Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Year published: 2009
Genre: Fantasy
Setting & time: Ankh-Morpork, can remember what year (it’s mentioned in the book)

For some reason I have not yet been able to bring myself to finish Terry Pratchett's last Discworld book, Making Money, possibly because it failed to grip me in the first chapter, and also because I do not find Moist von Lipwig that interesting a character. I had no such problem with Unseen Academicals. It is interesting from the first page, and while it didn’t turn into a must-finish all-nighter for me, I did enjoy it. The humour is less dark than it has been in several preceding books, and the book sparkles with good humour throughout, even when nasty things seem to be about to happen, are happening, or have just happened.

As with most of Pratchett’s other Discworld books, this one presents the reader with several interwoven story threads involving a number of characters that gradually come together into bigger strands and finally become one as the story nears its climax.

The plot revolves around an attempt by Lord Vetinari to tame the brutal street sport of foot-the-ball with the assistance of the wizards of Unseen University. Mix into that academic bickering and rivalry, opposing teams of rabid football supporters, young love, high fashion, the art of cooking, and the mysterious Mr. Nutt, whom lots of people want to kill on principle, and you have the usual heady mix readers have come to expect from Pratchett.

Unseen Academicals is not up in the top league of Pratchett's books, but I would need to re-read it with my literary analysis glasses on to put my finger on why. It is good, solid entertainment and gets a good solid 3+ stars from me.

P.S. I would like to read more about Dr. Hix and his department.


=Tamar said…
Dr Hicks first appears in Making Money.

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