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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 $7.28  
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Mass Market Paperback CDN $10.79  
Mass Market Paperback, December 2000 --  
Audio, CD, Audiobook CDN $32.95  

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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Review

"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 SHOW MUST GO ON, AS MURDER, MUSIC AND MAYHEM RUN RIOT IN THE NIGHT...

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

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maskerading as Aug. 3 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantom of the Opera Meets Bewitched Sept. 23 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Terry Pratchett revisits Discworld yet again in this parody of the world of opera and music theatre. But herein lies his problem--the world of opera and music theatre may not be very well known to many of his readers. While The Phantom of the Opera will probably be a clearly recognizable basis for the plot, how many will understand the references that make similar Discworld novels so thoroughly funny? For example, Death tries to dispatch a swan, but before he goes the swan must sing for the one and only time in his life, which he refuses to do. Death challenges the swan's knowledge of operatic repertoire and tricks him into singing the Pedlar's song from Lohenshaak, which begins "Schneide meinen eigenen Hals". Few will recognize the timely reference to Lohengren and its swans, and surely only German speakers will realise that the swan is tricked into singing the words "cut my own neck." However, although some jokes are for aficionados only, others run the gamut from the over-obvious fat jokes through silliness (the Phantom writes out his maniacal laughter and uses 5 exclamation points!!!!!) to wry observation (the difference between opera and madness is "better scenery"; and the telling feature of good music, according to one critic, is that "it's got blobs and curly bits all over it".) Prachett, in his most insightful observation, has one of his characters comment, "The plots don't make sense! Half the stories rely on people not recognizing their servants or wives because they've got a tiny mask on! Large ladies play the part of consumptive girls! No one can act properly!...There should be a sign on the door saying 'Leave your common sense here'! If it wasn't for the music, the whole thing would be ridiculous! Read more ›
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A witty and hilarious addition to Discworld May 11 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are in any doubt that Terry Prachett is not one of the best contemporary satirical authors, you obviously have not read Maskerade. Although it is not his best work, Maskerade is hilarious and contains Prachett's trademark wit. In this installment of the Discworld chronicles, Prachett celebrates and satirizes the world of opera. Any fan of Discworld, Terry Prachett, or The Phantom of the Opera will enjoy this humorous and witty book. The only flaws I found were the unusual absence of Prachett's usually entertaining footnotes and the section in the middle of the story where the action started to lag and get rather boring. However, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a story that is hilarious, yet still very clever.
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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
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Mid-Level Pratchett
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... Read more
Published on May 9 2001 by Rory Coker
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 We Wear the Mask That Grins and Lies
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. Read more
Published on March 2 2001 by Amanda M. Hayes
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. 6 2000 by Kali
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