Terry Pratchett Book Review: Unseen Academicals

August 25, 2015 Blog, Book Reviews 1

Terry Pratchett Book Review: Unseen AcademicalsUnseen Academicals (Discworld, #37) by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #37
Published by Doubleday on January 1st 1970
Narrator: NIgel Planner
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Satire
Pages: 400
Source: Purchase
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The 37th Discworld novel is set against a backdrop of the culture of soccer football in magical Ankh-Morpork city. Not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. The wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic. 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 ever, and the mysterious Mr Nutt, who knows less about himself than others do. Four lives are entangled and changed forever.

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My Thoughts

Unseen Academicals is another book set in the middle of Ankh Morpork. This book, however, starts out with characters that are unknown in the series. They are in Unseen University so the wizards, Ridcully, Rincewind, Ponder, the Librarian, and more, are all there.

The wizards always seem to set the stage. They are interesting, intelligent (most of them), and enjoy a good laugh and lots of food. Having the stage in UU allows the reader to sit back and enjoy a scene in a place we’ve all come accustomed to. Or if this is your first time reading about Ankh Morpork, you will know right from the start that you are in for a treat!

In this we are introduced to Nutt. He is a small little guy, not quite human but nobody knows exactly how to address him. He shows that he is intelligent from the start by knowing when to and when not to speak up! Straight away I was endeared to him. He is such a fun and very loving character and wants nothing but the best for his fellow Ankh Morporkians.

Trever is a friend of Nutt’s and is trying to show him the ropes, at least until he gets besotted by Juliet. Sadly Juliet is cheering for the wrong team leaving these two to set out a love affair that is ridden with danger and intrigue! Much like Romeo and Juliet they have to find a way to spend time together without letting their mates know.

Glenda is my favorite in this. She is a friend of Juliet’s but unlike the gorgeous and striking Juliet, Glenda is just fair. She is a hard worker and does not mind working late hours as the cook at Unseen University. But she also tends to mother Juliet. She catches herself quite a few times and realizes but it’s just her way.

The entire book is done in Pratchett’s fabulous satirical way with a mix of Shakespeare in for fun. The ending is fascinating and will leave lovers of Ankh Morpork even more in love with the city and people there. It’s not one of my favorites but there is just not much to put down in this.

In short: Fantastic writing (as per usual for Terry Pratchett) and can be picked up out of order.

  1. Moving Pictures
  2. The Truth
  3. Monstrous Regiment
  4. Going Postal
  5. Making Money
  6. Unseen Academicals
  7. Raising Steam


The Author

About Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 39 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry's latest book, Snuff, was published in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 45 million copies (give or take a few) and have been translated into 33 languages.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett admitted to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.


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