Friday Faceoff – Ho, ho, ho! Brainfluffbookblog


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is CHRISTMAS, so I’ve selected Hogfather – Book 20 of the Discworld series by the irreplaceable Terry Pratchett. The first time I read this book, I was crying with laughter over the scene in the toy department…

This version was released in October 2002 by Corgi and I get the impression that the cover designer was told that this book featured Death stepping into the role of the Hogfather. He chose to focus on the Death part… All this gloom and blackness gives this cover a sense of horror – and it’s nothing of the sort. While the story is violent in places and features the most psychotic killer Pratchett ever depicts, there is also plenty of mayhem and lots of humour, too. Not that you’d know it from this cover, which I HATE.


Published in October 2002, also by Corgi, this cover is a huge improvement – mostly because it’s based on the original. In my opinion, it’s even better, because those big, intrusive text boxes are no longer a feature and we get the full benefit of the fabulous artwork. This one is my favourite.


This edition, published by Corgi in June 2013, is another winner – though I’m intrigued to see this one was released in the middle of summer, for some reason… Rightly featuring the pigs, it once more packs a punch with that lovely dark sky in the background and nicely stippled author font. Again, this one is based on the original cover for the book and so the riotous aspect of the story is reflected in the artwork. This one is also my favourite. And no… don’t ask me to choose between the two, because I can’t.


Produced by Harper in September 1999, this one is just boring. While a picture of the Hogfather features on the cover and the title font is pleasingly quirky, that doesn’t really make up for the oh-so plain yellow cover. And no – I personally don’t think the line of scythes is a suitable replacement for the iconic bright, colourful covers that always remind me of Pratchett’s Discworld series.


This French edition, published by Pocket is the only original cover that comes close to the humorous mayhem that represents the series. I love the way Death emerges from the chimney, with the children looking on in fascination. Susan is beautifully portrayed and I love the orange glow that suffuses this cover – so appropriate for the time of year. If I didn’t have such fond memories of the previous covers, which I’m sure is affecting my choices, this one would have been a real contender. Which one is your favourite?

36 responses »

    • Thank you, Laura! Yes… that first cover is absolutely ghastly, isn’t it? The original artwork takes a lot of beating – so it was a real shame that back then, they chose to cover most of it up!

    • Thank you, Jennifer – yes… ultimately Pratchett’s writing is just so chockful of vibrancy. No one else writes like him – even now, I miss looking forward to the next wonderful Pratchett tale.

    • Yes… both covers are taken from the same scene, with a few additions or deletions along the way – it’s why I couldn’t choose between them, but it’s interesting that they produce quite a different feel, don’t they?

  1. I really like the covers of the second and third books in your post – they seem to capture the spirit of the book much more. The first one makes it look like a murder mystery and not like a Terry Pratchett novel at all. It’s interesting to see the different covers 🙂

    • Yes… I do love putting this post together. I think it’s my favourite, because even when I think I’ve sorted out exactly what I’m going to say, halfway through writing it I regularly change my mind!

  2. Even though I have not managed to read anything by Pratchett – YET! – the second and third cover in your list are the ones I most associate with his novels, and they seem to reflect the riotous kind of fun in those books, so I would surely go for them 😉

  3. I agree with your choice, that cover would definitely inspire me to pick up this book. I have not read this one so you know what I am going to do. It is now on my TBR for next Christmas or maybe before. Great share and choice.

  4. As always, you have presented an interesting array of covers, Sarah! And totally with you on your two choices, although I do have a slight preference for the 2002 Corgi cover. BUT, I am definitely NOT referring to that HORRIBLE dark cover they published in October of that year, but to the one with the sleigh bounding across the sky. That first cover is SO freaking depressing!! I HATE it just as much as you do!! And yes, this one would be MUCH better on a horror novel!

    The cover with the yellow background is, as you’ve mentioned BORING. In the extreme!! When I looked closer, I noticed that Santa Claus has two tusks emerging from his mouth. Not even this could save this stupid cover, though! LOL.

    As for the last cover, NO WAY!! I don’t like Death emerging from the chimney, head first. This would be more appropriate for a horror novel, just as much as the first cover, although it’s not as obviously creepy.

    Thanks for sharing!! I LOVE to read, and comment on, your cover posts!! Hope you had a VERY Merry Christmas with your family!! CHEERS!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ : ) : ) : )

    • Thank you Maria:) I had a lovely, peaceful Christmas with my husband and son. I hope your Christmas was equally enjoyable! Thank you for all your insightful, interesting comments – this one being no exception.

      I hope you have a lovely break – I return to College on 7th Jan, do you go back around the same time?

      • Yes, I do indeed go back on the 7th, as well….. I’m NOT looking forward to it, lol. It’s too much fun to be at home blogging and reading!! LOL.

        Thanks SO much for your compliment!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! CHEERS!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • I know! Right now, I’m starting to wonder how I can fit in my teaching commitments on top of all the other stuff:)).

        A very happy new year to you, too, Maria!

  5. I LOVE that last cover! the reaction of the kids is just priceless. And that first cover–ye GODS, even the blurb they put on it speaks of “comic invention.” Who the hell’s going to get that vibe from such a cover?
    Sadly, I didn’t get to this novel this year, which I’d hoped to do. Ah well. I have seen the mini-series because when I saw Sir Ian Richardson played Death…well, how can I not watch it? 🙂

  6. What can I say? When it comes to Pratchett covers, my mind is set: Josh Kirby all the way! Nothing else either fits or is appropriate 😉 (cue in zealous fan of those covers mode).

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