vrijdag 5 februari 2016

Terry Pratchett: Unseen Academicals

Hi everyone

Unseen Academicals is Terry Pratchett’s 37th Discworld novel.
My copy has 540 pages and the cover is amazing and hilarious.

“Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork. 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!”

I enjoyed this novel a lot but not as much as a lot of Pratchett’s other works.

I liked how we got one story from multiple points of view; the Patrician, the Academicals and the men on the street. The same story is told from those who make the changes and those who are subjected to them.
We get to know the Patrician in a new way and I loved that because he is a truly amazing character.
Mr Hix is one of my favorite characters in this novel. Nutt is absolutely adorable and definitely my favorite (as is the librarian) and I loved Trev and Glenda. But those two feel like I’ve met them before on Discworld. They don’t feel unique or new and it’s not only these characters. The Last few novels all had the same format where something from our world is introduced into theirs (Moist von Lipwig’s novels especially) and expanded upon.
It’s rather disappointing because it felt formulaic and too familiar.
Naurally, after 36 books it’s hard to make every book completely new and different and some events and characters will always remind us of others, but it was too much ‘same old, same old’ in this book.
But aside from that, the novel is really funny, pretty absurd, satirical, full of allusions, optimistic and heartwarming.

And even though I have no interest in Football whatsoever (I honestly couldn’t care less about it), I felt like cheering during the match at the end; it was written so well, it was thrilling and it felt so real.

Unseen Academicals is about acceptance, race, prejudice and stereotypes. And Romeo & Juliet. Although you might find this farfetched, I also think it’s about how we might lose the contributions and unique talents of people because of our prejudice and the way we perceive others.

4 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena

Dessert!