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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The audiobook of Hogfather is read by the BAFTA award-winning actor Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Vanity Fair, Quiz), with BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) reading the footnotes, and with Peter Serafinowicz (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Shaun of the Dead) 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....

The Discworld novels can be listened to in any order, but Hogfather is the fourth book in the Death series, a festive feast of darkness (but with jolly robots and tinsel too).

©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.

5 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.)

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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.

59 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.

38 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.

33 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.

22 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.

13 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.

10 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.

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!

7 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).

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-21

Fabulous adaptation with audio niggles

Fantastic narration, great audio adaptation of an amazing story by a wonderful, much missed author. #GNUTerryPratchett

My gripes are audio related - inconsistent volume, and sadly Bill Nighys footnote readings are especially quiet, requiring pausing, going back and upping the volume.

6 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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  • 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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-22

My new favourite narrator

I love this new recording of Hogfather. Sian Clifford is fantastic! Her voice interpretations are the exact character voices I’ve always imagined in my head when reading Terry Pratchett. Bill Nighy sounded bored but all in all, this is an excellent new interpretation, and I hope Sian does many more Discworld novels

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  • Katia holland
  • 12-27-21

Love Pratchett great rendition

Fantastic book
Remember these from my childhood
Highly recommended
I’m getting the whole set, to relive disc world

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  • Ferret
  • 12-18-21

Almost perfect

I love the story and I love the narration. It really is fantastic.
But WHY is it necessary to play that tone at the start and end of each footnote? It's so jarring - every time it happened it would jolt me out of the flow of the story.
it's a shame, everything else was wonderful, but the way they did the footnotes really spoiled it for me. I hope they don't do this with all the new Discworld recordings.

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  • LW
  • 12-13-21

One of the best Pratchett stories

Love the new recording of Hogfather - Sian’s voice performances of these characters finally match up to the character voices I’ve heard in my head since my first reading of this excellent story. Can’t wait for more of this new series of Discworld audibles.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-21

loud odd sounds qnd bad use of cast

Skip this audiobook i had hoped for a good rendition with a cast instead is a great lady reading the book with a random alarm every 8 minutes. If they'd remove the sound effect would be a wonderful audiobook.