Discworld lives on in Unseen Academicals, the latest novel from Terry Pratchett. Delivering the trademark insight and humor readers the world over have come to expect from “the purely funniest English writer since Wodehouse” (Washington Post Book World), Unseen Academicals focuses on the wizards at Ankh-Morpork’s , who are reknowned for many things—sagacity, magic, and their love of teatime—as they attempt to conquer athletics.
Football, food, fashion and wizards collide in Pratchett's 37th Discworld novel (after 2007's Making Money), an affectionate satire on the foibles of sports and sports fans. The always out-of-touch wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University stand to lose a very big bequest unless they enter a team in a violent but popular street sport competition. As the wizards struggle to learn the game, aided by the university's hired help, Ankh-Morpork's ruler schemes to use the competition for his own purposes. 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.
Not at all
Sir Pterry does break out of his comfort zone and tackels a few new characters, rather than just going with the beloved members of the Watch, or the Lancre witches, but that does not mean it's a bad book. It's a good book, but it does not travel the same comfortable path that some of his others have done. I bought it, I liked it. Perhaps less well than Guards! Guards!, but it's still pretty good.
As a long time fan of Sir Pratchett I can only say that this book should not have been released. While it did have much of his trademark brilliance, it was scattered and confused. At best it comes off as an uninspired imitation of his earlier work.
Prachett Does It Again
Most of your favorite characters are back, and on the field! Leopards can change their shorts, and challenge stereotypes too.