Thursday, August 19, 2010

Unseen Academicals ~ Terry Pratchett

"The thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football."

Series: Discworld #37
Published: 2009
Pages: 400
Where I got it from: Library
First Line: "It was midnight in Ankh Morpork's Royal Art Museum.*
*technically, the city of Ankh Morpork is a Tyranny, which is not always the same thing as a monarchy, and in fact even the post of Tyrant has been somewhat redefined by the incumbent, Lord vetinari, as the only form of democracy that works."


When Vetinari strongly encourages the wizards to renew the timeless tradition of football, it's understood that drastic measures must be taken. Mr. Nutt, a candle dribbler at the university, is called up from the basement to coach the new football team. No one knows anything about him (not even himself), and he looks like a goblin, but when the selection of cheeses at teatime is at stake, anything goes.

Meanwhile an unlikely romance is sparked between Trevor Likely (Nutt's street urchin boss with a hidden talent for kicking cans), and the new kitchen maid Juliet (drop-dead gorgeous with an IQ that would make a troll sympathetic). Juliet's best friend Glenda tries to stave Trev off while at the same time befriending Mr. Nutt, and bossing the wizards around from her Night Kitchen domain.

As the match draws near, everyone gets more and more tangled up in things that have nothing - or everything - to do with football.


Wow. I love Terry Pratchett. So much.
I mean, SO much.

I don't even like sports, but this was fantastic! The biggest hurdle I had to overcome with this book was getting over my North-Americanism, where football has everything to do with just shoving people around and hitting hard, so what was the big deal with how the game was before the wizards stepped in? Oh, right. Football. And Pratchett's...British. Got it. I can keep up, really I can!

His characters are what get me every time. All of them, even Juliet (who by all rights should have ticked me off), were lovable in their own way. Glenda was a peach, Nutt was adorable, the wizards did not disappoint, I wanted to hug Pepe all the time, and Trev? I could have happily kidnapped Trev and kept him in my basement forever. He was that good.

I don't know, the books about the wizards are usually my least favourite Discworld books. Maybe it's because Rincewind gets on my nerves, maybe I have a deep psychological problem when it comes to talking about school, maybe I'm just prejudiced against pointy hats. Whatever the reason, it didn't surface this time. Even Rincewind had his "OMG I LOVE YOU" moment:

"I would like permission to fetch a note from my mother, sir."
Ridcully sighed. "Rincewind, you once informed me, to my everlasting puzzlement, that you never knew your mother because she ran away before you were born. Distinctly remember writing it down in my diary. Would you like another try?"
"Permission to go and find my mother?"

I gave it four stars out of five. Because I can.


Some Good Quotes:

"I see evil when I look in my shaving mirror. It is, philosophically, present everywhere in the universe in order, apparently, to highlight the existence of good. I think there is more to this theory, but I tend to burst out laughing at this point."

"I would not like it thought that I do not buy my own paperclips, sir. I enjoy owning my own paperclips. It means they are mine."

"The female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord."
Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. "Well, of course it is.
It has to deal with the male one."


  1. Dude. Now I deeply regret not buying this on the weekend. CURSE YOU AND MAKING ME REGRET, KEMENDRAUGH.

    *heavy sigh*

    (Which is to say, wonderful review, love. :D I really like your format.)

  2. Hahaha those quotes are great! Pratchett is lovely.

  3. This book was awesome, and well Pratchett is awesome. Enough said!

    I can't wait till next month for the fourth Tiffany Aching book :)

    P.S. Thanks for joining up on my Book Buying Ban in September. It will be a blast, I promise!

  4. @Snazel - So glad you approve, love :D It's all thanks to your gentle encouragement (that is to say, dogged nagging XD)

    @Bahnree - Well, it's ME. I had to put in quotes! Hah, at first I was just going to put one at the beginning, right? Then I found more, and I was all, "Oh, well I'll just put them at the end." And then *sigh* They even worked their way into the main body of my review. Clever, sneaky quotes.

    @agirlreads - Oh man, I totally forgot it's only a month till it comes out! *bounces* I'm so excited!
    And I KNOW it's going to be a blast. Hard, but a blast :) This will be good for me! This will build character!