IT GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN, LIFE, said Death, stepping forward, SPEAKING METAPHORICALLY, OF COURSE. IT’S A HABIT THAT’S HARD TO GIVE UP. ONE PUFF OF BREATH IS NEVER ENOUGH. YOU’LL FIND YOU WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER.
When it comes to favourite Christmas reads, Terry Pratchett's Hogfather is as perfect as they come for me. It certainly beats Charles Dickens when comes to spreading seasonal cheer and tell an uplifting tale of what makes humans ... human.
Hogfather has got all the classical elements of stories of woe and hardship appealing to our collective social conscience, it has charming wintry scenes, it has a fat man climbing down chimneys to deliver presents. But it is also a lot of fun. And it has auditors, assassins, DEATH, and a passive-aggressive raven.
And, yet, all the wizards, fairies, gnomes, bogeymen, and ant-driven computing machines cannot take away any of the depths that line the story of how DEATH's love of humans saves the world from eternal meaninglessness.
The sun rose. The light streamed over Susan like a silent gale. It was dazzling. She crouched back, raising her forearm to cover her eyes. The great red ball turned frost to fire along the winter branches. Gold light slammed into the mountain peaks, making every one a blinding, silent volcano. It rolled onward, gushing into the valleys and thundering up the slopes, unstoppable . . .