Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else.
The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt (and no one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too). As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed for ever.
Because the thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.
Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!
This is the 37th in a body of work so vast that it has spawned its own concordance, yet the quality remains as high as ever and the laughs as plentiful...Like all the Discworld novels, Unseen Academicals rewards a second reading. As ever it is peppered with allusions, from Keats to the Lewinsky affair, but, like Wodehouse, Pratchett wears his learning lightly and the pleasure of rereading is in teasing them out.
Mention comic fantasy and Terry Pratchett is the first name that comes to mind...behind the fantasy Terry Pratchett looks at very real contemporary issues and scores many goals. This isn't just football, it's Discworld football. Or, to borrow another phrase, it's about life, the Universe, and everything.
The subject matter is football, with a dash of Romeo and Juliet thown in...exactly what's needed to cheer us all up in the autumnal gloom. Terry has lost none of his ability to raise a laugh...I'll wager there are a few more books in him yet.
We doubt whether Pratchett gives a fig about 22 men kicking a bag of wind,but he's ever fascinated by people,our vagaries, our vanities and our triumphs. And, when all's said and done, football is all about us, wherever we sit in society. In case you hadn't already guessed, the man of the match award goes, not for the first time, to Sir Terry Pratchett.
Satirical, historical, fantastical and irresistible.
Games & activities
Sir Terry Pratchett’s favourite drink was a banana daiquiri, so to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Carpet People and Pratchett’s birthday on 28 April, we’re making a terrific banana milkshake to toast the occasions!
Victorian London; a mysterious metropolis blanketed in fog, made up of an eclectic mix of people playing the part that life has assigned them...
Tiffany wants to be a witch when she grows up. A proper one, with a pointy hat. And flying, she’s always dreamed of flying (though it’s cold up there, you have to wear really thick pants, two layers). Read an extract from The Wee Free Men, the first book in the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett.