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Unseen Academicals (2009)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: Rincewind (8), Discworld (37)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,0691641,500 (3.9)234
The wizards of Unseen University in the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else. As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed forever.
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» See also 234 mentions

English (160)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (164)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
The wizards of Unseen University play football. This is humorous, clever, sharply observant about people -- very much what I’ve come to expect from Pratchett. I enjoyed it a lot.

(I’ve been thinking about the level of character growth in these books. My impression is that Pratchett includes the right amount for the story he is telling; he nearly always focuses on a cast of characters, some of whom are invariably firmly settled into their identities and their place in the world -- and the way he portrays them, his insight into what people like this are like, is absolutely one of the strengths of his stories. But it makes for a different reading experience from something which focuses nearly exclusively on characters whose circumstances, relationships and understanding of the world is changing significantly.

So Glenda and Nutt could have become characters whom I felt more intensely invested in... but that would have likely required this story becoming a different book.) ( )
  Herenya | Sep 23, 2020 |
This is enjoyable read. Wish it was a bit shorter. There are charters from previse Dicsworld books I read and some new characters that may have appear in Dicsworld books I have not read yet.
As far the story being funny, I got a few laughs at it, not as much as the older Dicsworld books.
Doesn't make it less enjoyable. ( )
  AnnaBookcritter | Sep 15, 2020 |
This is enjoyable read. Wish it was a bit shorter. There are charters from previse Dicsworld books I read and some new characters that may have appear in Dicsworld books I have not read yet.
As far the story being funny, I got a few laughs at it, not as much as the older Dicsworld books.
Doesn't make it less enjoyable. ( )
  AnnaBookcritter | Sep 15, 2020 |
I've never been a sports fan, unless I were actually doing the sport in question, but I found a discworld adaptation of a sport completely apropo and more than a little snide. Fortunately for those of us who don't care too much about sports in-general, the reoccurring characters more than make up for the intrusion. I will always enjoy these series of books because they're gentle and wise and so wise-cracking and quite un-genteel.
I think, for lack of a large cast of favorite Orcish characters in my life, I feel I'll be doing an injustice in calling Nutt my favorite Orcish of them all. That being said, I find him to freaking fantastic and smart and courageous and hope he'll be around for at least a few more books.
I suppose I got into the book a bit more because I knew it was a satire of sports, but more so because I really enjoyed the developing aspects of the modern city of Ankh-Morpork and how close it really seems to resemble London... Hmmm... :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I've read almost twenty Pratchett's books by now, several of them more than once; this one was new to me, but I would place it amongst the top third. Somewhat oddly, as I'm not at all interested in football; then again, I am quite interested in underdogs and fighting prejudices. (And humour, but then I'm yet to come across an unfunny Discword novel.) ( )
  Stravaiger64 | Mar 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
That professors are impractical, though, is rather old information. It's said that Einstein couldn't remember where he parked his car, but isn't it more important that he came up with the special theory of relativity? The stylistic razzle-dazzle notwithstanding, rehashing a cliche gets tiresome because whether it's a game or a novel, fans want to be surprised.
 
I wouldn't call this the best Discworld novel ever. But it's in the top five.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Nov 11, 2009)
 
The secret of Terry Pratchett's comic fantasy isn't so much the wackiness of the fantasy as the reliability of the comedy. The very least you get in any of these 400 pages is amiable, agreeable chuntering, and there is an instructively regular provision of terrific lines.
added by Shortride | editThe Guardian, Harry Ritchie (Oct 24, 2009)
 
This is the 37th in a body of work so vast that it has spawned its own concordance, yet the quality remains as high as ever and the laughs as plentiful.
 
Though the book suffers from a few awkward moments (Pratchett’s attempts to discuss racism through the strained relationships of dwarves, humans and goblins fall particularly flat), the prose crackles with wit and charm, and the sendups of league football, academic posturing, Romeo and Juliet and cheesy sports dramas are razor sharp and hilarious but never cruel. At its heart, this is an intelligent, cheeky love letter to football, its fans and the unifying power of sports.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 31, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ring, JonathanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This book is dedicated to Rob Wilkins, who typed most of it and had the good sense to laugh occasionally.

And to Colin Smythe for his encouragement.

The chant of the goddess Pedestriana is a parody of the wonderful poem 'Brahma' by Ralph Waldo Emerson, but of course you knew that anyway.
First words
It was midnight in Ankh-Morpork's Royal Art Museum.*
Quotations
It is a well-known fact in any organization that, if you want a job done, you should give it to someone who is already very busy. It has been the cause of a number of homicides, and in one case the death of a senior director from having his head shut repeatedly in quite a small filing cabinet.
"If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior." (Veterinari)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

The wizards of Unseen University in the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else. As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed forever.

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Book description
Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork. And now the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else.

The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt (and no one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too). As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed for ever.

Because the thing about football – the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.

Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!
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