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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on May 9, 2001
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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on February 10, 2001
I have to confess that, although I love Pratchett's books and the Discworld generally, I found this the weakest book of the series. Maybe it's because I'm not an opera buff, maybe because the story is not a quintessentially Discworld one (apart from the names and histories of the main characters, the story could take place almost anywhere), maybe because I prefer the Guards to the Witches, or maybe it's just my taste but I just didn't find this as funny or enthralling as his previous books.
Pratchett certainly picked up again later and his most recent books are brilliant, but I found the series ebbed a bit here. If, like me, you're reading them all in order (I have, since "Colour of Magic" first came out), then stick with them. If not, make sure you have "Pyramids", "Small Gods", "Guards Guards", "Mort" or "Wyrd Sisters" around to read after this one.
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on April 20, 2001
The first time I read this I confess I wasn't that gripped. Agnes seemed flat, the plot seemed difficult and the jokes forced. BUT the second time I read it it had for some reason improved. The descriptions of the theatre are eerie and ring very true, the jokes seemed more natural - although I still don't get the plot properly and Agnes still seems a rather forced character. Also, I think I missed out on a lot of the humour because I haven't seen Phantom Of The Opera. Worth a read, but not the best Pratchett book.
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Pratchett remains a great story-teller, sweeping his readers away to a cleverly conceived world, populated by unlikely and believable characters.

In this installation, Pratchett writes a spoof on Andrew Lloyd Weber's international hit musical, Phantom of the Opera. Pratchett also takes on the superficiality of society, of the preoccupation with physical appearance, and the beauty of a noble spirit, all done with deliciously irreverent British humour.

A great escapist read.
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on January 25, 1999
Overall the book was interesting. I particulary liked the Mouse Death that reincarnated the rat catcher as a rat. While the real Death gets a lot more appearances then his Rat alterego still though the book had its moments that it seemed to be missing something overall. Maybe it was the setting of the book... Then again it could be contributed to many things. Overall good, but still good is less then great, and great is less then classic.
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