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Maskerade Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1997
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Pratchett is as funny as Wodehouse and as witty as Waugh. -- Independant
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...)See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Pratchett remains a great story-teller, sweeping his readers away to a cleverly conceived world, populated by unlikely and believable characters. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lorina Stephens
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 morePublished on March 19 2002
Terry Pratchett revisits Discworld yet again in this parody of the world of opera and music theatre. Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2001 by Dr. Christopher Coleman
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
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 morePublished on May 10 2001 by Jane S. Anderson
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 morePublished on May 3 2001 by Brian K. Eason
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 morePublished on April 20 2001 by Tallulah
Pratchett has an outstanding capacity to research a topic, then present his findings with peerless clarity and wit. Read morePublished on March 1 2001 by Stephen A. Haines