“A lot hinges on the fact that, in most circumstances, people are not allowed to hit you with a mallet.”
“Unseen Academicals” by Terry Pratchett
Anyone reading the blog could probably gather that I’m a pretty big Terry Pratchett fan. I think he’s bloody brilliant, and I’m continually convinced that he’s only getting sharper and funnier with each and every book. Unseen Academicals only continues to perpetuate this incredible trend. At its base, Unseen Academicals is a tale about football, but, just like regular football (and all things Pratchett), it’s never just about football. It’s about love, it’s about community, it’s about following rules and breaking them. It’s about the incredible power of the game and the incredible restrictions we put on ourselves and the way we may or may not allow ourselves to be great.
Right from the start, I loved the way Pratchett was twisting the usual conventions of familiar stories in his usual fashion, and there’s a lot more that really impressed me about this particular book. Quite often, the over-arching theme underlying the story is almost too dense, but I never felt as though that aspect was too heavy-handed, as a few of his books have been. And I immediately was drawn into several of the characters. Some of them are older; I was delighted to discover that I’m as entranced by the dynamic between Vetinari and Ridcully as I am by Vetinari and Vimes’ interactions. Some of them are newer, and two of my favorite new Discworldians. Glenda is such a wonderful main character, realistic and relate-able and quite frankly a character we don’t see enough of in fiction (and so cool to see one from a male author, as well). Plus, I’m now convinced that no one can make beautiful, realistic, perfectly flawed relationships like Pratchett can. Though I’m pretty sure no one can ever top Carrot and Angua as my favorite literary couple (though Vimes and Sybil are in the running, too), Pratchett almost made me question their supremacy with coupling in this book. Which I won’t say anything more on, because it’s best to be discovered.
This is definitely Pratchett and Discworld at their best, Ankh-Morporkians shine in this fabulous football fairy tale, and it’s really sparked up my love for the series and these incredible characters.
Books read: 2/100.