|Submitted by deafchild |
(Jun 08, 2005)
I'm surprised this firecracker of a book hasn't yet been reviewed; it was my first of the Discworld series, and I've reread it many times since then. Agnes Nitt, singer and proverbial wide load ("You know they say that inside every fat girl is a thin girl and a lot of chocolate? Well, I'm the lot of chocolate") decides to take off for Ankh-Morpork in the hopes that she can devise a new identity. Meanwhile, Nanny Ogg, concerned over the seeming listlessness of Granny Weatherwax, determines they need a third witch to keep them up and at each other. Chaos, excitement, and cat doings ensue.
The book is ostensibly a takeoff on opera, with the main themes being taken from Phantom; that being said, it's also a homage to all opera, and the development of Broadway. And if you don't think that can be fun, you have no idea what goes on backstage! Pratchett deftly weaves all these themes together (and far more) with his usual deep grasp of humour, headology and haruspexian thought. It'll get a grin, probably a chuckle, and if you go back and read it again it'll get a laugh and a "Gee, this guy's insane but...." All the Witch books have this element of deeper psychology and philosophy to them, but Maskerade, looking as it does at the way people present themselves to others - and to themselves - does so more than most. Five stars out of five, and may there be many more.