headphones. Sian Clifford only has two 'voices'; her own speaking voice, and a poor Tracey Ullman impersonation circa Robin Hood Men in Tights. She offsets this deficiency by varying volume from incomprehensibly soft to ear-achingly loud. Sian's narration does improve as the book goes on, while Death's voice actor seems to get worse. It seems like there was some sort of post-processing done for Death's voice at the beginning of the book which by the end they'd stopped bothering with.

Why does this exist? Why not remaster the original recording (not that Hogfather has the issues with the tape transfers that some of old ISIS audio books have)? Why not have it re-recorded by Stephen Briggs, someone with a connection to Discworld and already beloved narrator of many books in the series?

At best this version isn't as good as Nigel Planar's original. The narration is amateurish, and it's sounds as though no one bothered listening to it all the way through to catch the problems with missing full stops, mispronunciations, and just plain awful character voices. The whole recording is in desperate need of a quality audio producer.

It makes it worst that the original version has now been pulled from sale. If I didn't already own all the originals, I'd rush to purchase them before they are blotted from history by this inferior cash grab. I'll eventually refund this version as there's little to no chance I'd ever choose to listen to this version instead of the original American version.

69 people found this helpful

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  • Alan
  • 12-11-21

Great book, but this version wasn't needed

Great story, classic Pratchett.

Originally I gave this book 3 stars, having gone back to the older version it can only really get 1 star.

When I first listened to this the whole way through I thought it was better than the Nigel Planer version.

Then I went back to the Nigel Planer version and I could hardly believe how much more life and character was in his - in fact the only improvement in this version is the audio quality.

Sian Clifford 'reads' this book, Nigel Planer 'performs' it.

The ISIS audio books narrated by Nigel Planer and (my personal favourite) Stephen Briggs are fantastic and bring Discworld's cast of characters to life, which with a cast as wide and rich as Discworld was amazing. Some of the titles the audio quality is dated, but surely this should just have been remastered instead of this.

More worrying is the removal of the old version from audible, leaving only the inferior version to be bought.

Luckily I own almost all the original Disworld audiobooks and I will certainly be buying the rest asap in case they are removed in place of their pale counterparts.

I will be returning this title.

44 people found this helpful

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  • Frankieg3
  • 12-13-21

Oh dear.

I have been a fan of Terry Pratchett's since reading The Colour of Magic back at the beginning, not a super fan but one of the quiet ones who just devour everything by the author. I was looking forward to this new production being read by a Female narrator as this is Susan's book and Nigel Planer has never felt quite right. It has been a grave disappointment. I have listened to thousands of Audio books and this on definitely falls in the bottom 25% and I am very easy to please. I am sure the narrator would be fine with another book but not this one. The wizards voices are high pitched and painful to listen to, fingernails scraping across glass. Other voices she does are not very good. I have not finished the book and I have a headache. Deaths voice is mediocre at best. The blame lies firmly on the producer and editor, what where they thinking of? If the narrator had just been for Susan she would have been fine. This should have been apparent right back at the beginning of recording. To add insult to injury Audible have removed the Nigel Planer recording so there is no choice. for those new to STP. I am sending it back and I am going to be very, very careful about the other books they are going to re-record. I intended to replace my Nigel Planers, not now.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Matt F-S
  • 12-14-21

Very poor casting and production

I was pleased to see a new recording of the Hogfather as the one narrated by Nigel Planer was well performed but clearly a low quality recording from the days of book on tape.

This version though, is awful. The narration is almost gabbled out in some places faster than a comfortable listening rate for me. The drops to Bill Nigh’s parts are quite frankly slightly distracting.

It is a shame that the production of this book does not match the talented actors hired for the narration, who would have perhaps been better performing a dramatisation of this book.

I am returning this book and would suggest the production team go home, think about the book, refer to the Steven Briggs Narrated Discworld books, and try again without trying to be so clever.

26 people found this helpful

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  • J. Poole
  • 12-18-21

The original is superior

I love this story, it’s my favourite Christmas story. I love the version by Nigel Planer and I looked forward to this version, I was bitterly disappointed. The narrator can only do two voices and two tones, normal and loud. I don’t understand, at all, why they did Bill Nighy’s parts like that, plus it’s tinny and not good quality. The narrator of Death is, meh.
As a previous reviewer said, Sian reads the book, Nigel Planer performs the book.
Don’t bother with this version, get the original if possible.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Hugh
  • 12-14-21

great story delivered badly

I wanted to love this, unabridged full cast should have been wonderful but it was given a wooden narration and quite disjointed awkward gaps between actors.

such a shame.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Briary
  • 12-17-21

Horrible narration for a wonderful book

I was very excited for the new versions, but if this quality is what we are getting, I am appalled. This was a rushed and frankly embarrassing mess. Getting Big Name actors isn't really enough if they have absolutely no idea how to narrate an audiobook. The voices were a joke, all of this seems like a joke, it was so bad.

I will be hoarding my Stephen Briggs versions, and forget ever hearing about these new ones.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Michael and Jane Bochenski
  • 12-14-21

Brilliantly Narrated

So good to listen to this brilliantly narrated Discworld audiobook, the first of a new series. Sian Clifford captures the characters, tone and narrative drive superbly. Bill Nighy reading the famous Sir Terry footnotes is a genius idea too. Thoroughly enjoyed this. (Michael).

9 people found this helpful

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  • Carrieokay
  • 12-22-21

Bring back Nigel Planer

There aren’t words to describe how disappointed I am. I’m a huge Discworld fan but can’t finish this. I suspect the narrator just doesn’t get it - she sounds as if she’s reading to children. Her male voices are excruciating, with Albert coming out as a smarmy strangled squawk which doesn’t fit his personality at all. I had hopes for the Bill Nighy footnotes but the sound level is so poor I can’t make them out.
I’d like to replace it with the Nigel Planer version so I can listen in the app but it has disappeared!!
Will be returning.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Alex wilkes
  • 12-13-21

A fantastic re-telling of an old favourite!

I adore all of the STP audiobooks, each one has a charm all of its own! This edition has easily become my favourite. I cannot wait for more titles to become available!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon from Brisbane
  • 12-20-21

disappointing

I have been waiting for new interpretations of Sir Terry Pratchett's earlier books and anticipated this one with excitement. I was so disappointed I could have cried. Segues to footnotes are jarring and interrupt the flow of the narrative and Nighy sounds positive board. The narrator's terrible interpretations of male voices are annoying. I really hope they pick up their game for future books. I really like the Stephen Briggs versions of the later books, accents and character interpretations far more realistic and sympathetic and hoped that audible and the directors would be guided by them. unfortunately they have fallen into what feels like parody and pantomime.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gastronomix
  • 12-30-21

Abysmal production of a fantastic book

This is classic Terry Pratchett, a brilliant book full of depth & subtext, and it's been horrendously mangled. Both the voice actors and the production crew are to blame, though I have to put the emphasis on the actors: Peter Serafinowicz has a decent enough voice as Death, though doesn't carry the pathos & gravitas of the character; Bill Nighy, who has an instantly recognisable voice, sounded as if he couldn't muster up the will to get out of bed, let alone deliver the footnotes with the wry tone typical of Pratchett's astute observations of humankind's foibles (also, production is to blame for the way they insert the footnotes into the stream of the story- has potential as an idea, idiotic in execution); Sian Clifford had a subtle & suitable tone as narrator and did Susan well enough but was an absolute abomination when doing the voices of all the other characters. I cannot fathom why anyone thought it would be a good idea to cast her for the other roles, she turned the whole thing into a farce. Pratchett's characters have depth and personality, she basically reduced them to parts in a panto, a bunch of buffoons with ridiculous voices. It seems to be a trend with Pratchett audiobooks, all but one voice actor turn the characters into exaggerated caricatures, proving they've never read the books other than for the script. The one exception is Stephen Briggs, who has a wonderful range of accents and pitches to differentiate the characters and doesn't have to rely on cheap tricks; the books he has narrated are a masterclass in how it's done, and I highly recommend listening to them. This was excruciating to listen to, and I'll be returning it; don't waste your time on this audiobook, pick up the actual book and enjoy the story as it was written.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katie Hutton
  • 12-13-21

What a Hogswatch gift!!

A brilliant reading by Sian, that was really enhanced by Peter’s Death. And Bill’s added notations just brought joy.
I’m really pleased that this is the one to kick off the new recordings. It’s got me even more excited than I was, as it’s proven how magnificent they will be.
The volume level was also clear and even the whole way through.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Yammers
  • 05-16-22

A breath of fresh air

This was the first Terry pratchett I’ve read/ listened to. Sian did an amazing job as narrator, she has great comedic timing and I found myself laughing out loud several times. It feels like you are going on a journey with the main characters. I can only hope they keep the same narrator for the rest of the series

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-25-22

Believe the little things

Pratchett is amazing. If you've never tried him, this is a great story. Yummy as a pork roast.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-20-22

Outstanding!

I’ve snorted and chortled out loud and in public while listening to this audiobook. The choice of narrators is perfect, although I could probably have done without the magical jingling when footnotes are read out.
This adaptation of the Hogfather made me love Terry Pratchett even more.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda&David Nicholls
  • 04-10-22

Not up to the standard of the other Disk World audio books

Alas the reader is unable to convey male voices adequately. The narrative reading is excellent but the male character voices just don’t work. The asides by the other readers and the voice of Death aren’t up to usual standards. In particular the Ridcully voice is just plain irritating. Unless you are keen to read the complete Disk World set of audio books, it may be better to skip this one. Or perhaps try the bowdlerised version by Tony Robinson.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-22

The new format is not as good as Stepen Briggs

I much prefer the older unabridged versions by the previous readers, both Nigel Planer and Stephen Briggs. They both do a better variety of accents of different characters and, while I love Bill Nighy, his voice for the footnotes is not great and not necessary. I see that there are other books planned to be re-done by this team, but I'm not looking forward to them.

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  • Carol
  • 02-22-22

Great performance

I was nervous about buying this after reading some other negative reviews and I'm so glad I bought it any way. I am a fan of Terry Pratchett and was delighted to find that the voice actors brought his book to life. Sian is lovely to listen to as the main narrator and does delightful voices for the various characters. Bill Nighy gives a lovely dry and droll tone to the footnotes (yes the chime is a bit jarring at first but other then having him say "footnote" at the beginning of each one I couldn't really think of a better way to do this). And what can I say about Peter as the voice of Death other then that this is one of my favorite performances of the quintessential character. I can't wait for the release of the rest of the series!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-21-22

Great story and great performance

Amazingly read… except maybe by Bill nighe.. not sure if he could have been more disinterested