Monday, December 06, 2010

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Just when you think Terry Pratchett is losing his touch, and wonder why you're still bothering to read discworld novels, Terry Pratchett puts out one of his best books for a long time.  So much for Alzheimer's, someone's got their eye on the ball.

The wizards at unseen academicals will lose a healthy inheritance/legacy if they don't play a game of football.  Only problem is the football played in Ankh Morepork is deadly.  With Lord Vetinari somewhat on their side, they have to make a game of it.  But there is more resting on the results than anybody originally dreamed.

The women are in the kitchen and the men are all playing dressups, so of course there's enough sexism to make anyone's teeth itch.  Enough double entedrers as well.  Not exactly something that usually shines through in a Discworld novel, but I guess with the fashion angle to match the equally vapid football angle the opportunities do rather overflow.  Which accounts for Terry's inimitable humour being back with a vengeance.  Probably though, the best thing about the book is the central character, Nutt.  He tries so very hard to fit in, to "have worth", but what he actually has is a legacy that is almost impossible to live down. 

review by Alicia Ponder


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