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5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece of laughter
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...
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by F. G. Hamer

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 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...
Published on May 9 2001 by Rory Coker

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maskerade Tickles, March 19 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Maskerade (Mass Market Paperback)
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 made about the world of opera. Not a lot of substance or deep thought here, but Pratchett punctuates his silliness with simple observations on the human condition which are probably more complex than they appear.
In an odd way, I think that sometimes Pratchett's wit gets in the way of his writing. Sometimes I found myself not laughing at something I knew was funny just because I found it too clever, or perhaps too practiced. Every once in a while, I found myself a little annoyed at how astoundingly profound the characters were in their silliness. Anyway, it didn't happen often, and "Maskerade" was still a delightful, entertaining read.
I look forward to reading more of Pratchett's work in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maskerading as, Aug. 3 2007
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Maskerade (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. It has some darker scenes, such as Granny playing cards with Death for a baby's life, but most of it is dedicated to the witches doing the sort of weird things they'd never do at home (impersonating duchesses, for one).

Pratchett sprinkles the storyline with hilarious dialogue, wacky situations (Nanny Ogg moonlights as the world's fattest ballerina), and some swashbuckling. And he includes a small message as well, about being the sort of person we actually want to be -- and how "masks" on the outside can change us.

Agnes Nitt has a lot of pagetime, but she seems rather fussy and pallid next to Granny and Nanny -- we get to see just how strong their friendship really is, despite their bickering. Granny shines especially, courtesy of a shopping spree, some coach rides and some dodgy darkish magic. And we have a wide array of timid janitors, annoying managers and airheaded sopranos to round out the cast.

"Maskerade" is a gleeful, glorious spoof of opera in general, and a fun outing for the Lancre witches. Definitely a solid entry for Pratchett.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cutesy. Too too cutesy., Sept. 9 2001
Akethan (Arlington, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Maskerade (Mass Market Paperback)
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. The entire cliche, double entendre, faux pas style of writing wears thin very quickly.
I would consider Robert Lynn Asprin's MYTH Series much better choices. Or Piers Anthony's XANTH-ian run of books.
That said, I may pick up one of titles recommended by other readers. I have seen how some authors have a good thing and lose it along the way. I am still fixated by early Andre Norton (especially her Forerunner stories), but later stuff dips low in its crafting.
Nuff said.
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Maskerade by Terry Pratchett (Audio CD - Nov. 1 2008)
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