Monday, July 9, 2012

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett - Maskerade

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Maskerade is 18th book in the Discworld series written by Terry Pratchett.

The Blurb (back of the book):

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…)

Prior Reading:

While not necessary, I would recommend reading enough of the prior novels to familiarize yourself with the disc-world.  I would especially recommend Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad so you can familiarize yourself with the characters Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg.


I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger readers.  Firstly, there are some skill-fully phrased references of an adult nature.  I would say that if you are old enough to catch it you will be old enough to read it, and it leaves A LOT to the imagination, but the book may result in some awkward questions from those who are not old enough to catch it.  Let’s give it a 16 rating, and an 18 rating in extremely conservative circles.

There are witches involved.  Unlike the Harry Potter witches, these witches tend to natural means to solve the people’s problems.  For example, Granny Weatherwax gave a villager a “potion” for the knots in his back, then clicked his back in one swift manoeuvre and told him to put a pine board under his mattress.  The “potion” was only there because the villager expected to be given a potion for his back.  These witches are able to delve into the occult, but they only do it as a last resort.  I see these witches in the same light as those in Disney Movies.  If you are OK with witches in Disney Movies, these shouldn’t cause any concern, but they are there.

A very brief mention of a “House of Ill Repute” (the authors exact words) were the witches took lodging.

Please keep in mind, while reading the book, it is completely, 100% fantasy, the same way that The Lord of The Rings is fantasy, this is just a whole lot funnier (and shorter).

My Thoughts on the First 70 pages:

  • Skill-fully worded adult humour – I laughed more at how skill-fully it was phrased than at the subject.
  • Be prepared to learn new words and experience a medium to higher grade British wit.
  • This appears to be based on The Phantom of the Opera – in a Discworld way.
  • Brilliant character portrayal (and stereotype portrayal).  I can see the characters in my mind as I am reading this.

My Thoughts on the rest of the book:

  • Exactly my sort of humour, and I loved reading it.
  • Brilliant way of writing, It feels like I was watching a movie in my mind as I read it.  The descriptions are worded wonderfully and in no way boring or drawn out, in fact the descriptions were the humour.
  • The story was enjoyable too.

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