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Maskerade [Mass Market Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $7.65  
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Book Description

December 2000
It's not over till the fat lady sings

There's a Ghost in the Opera House of Ankh-Morpork. It wears a bone-white mask and terrorizes the entire company, including the immortal Enrico Basilica, who eats continuously even when he's singing. Mostly spaghetti with tomato sauce.

What better way to flush out a ghost than with a witch? Enter the Opera's newest diva, Perdita X. Nitt, a wannabe witch with such an astonishing range that she can sing harmony with herself. And does.

To further complicate matters (and why not?) there is a backstage cat who occasionally becomes a person just because it's so easy.Not to mention Granny Weatherwax's old friend, Death, whose scythe arm is sore from too much use. And who has been known to don a mask...

--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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"Consistently, inventively mad . . . wild and wonderful!" -- -- Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

"Pratchett is fast, funny, and going places. Try him!" -- -- Piers Anthony

"Simply the best humorous writer of the twentieth century." -- -- Oxford Times

"The funniest parodist working in the field today, period." -- -- New York Review of Science Fiction

"The hottest writer in fantasy today." -- -- White Dwarf --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover


The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork...a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar evil mastermind in a hideously-deformed evening dress...

At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn't hold with that sort of thing.

So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evening's entertainment with murders you can really hum...) --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maskerading as Aug. 3 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Terry Pratchett's satirical eye doesn't spare anybody or anything, and in his nineteenth Discworld book "Maskerade," it's opera's turn to suffer. In his typically barbed prose, he gleefully spoofs the "Phantom of the Opera," lampoons opera in general, and takes the opportunity to take everyone's favorite witches out to Ankh-Morpork.

Magrat Garlick is newly married and crowned. As a result, Granny Weatherwax is moody and bored, while Nanny pens an erotic cookbook -- and when it turns out that she's being cheated of royalties, Granny decides to go to Ankh-Morpork and confront her publisher. Meanwhile, the primary witch-maiden candidate, Agnes Nitt, has also gone to Ankh-Morpork to become an opera singer.

But the opera isn't all it's cracked up to be -- Agnes finds herself providing the voice for pretty, airheaded Christine, and the opera ghost is causing some major disasters. Granny and Nanny immerse themselves in the backstage -- and onstage -- drama of the opera, trying to figure out who the Phantom is... and why he's a friend one minute and a foe the next.

It's obvious that the opera holds no awe for Pratchett. Sure, the novel is a spoof of Gaston Leroux's novel, but Pratchett's real intention here is to constantly make fun of the opera, both as entertainment and art form. The entire climax of the book is devoted to making fun of opera's illogic, lack of acting, and such time-honored traditions as a dying person flawlessly singing for about fifteen minutes before expiring.

But it's not all opera spoofery. Despite some grisly deaths and the psycho Phantom (who sends notes filled with maniacal laughter), getting the witches out of Lancre gives the whole story a light, fun feel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece of laughter Aug. 24 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you've never heard of Terry Pratchett, you're clearly living on the wrong planet. So join the rest of us in Pratchett's Discworld and enjoy the antics of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, the Disc's best-known witches. Visit Ankh-Morpork's Opera House with them (accompanied by their lunatic guests). You'll marvel at the amazing scenes of chaos that Pratchett can conjure up, seemingly without trying. And no matter what the topic, Pratchett is able to satirize it and make you question your former opinions - and you'll howl with laughter as you do so. I've read quite a lot of Discworld books and there are not many that have not held a chuckle a page and a full belly laugh a chapter. Maskerade lives up to its author's reputation in full, satirizing opera, theatre production, the lot - and all with a smile on his face. If, after reading Maskerade, you are in any doubt that Terry Prachett is not the most creative and funniest contemporary author around, you've obviously got a funny bone missing somewhere. Although it is not his best work, Maskerade is still hilarious and well worthy of five stars.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mid-Level Pratchett May 9 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mid-level Pratchett, not up there with INTERESTING TIMES or down there with ERIC. The somewhat claustrophobic action takes place entirely in the Ankh-Morpork Opera House, and Pratchett is mainly out to satirize opera, opera singers, and opera lovers, as well as all the variants of Gaston Leroux's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. The hard-to-take Granny Weatherwax dominates the action, what little there is of it. The ostensible main character, "Perdita X Dream" as she calls herself, never comes to life for a second, or has much of anything to do in the novel's development.
There are walkons from several Discworld regulars, such as Nobby and the Librarian, but by and large this really isn't a Discworld novel--- that is, it could take place anywhere. It is difficult to figure out how Pratchett wants the reader to take some of the humor, and some of the apparently serious moments. For example the villain has a long, operatic death scene in which he berates opera virulently, in a perfectly straight tone. Is he speaking for Pratchett? Apparently so, since the omniscient authorial remarks about opera are in pretty much the same style.
Anyway, Pratchett is clearly having some fun with opera and it is unfortunate that the reader is not likely to have quite the same level of fun, to say the least.
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5.0 out of 5 stars We Wear the Mask That Grins and Lies March 2 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Being a big fan of humorous fantasy, I've been in love with Terry Pratchett's Discworld almost from the moment I began reading it. I adore Nanny Ogg and Greebo, Granny Weatherwax (to a lesser extent), Rincewind, the Bursar, the Librarian, and Death above all. So it's really not much surprise that I loved this book.
I think, though, that not only does it stand out among comedic fantasy books as all Discworld novels do, but it also stands out among Discworld novels! For all that I don't know opera or Phantom, the jokes I did understand had me rolling, and the idea of Nanny Ogg writing a cookbook is so priceless that it would have earned the book four stars all on its own. Toss in the translation of an opera verse and the little notes of maniacal laughter, and you've got enough funny stuff to leave a person gasping for breath between snickers.
However, it's a valid point to say that this is a story that's probably much funnier if you have some passing knowledge of opera and Phantom; I had the feeling that I was missing out on chunks of it, and really, the plot with Agnes wasn't very riveting. I thought the jokes I did understand more than made up for it, but that's a question of personal taste. This is still one of the Discworld novels that requires the most background knowledge to make most of its hits; it seems full of in jokes, and if you're bugged by that sort of thing, you might want to try a different slice of the Discworld pie instead.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Maskerade Tickles
This was my first experience reading Pratchett, and I really enjoyed it. "Maskerade" is an all-out goofy ride and music lovers will laugh outloud at the observations... Read more
Published on March 19 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantom of the Opera Meets Bewitched
Terry Pratchett revisits Discworld yet again in this parody of the world of opera and music theatre. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2001 by Dr. Christopher Coleman
2.0 out of 5 stars Cutesy. Too too cutesy.
I put Pratchett on a "NO READ" list after finishing MASKERADE (Discworld Novel).
I was not pleased. It was so deliberate and forcedly clever/cute/noxious. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2001 by Akethan
4.0 out of 5 stars A witty and hilarious addition to Discworld
If you are in any doubt that Terry Prachett is not one of the best contemporary satirical authors, you obviously have not read Maskerade. Read more
Published on May 10 2001 by Jane S. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Music of the Night... on Discworld
If you are a Pratchett fan then I am wasting my time telling you what a genius Terry is... if you're not yet a Pratchett fan, you need to find your introduction book to the master... Read more
Published on May 3 2001 by Brian K. Eason
3.0 out of 5 stars I want to actually give it 3 and a half, OK?
The first time I read this I confess I wasn't that gripped. Agnes seemed flat, the plot seemed difficult and the jokes forced. Read more
Published on April 20 2001 by Tallulah
5.0 out of 5 stars A tragi-comedy worthy of good libretto
Pratchett has an outstanding capacity to research a topic, then present his findings with peerless clarity and wit. Read more
Published on March 1 2001 by Stephen A. Haines
3.0 out of 5 stars The weakest Pratchett so far
I have to confess that, although I love Pratchett's books and the Discworld generally, I found this the weakest book of the series. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2001 by "the_halberdier"
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom of the Opera is here inside my mind!
Wonderful. Superb. Splendid. Magnificent. Operatic -- well, maybe not the last one. Maskerade is a work of art -- a work of wit, no less. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2000 by Kali
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