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[ Read pdf ] Unseen AcademicalsAuthor Terry Pratchett –

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 Unseen University, Who Are Reknowned For Many Things Sagacity, Magic, And Their Love Of Teatime As They Attempt To Conquer Athletics

10 thoughts on “Unseen Academicals

  1. says:

    Soccer Or futbol, or football, or whatever.Terry Pratchett has created a sports novel, or not, or whatever.Yes, Lord Vetenari has agreed to allow a disorganized sport for ruffians and street thugs to have rules and even develop a league of sorts Like crime, if there is going to be sports, it should at least be organized.The 37th Discworld novel, first published in 2007 is about sports, but like all of Pratchett s books, Sir Terry stuffs a Librarian OOK sized amount of charisma, philosophy, and human nature into a ball sized package.Pratchett explores themes of sport in culture and sport as a less destructive outlet for innate human bellicosity sport rivalry and stereotypes Pratchett examines how gang mentality closely parallels fan mentality and how the expectations of a group do not always apply to the individual.Although Pratchett included many of our favorite Discworld characters in this novel, to me, the most interesting player here was Mr Nutt Without giving away any spoilers, Nutt is an ironic example of how group stereotypes are inapplicable to individuals Never one for overly simplistic morals or sappy life lessons, Pratchett instead explores these themes amidst the backdrop of tribe structure exemplified in Discworld sports as much as in ours.Fun.

  2. says:

    Football soccer to Americans like myself is all the rage in Ankh Morpork and Vetinari, the Patrician, has given Unseen University the duty of refining it from a street game to an organized event Only some people don t want it organized Can the Unseen Academicals, with Trevor Likely and the mysterious Mister Nutt, overcome football s rowdiest hooligans The thing about Terry Pratchett is that while his stories take place in a fantasy world, they are about real world events and concepts This one speaks about stereotypes, prejudices, the fashion industry, and sports as religion The romance between Trevor and Juliet is an obvious sendup of Romeo and Juliet, except that they re fans of opposing football teams.The story itself is pretty funny Lots of one liners and wordplay I spotted a P.G Wodehouse reference that I wouldn t have gotten the last time I read a Pratchett book The wizards are a funny bunch The story of Mr Nutt was well done, as was the modelling subplot I hate to admit it but slight goosebumps arose when Trever Likely stepped up.While I wouldn t say this is one of my favorite Discworld book, it s definitely worth a read.

  3. says:

    When I was a teenager, a friend and I wrote a behemoth of a three page letter on A4 paper to Terry Pratchett We were amazed and grateful when a reply arrived from him a few months later, apologising for the delay and attempting to answer some of our many questions One of the questions we asked was, What football team do you support He replied something to the effect of not watching football because he thought it was weird.Warm, fuzzy memories aside, I wanted to love this latest Discworld novel They ve been on a good run for over a decade in my opinion, they d started going a little stale between Jingo and The Fifth Elephant but were refreshed again from The Truth However, in the end I didn t love UA but I did like it.Mostly it felt like business as usual in the Discworld The theme took a well trod path a protagonist who stands out in a suspiciously mystical way during a current craze, reminding me a lot of Soul Music and Maskerade So many of the new main characters have analogues in other DW novels Glenda Agnes Nitt Nutt Wazzer Trev Likely Lobsang Ludd Juliet Christine It s inevitable that with so many books in a series, some will echo others but Pratchett usually imbues enough of a twist to stop the whole feeling formulaic Not so here I like the familiarity of reading a new Discworld book, like meeting up with an old friend again but, to overstretch an analogy, this felt like they were telling the same story I heard last time I saw them.

  4. says:

    I first read this book when it came out in 2009, and to be completely honest with you, I was kinda disappointed The book wasn t bad, mind you But it was merely good Pratchett s work is usually somewhere between brilliant and excellent Still, I wasn t particularly surprised I ve known about Pratchett s struggle with Alzheimer s for a while I ve known it was just a matter of time before it started to impact his work That said, even a somewhat lackluster Pratchett book is pretty good, and I enjoyed the book I know all the characters, and it s nice seeing them again, even if the storytelling wasn t up to Pratchett s usual standard But I read the book again this month, and I enjoyed it much the second time around True, the ending isn t as strong as some of Pratchett s books, but I honestly can t tell what bothered and disappointed me the first time around If I had to guess, I d say that I was probably expecting the book to be bad, and that colored my initial reading I was probably also predisposed to skepticism by the brief introduction where Pratchett mentioned that he had dictated most of the book.When all the singing is done, I think this book is about 4.5 stars With Pratchett s best being around a 6 But I m rounding up given that he got me involved in a plot that centers around soccer, something that I really couldn t care less about.

  5. says:

    While this story was never exactly anywhere close to one of my favorites in the Discworld books, I d be remiss in saying it isn t excellent I mean, it has everything Star crossed romance between orc and kitchen maid, underdog sports story, and a heartwarming tale of raising Ankh Morpork out of the mud and into civilized behavior once and for all.A game of Foot the Ball can make all of that happen.Brilliant Perhaps It has all the elements that people love and this particular Audible production has a full cast of actors and actresses to bring a ton of life to it in an extra special edition I have a grand fondness for full cast productions So why didn t I give this a full five Because I felt the excisions in the text Sad, but true It s short and abridged That, and I never really get into sports tales Alas But that s just me But despite all that, it IS an excellent production that is nonetheless entertaining as hell TO ME Despite me.

  6. says:

    The Wizards of unseen University must play a game of football the round ball variety to meet some historical statute required to keep them housed and fed to the standard they have come to expect This requires taking the current form of the game played in the the streets by thugs and transforming it into a civilized form watched in a stadium with rules and a referee Although anything involving the wizards is likely to have it s own form of chaos.Perhaps because I am not a big fan of football, this is not going to become one of my favourite Discworld novels I found it overly long and a bit rambling, but it is 37th in a series that has held up pretty well despite Sir Terry s battle with Alzheimers towards the end And any Discworld book is still a very good read and lots of fun by any standard This was no exception, with the main characters featuring four employees of the University a Romeo and Juliet pair from opposing football teams Trevor and Juliet , a strange character called Mr Nutt who is not what he seems and a queen of cooks called Glenda who rules the Night kitchen.

  7. says:

    Last year, I finally started reading the Discworld novels Thus, I ve read this out of order since it s actually 37 However, there having been the World Cup, this was too good an opportunity to miss.For years, Ankh Morpork had a game called Mudball Originally called Foot the Ball and being about technique, it has descended into a violent jumble thanks to the city s Hooligans As fate or Lord Vetinari would have it, the son of a legendary Foot the Ball player has been incarcerated and the only way to remain free and unpunished is for him to coach the wizards team You see, Unseen University s wizards have to play a match against a team from the city in order to be allowed further funding from the Weatherwax inheritance in case some are now confused, it s not Granny funding the game, one of the Archchancellors from the beginning of the series had the same surname Without these funds, the university would likely have to close down so they have to win Moreover, Trevor Likely the afore mentioned football legend s son has to take a certain Mr Nutt as an apprentice Add to that a young women beautiful than anything Trevor has ever seen and another woman who cooks unlike anything Mr Nutt has ever tasted and the chaos is bound to erupt Especially since Mr Nutt harbours a dark secret and Lord Vetinari has good reason for his scheming as usual.As the blurp says football is never just about football And Terry Pratchett s side stabs at maniac fans with their violent outbursts as well as the quirky cast of characters makes this a delight even for people who are definitely not interested in sports.Moreover, this is not the usual audiobook version but a full cast dramatization, which makes the bar fights and the football match itself as much a delight as the fashion show or the courting of the ladies wiggles eyebrows Definitely a than worthy addition to the series that made me burst out laughing quite a bit.

  8. says:

    Football has come to Ankh Morpork Strange that, in the scale of Ankh Morporkian evolution, football arrives after the genesis of iconographs and moving pictures but there you have it That is one of the joys of evolution is it not The element of surprise Surprisingly the arrival of football also coincides with the arrival of high fashion, fashion models maybe not that surprising given the association between fashion and football a la posh n becks , the rediscovery of the Orc like the rediscovery of the Coelacanth only much dangerous and the arrival of the Avon Lady on the doorsteps of everyone in Ankh Morpork who is conventional traditional rich enough to have a door.So as all the dwarves, werewolves, goblins, imps, troll and humans of a female persuasion prepare to adjust to being sports widows for at least the duration of the foot the ball season, the men folk don their scarves and head out onto the streets in search of a match and pie Veterinari has promised a mostly gold coloured cup to the winners of the league and the wizards are playing but not cheating for a hat, or THE hat as it is better known Once again Pratchett skates or perhaps gleefully glides across the literary thin ice that is the barrier between the reality of good old planet earth and the unreality of the Discworld His books are a literary guilty pleasure, the written equivalent of or secretly googling Jensen Ackles when you re supposed to be working.Answers on a postcard if anyone has any suggesting about what will stop the ball from rolling off the edge of the disc

  9. says:

    Contrary to popular belief, I don t hate sports.I know this may come as a surprise, since I studiously avoid all but the most cursory acknowledgment of current sporting events I finish the paper when I hit the sports section, and the sport report on the news is, for me, time to wash the dishes I have no favorite teams of any kind, no players I look up to, and no interest in following play offs, bowl games, championships or derbys Hell, even with the Olympics my interest plummets after the opening ceremonies.But I don t hate sports.You see, in order to hate something, you have to actually care about it And that s the thing about sports I just don t care.I wasn t always like this, of course When I was a kid, I tried all kinds of sports I tried deep breath baseball, basketball, skiing, swimming, sailing, soccer, tennis, golf and judo And those were after school In PE class we had all the usual PE things volleyball, softball, track and field, running, archery, field hockey, dodgeball What it came down to was that I had no natural talent for sports 1 and, importantly, I never had fun I never saw the point of the whole thing, so I pretty much said Bugger this, and turned to other areas of entertainment, thereby sealing off the sporting world from my interest forever.A lot of my friends do love their sports, though, so I try to keep a cursory understanding of things you know, how many touchdowns there are in an inning, that kind of thing I mean, there s nothing disappointing than trying to talk about something you love, something for which you have great passion and enthusiasm and having someone just ignore you, right RIGHT Anyway, I m telling you all this so that you can correct for it when I tell you about Unseen Academicals, the latest of the Discworld books If my attitude seems kind of lackluster or disinterested, keep in mind that it s probably not Sir Terry s fault.The book, you see, is about football Not the sissy pants American kind where the guys are so afraid of grievous bodily harm that they wear protective armor all the time, but the good, old fashioned British kind, wherein people get their heads cracked open by cobblestones and die on the streets You know, fun for the whole family.In the great and exciting city of Ankh Morpork, footy is a tradition It s a lifestyle, in fact Where you live determines who your team is, and who your team is tells you with whom you can associate and mingle A supporter of one team wandering into the territory of another is a person asking to be beaten to death by enthusiastic and drunk hooligans Suicide, I believe the police refer to it as It s a game that goes beyond the simple description of rough and tumble It s a substitute for war in a time where war is neither profitable nor productive It s a channel for long standing feuds and grudges and aggressions, and is practiced religiously in the streets of the city every weekend.So obviously what this grand, injurious tradition needs, then, is the introduction of wizardry.The wizards of the Unseen University are forced, through a clause in a long forgotten honorarium, to put together a football team and play a match Despite most wizards having the athletic ability of an overstuffed beanbag chair, it s either play the game or lose so much money that they ll have to cut down to only three meals a day So, with the help of the son of one of the greatest footballers in the city s history, two cooks from the Night Kitchen and a young Orc who is trying to find value in his life, they put together a team and oh gods, I m bored already.Seriously, I couldn t care less about football The book s not really even about football, to be honest It s about identity and self image, two things that are inextricably tied up in sports and sports fandom The book is a lot less subtle than usual, pretty much hitting you over the head with a mallet and saying, You are who you choose to be over and over again.Actually, what gets said over and over again is a variation on A leopard can t change its shorts, a kind of humorous eggcorn that loses its humorous value after about the fifth time it gets used in the book But it s pretty much the theme of the book what is identity, and can it be changed To explore this, we have, for example, Trevor Likely, the son of a famous dead footballer who has sworn to his also dead mother that he will never play football again after what happened to his father He s introduced as a young layabout, a lazy grifter who works very hard at not having to work, and desperately doesn t want to live up to his responsibilities Unfortunately for him , he falls in love with young Juliet, a beautiful if somewhat dim young woman who works in the Night Kitchen Standing in the way of their love, however, is the fact that they support opposing teams, and her family would never allow her to see the young man if they knew.Hmmm Trev and Juliet Doesn t have the same ring, does it Also mixed up in this is Glenda, the head of the Night Kitchen, whose identity as a below the stairs cook is so ingrained into her head that trying to become something else is almost unthinkable The wizards themselves face an identity crisis as well the Dean has gone off and accepted the Archchancellor s position at another university, and has now come back to try and stand as an equal to Ridcully, the head of the Unseen University.At the center of the book is Nutt, a strange young person who possesses a mysterious past He looks a little odd, has an enormous intelligence, and harbors an unshakable desire to acquire self worth, even if he s not entirely sure what that means.All of these people are trying to figure out the same thing who they are Some of them are surprised by what they find, others dismayed Nutt discovers that he is an Orc, a race of creatures so hated and reviled that he could be killed on sight Juliet discovers that her beauty is her path out of the kitchens, Glenda that her desire to control others can be focused into something productive, and Trevor that the destiny he has avoided for so long is what he always should have been.Threaded throughout all this is the love of the game, the dedication of these people to their football Indeed, the identity of the game itself comes into play here as well will it remain a violent street game, wherein the only rule is that there are no rules, or will it gain a sense of purpose and order How will the old school, bare knuckle footy fans deal with the changes imposed upon their game by Lord Vetinari and the Wizards It s hard for me to filter through the sports aspect of this book, which is disappointing because it s something that a lot of people will probably enjoy There s something about the devotion to a sport or to a team that is very important to most people that I just don t get, and so my general lack of interest in this book is entirely my fault, and not Terry s I enjoyed the identity theme, of course that s always a rich seam of storytelling material Watching Nutt come to grips with his identity as an Orc, or Glenda realize that her entire sense of self has been culturally imposed upon her, well, that was fascinating It s just that there was a whole thematic element to the book that I couldn t identify with and didn t care about It s kind of like listening to Mozart and wishing someone would just shut all those bloody violins up.So, if you re a fan of Discworld, pick this up If you like sports, pick this up If you don t like sports, well, you take your chances As a Pratchett completist, there was no question about reading this book But I don t think it ll be one that I come back to very often.It s not you, Terry It s me 1 I think I made it to first base once in my Little League career, and actually got hit on the head by a fly ball which, I am given to understand, are the easiest to catch I nearly drowned myself repeatedly trying to learn how to sail I used to knock myself over trying to kick goals in soccer, my trick ankles pretty much meant that tennis and basketball and any other activity involving quick stops and starts were out, and I got tired of being thrown to the ground real fast in judo If there was ever such thing as an anti athlete, I was it I feared to shake hands with the jocks because I thought we d both vanish in a cloud of photons.

  10. says:

    What do you get when you mix football, magic, academic rivalry, an orangutan, the world of high sorry low fashion, a thumbing of nose if not outright rasberrying of Harry Potter, commentary on religion, and a designer named Pepe Unseen Academicals.Most readers consider the last few Discworld novels to be good, though not great In Unseen Academicals, Pratchett is back to his top form Perhaps, a break from Discworld to write the wonderful and thought provoking Nation was what he needed Regardless, this book is far better than Making Money or Going Postal Several well loved Discworld characters make cameos, and there are many small touches that a long time reader of the series will love.I must say, first, however, that I give a huge round of applause to HarperCollins, the publishers Too often, publishers Americanized British novels, and it was nice to see football called football, and not as most of us Americans call it, soccer Unseen Academicals is a story about football, love, understanding, tolerance, worth, and pies, among many other things.In many ways, the book is in part a love poem to sports, football, in particular, and to the fans of those sports While Philadelphia fans do not have the reputation of European hooligans, ahem, fans, we do have a rather unique reputation in the states In fact, Philly fans once threw snowballs at Santa Claus at a football American game, and the current Pennsylvania governor was one of the people throwing them Pratchett s The Shove, therefore, feels like home Yet, there is something about sports that brings a city together For instance, the thrill of seeing a team make the World Series, or even win it There is this knowledge that the whole city shares I can still remember going to see a production of Neil Simon s Lost in Yonkers I exited the subway to the sound of church bells ringing, not because it was Sunday, but because the Eagles had made to the Superbowl After the play, the lead led the audience in an impromptu Eagles chant Or, last year, after the Phillies had won the World Series when the bar up the street irrupted into celebration Despite the fact that you had to wake up early the next day for work, despite the fact that the party lasted until well after two in the morning, for once you didn t care because the PHILLES HAD WON THE WORLD SERIES And nothing at that moment was important If the bar had been subdued that would ve been wrong, a sin Sports can bring people together, and Pratchett does a brilliant and touching job of showing this There is the shove, there is Mr Nutt s feeling that, as Trev points out, is something that isn t talked about very often.Pratchett also does a far better job at reporting on the concluding match than Rowling does at Quidditch in the Harry Potter series The football match makes up the end sequence of the novel, is the climax, and is told in real time interspersed with comments from a newspaper It is a thrilling rendition of an event The reader feels as if she is right on the pitch Pratchett also makes good use of the actual history of football, and captures a time of transition, where a once outlawed sport is becoming legal The conflict of tradition versus change is caught very well I also wonder how much of Mr Nutt s coaching style is based on a real English football coach Perhaps there is a connection to the new movie The Damm United, the story of Leeds United Coach Brian Clough I don t know, but I do know there is a beautifully funny discussion about offside, and that several players seem like real league players.Pratchett introduces new characters in this novel Several characters, however, seem to be similar to others Glenda, for instance, has a strong resemblance to the witch Agnes Trev Likely seems to be a toned down version of Moist Von Lipwig Juliet reminds one of Christine, though Jewels is far likable Mr Nutt is a distillation of several characters, including Death Despite the similarities, the characters stand out on their own They are like others characters but transcend being just types This is not a surprise Pratchett is after all a humanist More established characters have supporting roles or make cameos The UU is present in strong force with Ridcully and Stibbons at the forefront There is an interesting development with the Dean that leads to a nice play with academic rivalry at the college level Mrs Whitlow makes a cameo as does Rincewind whose mother gets a mention The Watch is in the background, though Angua and Vimes make cameos In fact, instead of the Fuzz the watch is called The Sam Gotta love it Of course, both the Librarian and Death show up One of the things that is good about this novel is Pratchett s use of Vetinari Here the reader we see additional sides of Vetinari, his love for pies and the fact that he can laugh Forget Arnold If the Constitution were to be changed, I would want to be able to vote for Vetinari as president The Discworld series got its start as a send up of popular fantasy, and Pratchett returns to that here There are a few references to Harry Potter, including trading cards, Dr Hix, and wizardly schools One wonders if Pratchett got tired of being asked if UU was inspired by Hogwarts Can t blame him if it did Unlike Rowling, Pratchett s sense of humor is far , well, funny There are several one liners that will lead to chortling if not outright laughter Take for instance, Glenda realized that right now she would not have minded if there had been hanky panky or even spanky Sometimes the humor extends to exchanges, like discussion about sexual congress and oral sex.Because this Pratchett, however, some of the zingers contain truths There is Ponder and Glenda s exchange about newspapers, I seriously think that it s their job to calm people down by first explaining why they should be overexcited and very worried Oh, yes, I know they do that, said Glenda, How would people get worried if they weren t told how to be Considering the reporting on swine flu, among other things, it is hard to argue with that criticism Pratchett also address the issue of community to accept different people and of the position of the hated or maligned minority with the character of Mr Nutt Several of the most touching and humanely true scenes involved Mr Nutt The book is like Small Gods, a plea to understanding and acceptance It is also better than Small God.There is one truly heavy, pause and think about scene in the book This scene concerns Lord Vetinari and religion When dealing with religion, Pratchett lacks the obvious atheism of Pullman I m not sure what Pratchett believes, if anything But Vetinari s view on higher power are powerful, thought provoking, heavy, and beautiful written I wonder if it is Pratchett s comment on his illness Regardless, you can t turn the page for a few moments after reading it.All in all, Unseen Academicals is a really good book Go read it now