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Maskerade

Discworld, Book 18
Narrated by: Nigel Planer
Series: Discworld, Book 18, Discworld: Witches, Book 5
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
5 out of 5 stars (138 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The show must go on, as murder, music and mayhem run riot in the night.  

The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork, is a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely familiar evil mastermind in a hideously deformed evening dress.

At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn't hold with that sort of thing.

So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evening's entertainment, with murderous performances you can really hum).

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

Click here to see all the titles in our Terry Pratchett collection.
©1996 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)1999 Isis Publishing Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Cracking dialogue, compelling illogic, and unchained whimsy.... Pratchett has a subject and a style that is very much his own." (Sunday Times

What listeners say about Maskerade

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A very fun take on Phantom of the Opera

Having just finished reading "Phantom of the Opera", it was very fun to dip into this homage / reference to it. I think it would be enjoyable even if you didn't know the Phantom story, but it brings much more meaning and humour if you do.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful, wry, humorous storytelling

Somehow. Terry Pratchett books are even better read out loud. Such a wonderful parody of a famous musical.

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loved it!!!!

As usual great book. Master of creativity. As usual well performed, couldn't stop listening...audio book equivalent to I could not put it down!

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Yet another Prattchett masterpiece

The Narration was excellent and you have a smile on your face from start to Finnish. What’s more it has witches and an Organ player who works for peanut

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Terry Pratchett at his best

Absolutely loved this! Nigel gives his all to the reading and you can't help but enjoy it. Lots of giggles at Terry's clever writing. Thoroughly recommend!

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Excellent Story with a Talented Narrator

The narrator, Nigel Planer, once again brings Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, in this case "Masquerade", to life with his exquisitely exceptional ability to give each individual character their own unique voice which remains remarkably consistent throughout the novel. In "Masquerade", Pratchett is satirising the storyline and musical of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Phantom of the Opera' and if you haven't seen the film versions - the first with Sarah Brightman as 'Christine' and Michael Crawford as 'the Phantom', and the most recent version with Gerrard Butler as the 'Phantom' - you certainly should watch these. Once you have done so, your familiarity with the general story and the musicals in the films will most certainly be critical to enabling you to understand the nuances in "Masquerade", and to truly appreciate and enjoy Pratchett's sense of irony, dark humour, dry wit, and his satirisation of the plot as well as the central characters.

Pratchett manages to effortlessly insert the Lancre witches, Mistress Esmerelda Weatherwax and Nanny Gytha Ogg, as well as Agnes Nitt - who wants to be a professional singer rather than a witch - into the story of the 'Phantom of the Opera'. Nanny Ogg has sent her innovative recipes, ones that spice up the sex lives of those who partake of her unique combination of ingredients, to a Publishing House in Ankh-Morpork, under the pseudonym of "A Lancre Witch."
Esme Weatherwax is indignant, realising that not only will she, as the best known witch on the Discworld who lives in Lancre, be thought of as the book's author, but also with the fact that Nanny Ogg paid the Publisher a few dollars to print her book and that they're making thousands of dollars in profit from it without sending any royalties to Nanny Ogg.
Combined with this is Nanny Ogg who, when visiting Agnes Nitt's home in the hopes of persuading Agnes to train as a witch, realises that Agnes is walking into great danger in Agnes' involvement as an Opera singer at Ankh-Morpork's Opera House. After seeing this danger in the tea leaves of the cup of Agnes' mother, Nanny Ogg rushes directly to Esme Weatherwax who also recognises that Agnes is walking into a life-threatening situation. Add to this Esme Weatherwax's desire to obtain financial restitution for Nanny Ogg's book of recipes, "The Joy of Snacks", she sets off to Ankh-Morpork with Nanny Ogg. Thus begins an enthralling tale, told with the typical insight into people's minds and behaviours that characterises Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, and with Nigel Planer's gifts as a narrator bringing the story to life.

Overall, well worth five stars, and a Discworld audiobook you will enjoy listening to time and again.

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best reader

Nigel Planer is a gift to the listeners ear. 10/10 would recommend. Pratchett is not half bad either

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Great! <br />

Loved it, so amazing, my favourite out of all.
Just loved it so much. Amazing!

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Maskerade

Another highly amusing and entertaining Discworld tale involving operatic antics, Granny Weather wax, Nanny Ogg and a ghost.
Nigel Planer makes it thoroughly enjoyable

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Maskerade

One of my favourite Terry Pratchett books ready beautifully. No over the top voices, wonderful listening

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  • Naist
  • 08-07-2019

Awesome, just awesome

Well, the narration is perhaps not absolutely perfect, but it's not far off. A bit better quality would not have gone amiss.
But, the book, oh the book, it was awesome. I've been relistening to this part of the Disworld series (incl. Tiffany Aching), and I can't help loving every bit of it.

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  • Stef
  • 25-11-2018

Operettic

Pratchett has written a theatrical work performed brilliantly by Planer. Perfect amount of mischief and cheek to make the story a lot of fun.

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  • gosia101
  • 23-12-2017

Wonderful!!!

I loved it from beginning to end. Nigel Planner is at his very best reading Maskerade, and the story had me laughing and dying for more with every chapter. I listened to it again right after I finished it the first time.

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  • IrekKsiazek
  • 13-01-2017

Great, just great

Great book and wonderful performance. Wonderful story full of great bon mot, and narrative ideal.

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  • Opspin
  • 20-07-2015

This book flies

This is thoroughly enjoyable and time will fly by when you're listening.

Performance is wonderful, and the story is awesome!

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  • Kristin Stolpestad
  • 26-05-2015

Opera, murder and witches

I love Pratchett's witches, and this time in Ankh-Morkpork solving murder mysteries, looking for money and going to the opera. Very good story with lots of fun! Recommendable!!

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  • Derek
  • 06-08-2012

Classic Terry Pratchett

If you could sum up Maskerade in three words, what would they be?

Funny, Clever, Entertaining

Have you listened to any of Nigel Planer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I typically have enjoyed Nigel Planers reading of the Discworld novels, this performance does not disappoint!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed allowed on many occasions!

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  • Gil
  • 22-07-2014

Maskerade doesnt hit the high notes

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Shorten it by 100 minutes and bring in more of the regular Diskworld characters

Has Maskerade turned you off from other books in this genre?

No , but I will avoiid Terry Pratchett's other novels involving the witches

What didn’t you like about Nigel Planer’s performance?

I kept hearing Neil from "The Young Ones" moaning through the characters

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No way too long to support a totally predicable plot. I actualy got bored and switched to other audio books several times before I forced myself to finish this work

Any additional comments?

diskworld always should have appearnces , even cameos, by Lord Vetinari, Sam Vines and the Guards, CMOT Dibbler et al. and use less predicatble plagarised plots.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-08-2013

In the unlikely event you've never read Pratchett

I wasn't going to review Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, simply because he is such a well known author that everyone already knows that this book, like all the Discworld books, will be funny, imaginative and have everything you want in it to keep you coming back and re-reading year after year. Most Audible listeners also know that all the main narrators that read Pratchett's books (Stephen Briggs, Nigel Planer and Tony Robinson) are all amazing, bringing the book and it's characters to life in a way that earns their five star reviews.

If you are actually a new listener on the other-hand this might really help.

Firstly despite the order they were written in my suggestion would be to start with the guards series. Pratchett has developed a complicated world with several in jokes and this is an easy way to enter it, as the books introduce the reader to the main city from which much of the action takes place. The guards series is arguably one of the most popular and after the first book has a strong cast of both male and female characters. I should warn that some of the other series' books are set before the events in the Watch novels but I still found this the most accessible way, into this vast fictional world.

The order of the guards books are Guards Guards, Men at Arms, Feet Of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night watch, Thud and Snuff (there are also spin off books that are mentioned in the series). From there you can either start reading the witches novels if you prefer female leads, Rincewind if you prefer male or stay in the city with some of what are often refer to as the `industrial' novels like The Truth, Going Postal and Making Money. Guides to reading order can easily be found on the net if you don't want to go by publication date.

I would also think twice before buying the abridged versions. Tony Robinson as a narrator is brilliant but so are the other narrators and a lot of the plot and humor is cut to fit so much into such a short time. I've listened to most of them and I'd personally go with unabridged every time.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 18-02-2009

The best so far

Not sure if I should be reviewing this as I actually got my copy from the library rather than Audible so can't comment on the download quality. I have downloaded many Terry Pratchett titles though and the witches books have always been my favourites. This story was the funniest so far and is much faster paced than the others. Nigel Planer really has got all the voices perfect for me now. I would recommend this very highly. Next Carpe Jugulum!!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 03-01-2011

AN ABSOLUTE BLAST!

Maskerade is one of the funniest Terry Pratchett audiobooks i've heard. This unabridged version, narrated by the chameleon voiced Nigel Planer is a joy from the first minute to the last. Great story, wonderful plot, and buckets full of laughs. Planer's character voices make the story come alive and add to the hillarity of the proceedings. I listened to this as my nightly bedtime story, and slept with a smile on my face!

4 people found this helpful

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  • DL
  • 16-08-2018

Great story but...

I do love this story and the reading is ok. Nigel Planers voices are a bit 'Neil' like but you get used to it. I great.y enjoy listening to this, i have listened to it many times. I just wish Sir TP would have just stopped mentioning every few sentences that Agnes is fat.. we know she is, it just irks me that he felt the need to go on and on about it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nina
  • 21-05-2017

Nigel Planer gives a remarkable performance.

Sir Terry Pratchett's imagination and flawless writing go beyond any rating one could give to "Maskerade". I think it has just became my favourite book in the series! The author's eclectic take on things is left to run riot, creating a sprawling patchwork of humor. If you're someone who likes Pratchett's brand of fun, I promise you, your tummy will ache from laughing by the end.

This book is fast paced and gives you an impression that you're a part of a humorous mystery adventure.
It features new characters and welcomes some old 'Discworld' friends, among them the Witches, whom on their quest to search the justice, accompanied by Greebo - the cat(?!), cause endless mischief. You would not like to stand on their way - but I shall say no more so as not to spoil the story.

Nigel Planer's narration is remarkable and I cannot find the right worlds to complement it enough. I'm under the impression that he really enjoyed and loved performing this book, he is that good. It is hard to believe that one person can give so many characters a unique voice. A truly outstanding performance.

All I can say is 'thank you" for this wonderful audiobook and that the discworld "show must go on".

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  • Swordflasher
  • 19-07-2020

Brilliant of course<br />

I tried to find a pratchett book I've not read or heard, this must be the last. Excellent.

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  • Amy
  • 13-07-2020

Brilliant

A brilliant recording from Nigel Planer! A fantastic and entertaining listen but it’s a real shame with all the technology available today that this recording couldn’t be split into chapters. I find that really frustrating as I often use the sleep timer!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-06-2020

love pratchett

love the witches series and loved masquerade very entertaining, witty and laugh out loud in parts. would highly recommend

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  • Irene
  • 17-04-2020

Great version

Nigel plainer dose a good naration in this unabridged version of a Cineworld classic :-)

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  • Claire Latham Ollie's Wife
  • 15-04-2020

Another delightful instalment of the witches

Classic STP
Awesome
Funny, clever and fast moving
Excellent characters, Granny and Nanny never fail to delight!
STP has the ability to make you laugh while making you think and reflect at the same time.