A review by dark_reader
Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett

5.0

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg take on the Phantom of the Opera, opera and theater in general, and the publishing world in this tightly-plotted Discworld novel.

There were a couple of objectionable notes in the book, particularly glaring as this book came on the heels of [b:Interesting Times|884288|Interesting Times (Discworld, #17; Rincewind #5)|Terry Pratchett|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1430881376l/884288._SY75_.jpg|22431183] with its rampant stereotype-based humor. There are fat jokes throughout, but what struck me the hardest were two moments involving Nanny's cat Greebo. First, he has progressed from raping other animals to raping them in the bum, which he picked up during his foreign travels in [b:Witches Abroad|2442|Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12; Witches #3)|Terry Pratchett|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1403326937l/2442._SY75_.jpg|929672]. Second, this passage:
With a cat's unerring instinct for people who dislike cats he'd leapt heavily into their laps and given them the "young masser back on de old plantation" treatment.
I don't even know what that means, but it is cringe factor eleven.

Other than that, the book is superb! Great character work, especially properly introducing Agnes Nitt, great integration with the Ankh-Morpork setting and cameos from the Watch, and no story bloat. Pratchett's rolling, chapterless storytelling really seems to be hitting its peak with this and other mid-1990s books.

From page five onwards, it was obvious that the story wouldn't end "until the fat lady sings", and with that thought in my head I had an awful night of anxiety dreams framing this book as mounting cliches, although of course my anxiety wasn't about the book at all.