Agnes Nitt, remade as Perdita X, has left the tiny village of Lancre
behind in favor of the bright city lights of Ankh-Morpork. No way
will she wind up like her mother baking perfect apple pies while small
children cling to her skirts. No way will she get sucked into the
local witches' coven just because it's her destiny. No,
it's the stage for Agnes, who is bound and determined to sing the socks
off of the auditions board at the Ankh-Morpork Opera House.
for Agnes, this is the century of the Fruitbat and looks far outweigh
musical talent when selecting the newest operatic diva. It's bad
enough to be passed over as a lead because of her size, but to have to be
the voice behind an unmusical yet beautiful slip-of-a-girl is the outside
of enough! Add to this the fact that the Opera House seems to be
haunted by an odd specter who on the one hand wants to train Agnes to sing
even better than she does now, but who also goes 'round killing various
members of the cast and crew for no apparent reason. And to top it all
off, those gruff but lovable Lancre witches have come to town to try and
lure Agnes back home.
Whatever is a
witch-diva to do?!
worked for me:
silliness, especially well-crafted silliness! This is why my home is filled with books by Piers
Anthony, Robert Asprin, Douglas Adams, and Terrys Pratchett and Brooks.
And also why I can recite several Monty Python skits verbatim.
Size-wise Agnes/Perdita is clearly abundant, as is one of the secondary
male characters. However, this book is frustrating in that it is
filled with mixed messages where size is concerned. On the one hand
we frequently hear about how long it takes for some portions of Agnes to
arrive at any given destination, and also about her "great hair and nice
personality". And yet there are several instances where you suspect the
author is subtly making fun of this type of thinking.
What didn't work for me:
this book up years (we're talking a decade or more, here) after my last
encounter with a Discworld novel. Not that I am saying that "Maskerade"
can't stand on its own, but I think it would have helped if I had
refreshed my memory on the series first. If you don't feel like
reading all 18 of the books preceding "Maskerade", you can get a brief
overview of the series
enjoyed this wacky story for the most part, and the only thing that
brought it down for me was the overuse of stereotypes. (Not just
with the large people, either. The slender, slinky gal in this book
was an absolute bubblehead cliché!)
Warning: I caution you, if you aren't in the mood to
wade through fat jokes and deal with a bit of weight-loss, if absurd humor is not for you,
or if "The Phantom of the Opera" parodies are nothing short of blasphemy
in your eyes then you might
want to give this book a pass. But if you adore bizarre humor and
want to try and puzzle out the author's feelings toward fat, you might
actually find this light reading material to be rather thought-provoking.
If you liked "Maskerade"
and could over look its faults size-wise, you might also enjoy
"Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and "Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul".
Have you read
this book and have a comment to
make on it? Join a discussion about the book at the Dangerous Curves
or submit a review
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