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Mummenschanz (Discworld #18)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  27,680 ratings  ·  547 reviews
There are strange goings-on at the Opera House in Ankh-Morpork. A ghost in a white mask is murdering, well, quite a lot of people, and two witches (it really isn't wise to call them "meddling, interfering old baggages"), or perhaps three, take a hand in unraveling the mystery. Fans of the popular Discworld will be happy to see some old friends again in Maskerade, the 18th ...more
Paperback, 351 pages
Published 2002 by Goldmann (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melki
Granny looked out at the dull gray sky and the dying leaves and felt, amazingly enough, her sap rising. A day ago the future had looked aching and desolate, and now it looked full of surprises and terror and bad things happening to people...
If she had anything to do with it, anyway.


Agnes Nitt and her alter ego, Perdita X. Dream, have joined the opera. Agnes has a remarkable singing voice (she can even sing harmony with...herself...), but unfortunately, she is a "traditionally built woman." So, s
...more
David Sarkies
Nov 03, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love satire
Recommended to David by: Stewart Wymer
Shelves: comedy
Pratchett takes us to the opera
4 November 2014

Since Margrat Garlick has gone on to do bigger and better things (such as ruling) the remaining two witches are at a loss as to who would fill the missing spot in their 'coven'. They did settle on Agnes, however it seems that she also has better things to do, such as run off to Anhk Morpork to become a world famous opera singer. There are a couple of problems with this though (not that she is unable to become an opera singer, despite the suggestion
...more
MisterFweem
The musical "Phantom of the Opera" used to drive me crazy. All that foppish flopping around with Christine being the sad weepy and yet easily manipulated girl who would run off and do whatever the creep with the dinnerware stuck to his face told him. I always figured if I were in the opera house and saw what was going on, I'd try to make Christine see the light.

Now, thanks to Agnes Nitt, I know that wouldn't have worked. But thank heaven for Terry Pratchett and Agness Nitt for taking Gaston Lero
...more
Callista
This is a fun take on the world of opera, with lots of sly, punny references to various works, plus a cute twist on The Phantom of the Opera. I really liked how Pratchett stripped all the highfallutin aspects away to reveal the absurdity.
Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg took on the big city and the opera in fine form, hilarious and crafty as ever.
I managed to guess the identity of the killer correctly, although I'd hoped I was wrong, since I rather liked the character.
While it was clear that A
...more
Brooke Banks
I loved this book. Gee, I say that about every Pratchett book, don't I?

Ah well, it can't be helped. Pratchett has his own unique wonderful style and is truly a master at his craft.

So many things that I loved about this book.

1. I love Agnes. Her struggles and voice was authentic for being an over-weight woman over shadowed by her skinny counter parts due to bias against over-weight people, especially women. I get the criticisms that her heaviness was talked about a lot, but that criticism doesn't
...more
Paul
Pratchett's Discworld novels are my favorite light reading. He takes bits of our society -- and our language -- and turns them upside-down, inside-out (and sometimes backwards in time) so he can hold them up to the reader with a conspiratorial grin. Pratchett's satire is exuberant, good-humored and, although it is wildly irreverent, doesn't feel disrespectful. Most of all, Pratchett is funny. I often find myself, well, not exactly laughing out loud, more like snorting noisily through my nose (sn ...more
Anthony Eaton
So, my revisiting-Terry-Pratchett's-back-catalogue continues....

I'd forgotten about this one, until I found it buried at the back of my shelves. Unlike a few of Pratchett's discworld books, like 'Mort' and 'Going Postal', this one had somehow failed to register in my memory the first time I read it.

Which is a pity, because it's a fantastic book, and I wish I'd re-read it earlier.

Before I go any further, though, I probably need to offer a small confession, of sorts. It's gonna hurt, too. Here it
...more
S K Gillespie
I love Terry Pratchett.

A few years ago I refused to read any of his books. Kids stuff, I thought, ugly covers (yes, I DO judge books by their covers. There should be a club for that) and too short for a decent story. Then one night I was stuck at a pub while my ex boyfriend was working and one of the other guards let me sit in his car, drink his guarana + caffeine drinks and fossick through all the crap on the floor. And I found Men at Arms. And because I was bored I read it. then I read another
...more
Mark Cain
Over the past two decades, I've read a number of Pratchett novels. I don't know how this one escaped my notice, but it's so much fun. Maskerade is a wonderful sendup of The Phantom of the Opera. Having seen the musical four times and the Lon Chaney silent classic twice, this made it great fun indeed. But also, I'm an opera fan, not a huge fan, understand, not of the ceiling variety, but more of the collapsible type that you'd slip up a sleeve when no one was looking. Maskerade does a great job o ...more
Rebecca Huston
A Discworld novel that I really enjoyed, filled with all of the oddball lore of the Opera world, not to mention a great riff on a certain musical that gets plenty of slapping about. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg make a reappearance, along with Greebo, as they track down a local girl by the name of Agnes Nitt, who has several talents of her own, not to mention having a great voice. Opera junkies will have a great time with this, along with Pratchett's own sly wit to move it along. Five stars ov ...more
Johann Coetzer
I must say this is probably my favorite of the witch series so far. It is full of mystery, murder, deception, crazy people and the occasional opera performance.
Maskerade has a great mix of a well organised and well run asylum for the criminal masterminds. We have the usual stern character of Granny Weatherwax and the lovable yet nutty Nanny Ogg, unfortunately Margrat is no more on account of being a royal now. But we see the coven that is not a coven, cause you can't have a coven of only two wi
...more
Stella Coulson
A humorous take upon Gaston Lerouxfamous novel The Phantom of the Opera which has been adapted into plays, silent movie, musical and many film adaptations. The story follows our heroine Agnes Nitt who struggles to be famous within the Opera House despite being the most talented person there. You see - Agnes has the gift of being able to vocalize two unique song performances simultaneously. In essence, she can harmonize with herself. The Opera House is not unaware of Agnes' talent but due to her ...more
Kaethe
2000
July 19, 2014

This was one of the first Discworld books I ever read, and I wouldn't recommend it as a good place to start. There's Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (and Greebo) which is to the good, but Death makes only a token appearance, and it isn't very kind. There's a fair amount of fat-bashing, and the pretty girl is presented as an absolute idiot, and the dancers don't eat (as if that weren't pretty much a condition of their employment). Plus it's a riff on Phantom of the Opera which is
...more
Lammoth
Гранде Опера - онова велико изкуство, което съдържа в себе си още няколко големи изкуства - театър, музика, танци, декори и пъстри костюми.

"Маскарад" е една забавна пратчетова закачка с операта, най-вече с легендарното произведение на Гастон Льору "Фантомът на операта", обект на стотици адаптации, а имената на една от пратчетовите героини - напълно бездарната, но много красива, руса, глупавичката Кристина, е пародия на главната героиня на Льору - Кристин. Запознатите с мюзикъла "Фантомът на опер
...more
MB
Reread once again 10/24/13: I think the interactions between Granny and Nanny in this are some of my favorites for the witches.

I confess, I always wish Pratchett would update us on Perdita/Agnes. I always feel sorry for her at the end of this book, and wish her future happiness...or at least, contentment with her lot. He seems to have switched over to Tiffany instead, and we know Tiffany is going to be fine. P/Agnes, not so much. I wish her (if that is what she wants) a fine young man who will
...more
Genie
There is no doubt that the Opera House of Ankh-Morpork is known for its off-beat musicals. An added attraction to these outrageous productions is the resident ghost. Ghostly activity seems go into overtime when the famous Enrico Basilica arrives on the scene. The ghost has the entire opera company terrorized. The only hope of getting things in order is to rid the theater of this pesky ghost. What better cover could witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg hope for while they work to convince Agne ...more
Alins

Nowadays I don't get all that many opportunities to open a new Terry Pratchett book. Countless years of reading him has left me patiently waiting for his next effort. So the discovery of one that I've missed is a moment to be treasured. So now, ten years after I should have read it, I've had the delight of reading Maskerade for the first time. Even better, it's a Lancre witches tale, starring the indomitable Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg, the original Benny Hill.

"Wait," you exclaim, "Where's
...more
Melanie
There's a ghost in the Ankh-Morpork opera house. Murder mystery/opera/cook-book...Nanny and Granny Weatherwax save the day again. I finished up this book with a real affection for Granny Weatherwax. I liked her before, but I appreciated her after. Same goes for the witches as characters; I'll take Granny Weatherwax over the wizard Ridcully any day of the week. And I think that the unexpectedly real dilemma over Right and Wrong her character experienced through the story (how is Granny Weatherwax ...more
Jc
This was not one of the Pratchett Discworld books that was recommended to me by the two friends who were listing their favorites. I think I know why -- all the inside jokes are about the world of opera, not the favorite haunt of many people these days. However, being a fan of opera, I did really enjoy this D'World episode. And I don't think it is just for opera fans -- it also has the Witches, the favorite characters of one of my friends. The Witches are always fun to follow, and they are very c ...more
Sam
While I didn't find this isn't as good as some of the other Discworld novels I still thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very entertaining and hysterically funny in parts. Pratchett has a knack for finding the funny side of things and this is no exception as he takes the well known story of the Phantom at the Opera and puts his own unique spin on it. Granny Weatherwax was her usual brilliant self and Death brought his customary dry wit. The only problem with this book, I think, was that some aspe ...more
হাঁটুপানির জলদস্যু
প্র্যাচেটের অন্য বইগুলোর তুলনায় একটু কম ধারালো, আগাম আন্দাজ করা যায় খানিকটা। কিন্তু কাহিনীর আড়ালে বলা গল্পটার জন্যে এই বইটার চার তারা প্রাপ্য। যারা মুখোশ পরা মানুষ অনেক দেখেছেন বা দেখেন, তাদের জন্যে অবশ্যপাঠ্য।
Lightreads
This was great, until I metaphorically threw it across the room. I love the witches books; they are wry and a little grim around the edges and about women's power and agency. And this one – about the Discworld opera – is calibrated to my taste and humor.

But if anyone can come up with a reading of the ending of this book which avoids either concluding that (1) mental disability is, in fact, all in the mind and if only he really wanted to he could be normal, or (2) mental disability should be eras
...more
Susan
It's hard to play favorites with Pratchett, but this is one of my favorite Discworld novels. Nanny Ogg thinks the Lancre witches should have a third witch, but the girl she picks, Agnes Nitt, has gone off to Ankh-Morpork, renamed herself Perdita, and gotten a job in the opera chorus. But strange things are happening, as the ghost of the opera has gone from a gentle encourager of the singers and musicians to a vicious killer. Nanny Ogg also has had a book of recipes and--um--anecdotes published, ...more
Cindy
Themes: music, magic, opera!
Setting: Ankh-Morpork

*Cue the dramatic music*

Lots of singing. Some ballet.

Enter the guy in the mask.

And the witches. That would be Nanny Ogg and Esmerelda Weatherwax.

Yes, just in case you hadn't guessed, this is the inspired twist of Phantom of the Opera, or just about any other opera type thing, and Discworld, courtesy of Terry Pratchett. If you have tried his humor, I don't really have to tell you anymore than this. If you haven't, and you like comedy, magic, or ope
...more
Doug
{When I challenged myself to this yearly reading challenge, an unspoken rule was that I would write a review for everything. Occasionally, that bogs down the process. I think I'll try and force myself to stick on one paragraph reviews except when necessary to expand upon something. Apologies for the rambles in advance...]

If you read Discworld books in order, you start out with a fairly gag-heavy fantasy critique and then you trip through a stage that you might call "Comedy of Ideas [which happen
...more
Richard Stueber
This is Terry Pratchett's take on "The Phantom of the Opera".
Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax desperately need a third witch so they can say "When shall we three meet again?" Their candidate is one of their hometown girls Agnes Nitt. Agnes has gone to Ankh-Morpork to pursue a career in opera under the name of Perdita X Dream, so Nanny and Granny are off to the big city to corral her. Nanny and Granny mind everybody else's business in this novel. And Nanny's cat Greebo has a featured role.
Agnes/Pe
...more
Meghan
I listened to this one on audio.


As always, Terry Pratchett's writing is hilarious, and the narrator adds a special something extra. As others have stated, this one is about Opera.

One of my favorite quotes:

[left in a letter]
Ahahahahaha! Ahahahaha! Aahahaha!
BEWARE!!!!!
Yrs sincerely
The Opera Ghost
....
"What sort of person," said Salzella patiently, "sits down and writes a maniacal laugh? And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his
...more
Emer Penny
I loved this book! It was so funny, the characters were engaging, the plot ate me up. I could go on and on, but I'll just skip to the one criticism I have.


The ending was a bit weak. It did do a good job in justifying itself, and certain parts were beautifully ironic, but I wish there was a better resolution to the opera house drama - I think Agnes should've had a better resolution. I think Christine and the ballerina's shouldn't have been treated so dismissively at the end, because I found thei
...more
Siria
This has always been one of my favourites of the Discworld novels, and I found (unsurprisingly) that having seen Phantom of the Opera since last I read this, that I got a lot more of the jokes. Pratchett's characterisation is, as always, spot on; mixing an often merciless skewering of human arrogance and failings with an always merciful compassion. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are always a joy to read, and there is no book or series of books more calculated to make me laugh.
Lee Broderick
I think this might be one of the better Discworld books, so it may come as a surprise that I'm only giving it three stars. There's a couple of reasons for that - firstly, I recently gave the same rating to The Darling Buds Of May and I can't honestly say that this was better or more enjoyable; secondly, I've never read, watched or in any other way interacted with The Phantom of the Opera . I'm simply not a fan of opera or musicals and consequently know very little about them.

This is a very well
...more
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After Wyrd Sisters? 15 101 May 05, 2014 03:41AM  
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1654
Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
...more
More about Terry Pratchett...
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1) Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29)

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“His progress through life was hampered by his tremendous sense of his own ignorance, a disability which affects all too few.” 123 likes
“Nanny's philosophy of life was to do what seemed like a good idea at the time, and do it as hard as possible. It had never let her down.” 120 likes
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