I got some Terry Pratchett books from a friend, and enjoyed relaxing with them last week.
I consider Carpe Jugulum one of his best books. While making us laugh and building on every vampire cliche in the history of vampires, he also makes very astute and insightful commentary on kings, power, fear, overweight people, old people, and the human condition in general.
Terry Pratchett is not called a satirist for nothing. Even though we don’t have vampires, witches on broomsticks, Igors, etc. the Discworld is astoundingly similar to ours, because the people are the same. He has you nodding and going, “You are so right!” with his descriptions of everyday situations.
“But you read a lot of books, I’m thinking. Hard to have faith, ain’t it, when you’ve read too many books?”-Mistress Weatherwax to the Quite Reverend Mightily Oats
“The smug mask of virtue triumphant could be almost as horrible as the face of wickedness revealed” Mistress Weatherwax
And the story is great, the climax satisfying, the end sweet. Perfect. 5 stars
I actually found this a bit tedious the first time I read it. I just couldn’t drum up the energy to care if the Hogfather was dead or alive, and what that would mean for the Discworld. Maybe because I don’t celebrate Christmas?
However, at some point the book picks up and reveals the absolutely brilliant plan and the next time I read it I enjoyed it more. Some parts were still tedious, but the entire book was more satisfying.
Even in the first read I had some laugh-out-loud moments, as in:
“She’d become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she’d taken to it well. She’d sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she’d beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”
So to summarize: While not my favorite, still solid Pratchett. 4 stars