This year I am taking part in the Sir Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge and the Summer in Discworld: Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge!! My father brought this book last year as a holiday read and loved it. Unseen Academicals is the thirty-seventh addition to the Discworld series of novels written by the legendary fantasy author Terry Pratchett published in 2009. Having raided mine, my father’s, and my grandmother’s bookshelves I have found a good amount of Discworld novels that I could read. Something about the title though drew me to this one, so I thought no better place to continue.
Ponder Stibbons is an intelligent and ordered young man who is quite at odds with the rest of the faculty at the Unseen University. During one of his many delves into the university’s archives Ponder discovers a tradition the wizards have forgotten (most likely purposely forgotten). Unfortunately for the wizards this tradition is in exchange for a large financial endowment from a local wealthy estate. Either the wizards must cut down to only three meals a day or play a game of football…and really that’s no choice at all. As Archancellor Ridcully tries to form a team they find help from some of the most unexpected people including; Glenda a maker of ‘jolly good pies’ from their night kitchen, her beautiful but simple friend Juliet, Trev Likely son of the most famous football player in Ankh-Morpork, and Mr Nutt who well not even Mr Nutt really knows who Mr Nutt is. And so the Unseen Academicals are born the only problem for the wizards is no magic is allowed…
Unseen Academicals is the longest Pratchett novel I think I’ve read, it certainly wasn’t one I could have finished off in one night however this did also mean it was the most detailed I think I’ve ever read. I particularly loved the extensive collection of characters that the story managed to incorporate. The wizards were already some of my favourite characters from previous reads but this book also introduced a tonne of new characters, too many to list in fact! The subject of football was also a hilarious choice. Whether you are a fan of the sport or not you will know enough from popular culture to see how funny it is to see Discworld’s version of it. Never fear if football really isn’t your thing either this book pokes quite a lot of fun at it plus has plenty of other sub-plots going on at the same time. For me the book was stolen by the conundrum which is Mr Nutt, I won’t say anymore and ruin it though.
I highly recommend Unseen Academicals for existing Discworld fans as it is a longer and I thought quite a unique addition to the world we love already. Probably wouldn’t recommend this one to new readers. After a little research found out that Sky have bought the rights to this book, so fingers crossed Unseen Academicals will be coming to the little screen soon!