April 24, 2003

Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett

I like Pratchett's books. I especially like the Witch series he writes. They crack me up.

This one has Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax looking for a third witch to replace Magrat, now Queen of Lancre. It's the maiden-mother-crone requirement for having a coven. The most likely candidate for maiden, Agnes Nitt, who calls herself Perdita because it sounds so much better than Agnes, has gone to Ankh Morpokh to find herself. After a series of false starts, she finds herself in the chorus of the Opera. And of course the Opera house has a ghost with a white mask who unfortunately has taken to killing folks. And Agnes is extremely, well, large but sings like a diva, so Pratchett gets to get in all sorts of fat lady jokes. And then there is the fake Italian Opera Star who eats constantly. And Nanny Ogg has written a cookbook called "The Joy of Snacks" that has recipes guaranteed to make your blood boil and other parts heat up nicely. It's sold tons of copies with virtually no money coming back to Nanny Ogg so Granny Weatherwax takes the matter in hand and they go to see the publisher, in Ankh Morpokh, of course. And they take Nanny's cat Greebo along who in times of stress morphs into a man, unfortunately naked. And there is the delightful scene where Granny plays poker with Death to save the life of a child and cheats to win. And then does some chiropractic work on his arm bones that are tired from swinging the scythe. In order to get Agnes back to Ramtops they have to work out who the Ghost of the Opera is and why he is killing people. And it goes from there.

None of that is any kind of order from the book. Pratchett books are often hilarious vignettes tied together with a funny plot line. This one was good. Especially the ending. I really liked the ending.

Posted by Deb English at April 24, 2003 08:54 PM