In the tenth part of Maskerade, Nanny earns some money, the witches go shopping, and a new suspect crops up. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
SO MUCH AWESOME IN JUST ONE SECTION, Y’ALL.
There’s a clever skewering of publishing culture here, and I wonder how much of it is from Pratchett’s own experience with people trying to exploit his writing. I don’t know what sort of arrangement he had with his publisher, but even if nothing ever happened to him personally, I’m sure he had friends who did not get the best treatment by their publishers. I KNOW SOME STORIES, TOO. It’s just amazing to me that Pratchett hits on so many of the terrible things creators are told by their bosses as to why they can’t be paid.
I LITERALLY HEARD SOME OF THESE THINGS FROM THE POWERS-THAT-BE WHEN I WAS AT BUZZNET. That includes being told that the economy had never been worse (……the Great Depression?????), that finances were so difficult that they were going to have to make major cuts (and a week later, the company signed a massive, million-dollar ad campaign and hired an entirely new department and acquired another company), that no one was reading long-form articles on the Internet (despite that Mark Reads Harry Potter was the single highest-read blog on the entire site), and finally, that any ad revenue my writing made must be split evenly between all those who helped me (I wrote all the posts myself and put them up myself, and I had a notoriously difficult time getting the Advertising or Engineering department to ever pay attention to me, yet they got the benefits of my work).
SO I RELATE TO THIS A LOT.
“Indeed? What’s going to happen in thirty seconds?”
Granny told him.
WHAT DID SHE SAY??? I WANT TO KNOW!!!
Each new letter from the Ghost brings me NO CLOSER to determining his identity. Obviously, the ghost wants the best of Christine, but has not figured out that Agnes is the one he’s teaching and who is singing on stage. Which is weird! The Opera Ghost is so observant otherwise, so why not now?
But the letter is not the most significant part of this scene. Y’all, I was so confused by the way Bucket reacted to Walter, and now my brain can’t let go of the idea. Ahem:
“He’s harmless enough, if that’s what you mean. Some of the stagehands and musicians are a bit cruel to him… you know, sending him out for a tin of invisible paint or a bag of nail holes and so on. He believes what he’s told. Why?”
“Oh… I just wondered. Silly, really.”
OKAY, DOES BUCKET SUSPECT WALTER? I mean, the motive is spelled out right there: Walter is teased by everyone. He’s lonely. He’s always in the Opera House. He knows it better than pretty much everyone. WHAT THE FUCK. I DON’T LIKE WHAT THIS BOOK IS MAKING ME THINK.
Nanny and Granny Spend a Night on the Town
Look, I am just so pleased with the ridiculous spending spree that these two witches go on in order to convince the Opera House to sell them Box Eight for that night’s performance. It is comically absurd, y’all. They still don’t know if the box can even be bought period, yet Nanny pays for Granny to do the following things.
1) Go to Madame Dawning’s bougie, niche, and hilarious dress shop, where Granny announces that she will overpay for a dress that is being made for the Dowager Duchess of Quirm. (I love this scene A Lot.)
2) Purchase all the necessary accessories so that Granny can truly pull off being Lady Esmerelda Weatherwax. (The name sounds so important!)
3) GET A MANI/PEDI AND HER MAKE-UP DONE. If you have not experienced the soothing perfection of a mani/pedi, GO GET ONE. OH MY GOD, THEY ARE AMAZING.
4) Look sickening. I get that Granny has no taste for make-up, so it was especially funny to me that she looked great with it on.
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT SHE DOES WHILE IN THIS ROLE.
You know, I don’t feel like I have a good grasp on André as a character because I know so little about him. I’m thankful for the conversation that Agnes has with him, though. I tend not to like fantasy or science fiction stories where people just don’t ask questions or don’t talk to other people about what’s going on. Agnes is not that shy about it, and her convo with André made it clear that she wants to track down the Ghost and figure out who he is. She does this while knowing that people are dying around her for… for what? No one knows why the Ghost is killing people. Indeed, Agnes rejects the notion that the Ghost is the one committing the murders:
On the other hand… someone was teaching her to sing at night. A mysterious person sang songs on the stage when everyone had gone home. She tried to think of that voice belonging to someone who killed people. It didn’t work. Maybe she’d caught some of the fog and didn’t want it to work. What sort of person could have that feel for music and kill people?
Answer: I genuinely don’t know. Unfortunately, Agnes’s scene in this section lays even more suspicion at Walter Plinge’s feet, since she discovers that the whole crew has been using his name as a inside joke in the program for “a role [a castmember would [rather not be remembered in.” Then, she overhears Mrs. Clamp in the kitchens, insulting Walter at the top of her lungs, and SERIOUSLY, THIS BOOK IS GIVING THIS KID EVERY MOTIVATION TO WANT TO KILL PEOPLE IN THE OPERA HOUSE.
Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in the Young Wizards series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:
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