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Unseen Academicals (Discworld) by Terry…

Unseen Academicals (Discworld) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Terry Pratchett

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4,5881591,534 (3.91)222
Title:Unseen Academicals (Discworld)
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Harper (2009), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett (2009)

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English (155)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (159)
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
Pratchett gets better and better with every book in the series. Now you'll be noting my four stars.

The reason for the absence of that last star is that even though 'Unseen Academicals' shows more complexity and craft, this is a bit of a throwback book for the series. This is a "Wizards" book and the Faculty generally serve as commentators on the main action played out by, if not Rincewind, than another set of characters. Much like 'Soul Music's Imp y Celan or 'Moving Picture's Victor Tugelbend, Mr. Nutt is the main character here, with Glenda, Trevor and Juliet supporting him.

The difference here, is that Pratchett does a better job of shoring up these temporary main characters than he has in the past, and, most importantly, the ostensible main subject of football doesn't override the necessity of the story. Football is an important part of the story, but Pratchett addresses the nature of prejudice and evil in a more direct way than he did with the Trolls, Dwarfs, Werewolves, and Vampires. They had, in a way, been softened up beforehand with numerous examples readily available. Mr. Nutt is alone against all the weight of rumor, legend and tradition.

It's still amazing to me how Pratchett can juggle such weighty issues and still so clearly be having a grand time of it. Sports, especially football (of the unstatesian variety), is such a big deal its surprising that it took so long for him to get around to it. Gratifying to, since now Pratchett has built up his powers enough to do the subject justice.

As I said, this book can be seen as a retread for the series, but Prachett has also used it to build up his universe in a variety of ways, not the least of which is the introduction of a whole new race, expanding on the (by statute) evil Dr. Hix, more wins in the battle of the sexes and sexuality, and the long-awaited meeting of Lady Margolotta and Vetinari, among new, now usual, insights into people's interactions with each other. It's a lot for a single book to cover. And all, more or less, from a book that really started for me with the echoing cry: "Ho, The Megapode!"

Having finished this, I have only the rest of the Tiffany Aching series and the publication of 'Snuff' to go before I've run out Discworld, which is going to be a kick in the pants for sure.


Next: 'I Shall Wear Midnight'

Previous: 'Making Money' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Football, wizards and fashion. And one orc. Good story, but the theme of another race going from discriminated against to accepted (dwarves, trolls, werewolves, vampires, golems, now orcs...) is getting a bit tired. ( )
  Griffin22 | Dec 28, 2018 |
Probably the weakest of the later Pratchett, but definitely worth a read. ( )
  jonsweitzerlamme | Nov 28, 2018 |
Football, love sonnets and Romeo and Juliet. Sort of. Only Terry Pratchett could meld these subjects and several more seamlessly. We meet a new type of character in this book, Mr. Nutt. One of my very favorites so far. I love the mystery surrounding him and all his potential, but for what we are not sure. Lord Vetinari has several memorable bits in this, my favorite being a glimpse of him drunk. This was a fine book, in my opinion, one I will read again and again. ( )
  MrsLee | Nov 18, 2018 |
Pratchett tackles football, and scores. Mr Nutt and Glenda are strong characters, and the wizards benefit from a bit of rivalry. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 155 (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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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.*
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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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!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061161705, Hardcover)

The wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University are renowned for many things—wisdom, magic, and their love of teatime—but athletics is most assuredly not on the list. And so when Lord Ventinari, the city's benevolent tyrant, strongly suggests to Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully that the university revive an erstwhile tradition and once again put forth a football team composed of faculty, students, and staff, the wizards of UU find themselves in a quandary. To begin with, they have to figure out just what it is that makes this sport—soccer with a bit of rugby thrown in—so popular with Ankh-Morporkians of all ages and social strata. Then they have to learn how to play it. Oh, and on top of that, they must win a football match without using magic.

Meanwhile, Trev (a handsome street urchin and a right good kicker) falls hard for kitchen maid Juliet (beautiful, dim, and perhaps the greatest fashion model there ever was), and Juliet's best pal, UU night cook Glenda (homely, sensible, and a baker of jolly good pies) befriends the mysterious Mr. Nutt (about whom no one knows very much, including Mr. Nutt, which is worrisome . . .). As the big match approaches, these four lives are entangled and changed forever. Because the thing about football—the most important thing about football­—is that it is never just about football.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:26 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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