Not surprisingly, this book had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion (to the consternation of my fellow commuters). But such broad comedy would be tiring to read after a while, if it weren't for the fact that Pratchett manages to work in profound insight into the human condition -- a testament to his intelligence and skill. Underneath all the flying pigs, adorable tots, verruca gnomes, incompetent wizards, and mince pies and sherries, Hogfather is really about the power of mythology, and the necessity of faith. I'm hard-pressed to come up with a more succinct description than this:
"You mean sort of fear and awe and not knowing whether to laugh or cry or wet their pants?"
YES. NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL BELIEF.