Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Book Review: Unseen Academicals

Unseen Academicals

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Publisher: Corgi

Category: Fantasy

Challenges: Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge, R.I.P. V Challenge

Synopsis: How can one write a synopsis for a Terry Pratchett book? I I feel like it is trying to herd cats. So bare bones here we go: It is about finding out about yourself. And also about how to make the street brawling previously known as football into a more elegant game played by gentlemen like the wizards, also about pie. And love. And fashion. But in a very Ankh-Morpork way.

My Thoughts: I loved the message of love and acceptance in this book. Acceptance of others but above all acceptance of oneself. And also not judging a book by its cover. All this done with Pratchett’s usual humour and insight.

As I said way back when in my Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge introductory post I wanted to read this book partially because of my life long love for football (or to use classic Pratchett Foot-the-ball). And I wasn’t disappointed. The explanation of the off-side rule was just brilliant! Not to mention the discussion of fans and who is really in charge of the game.

I will admit that I have not read these books in any sort of sequence (publishing or otherwise) but I had no problem following along in the sequence of things. The wizards, with the Archchancellor always in the lead, really need no explanation. Add to that the fact that the wizards are really background characters, and it matters little if you have read the previous books. The main characters in this book are (I believe) pretty new to the series, and if not that then expertly presented in this book. 

Although this book deals with football I don’t want the non-sports fans out there to shy away from it because of it. It is much more about other things. The football aspect is (and please excuse me, I’m about to put to use my behavioural psychology classes to use) much more about the dynamics of team work, about establishing new rules for old things and as I said in the introduction about finding and accepting yourself. All themes (and now the English teacher hat goes on) that are familiar to anyone, regardless of how you feel about sports.

Overall this was a fantastic book one I really recommend (even though Death only makes a cameo in it)!

Purchase Unseen Academicals from BookDepository



Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North. This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Shy said...

The only reason I stay away from Discworld series is because of the numbers of books in it. Though this particular one looks like a very interesting read especially because I am a big fan of football. Perhaps I should check this one out without bothering about the other books in the series, lol.

Anyways, hope you have a great day and I'm here from the Book Party Wednesday!

Kailana said...

I had high hopes of reading all kinds of Pratchett this year and it hasn't happened at all... One day I will get through a bunch of his stuff!

Kate said...

Really great review, it made me want to read the book all over again! (A moment of plug, sorry, I reviewed it here.) I really enjoyed how, even though Unseen Academicals was ostensibly about a "lighter" subject of sports, it really hit the nerves of classism and belonging filtered through that TP wit.

I don't think I've read any of the books in order, which has worked out just fine. Sometimes it's nice in order to see the progression of some characters - Sam Vimes comes to mind - but otherwise there's no need to.