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This is book number 37 in the Discworld series.
“Football, food, fashion and wizards collide in Pratchett’s affectionate satire on the foibles of sports and sports fans. . . . The prose crackles with wit and charm, and the sendups of league football, academic posturing, Romeo and Juliet and cheesy sports dramas are razor sharp and hilarious but never cruel. At its heart, this is an intelligent, cheeky love letter to football, its fans and the unifying power of sports.”—Publishers Weekly
Football (aka soccer) comes to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork, upending the wizards of Unseen University—and dividing Discworld—in this wonderfully funny novel in Sir Terry Pratchett’s internationally bestselling series.
The wizards at Ankh-Morpork’s Unseen University are renowned for many things—wisdom, magic, teatime—but athletics, not so much. When Lord Vetinari, the city’s benevolent tyrant, strongly suggests to Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully that the university revive its sports program and field a football team composed of faculty, students, and staff—or lose the funding that pays for their nine daily meals—the wizards of UU find themselves in a quandary. First, they have to understand what makes foot-the-ball so popular with Ankh-Morporkians. Then they have to learn how to play it—and win—without using magic.
Of course, the thing about football is that it is never just about football.
The Discworld novels can be read in any order but Unseen Academicals is the 7th book in the Wizards series and the 37th Discworld book.
Terry Pratchett was the acclaimed author of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Color of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he was the author of more than fifty bestselling books which have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for his young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. He was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to literature in 2009, although he always wryly maintained that his greatest services to literature was to avoid writing any. He lived in England and died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.
“In short, this is as busy and as daft as any other Discworld yarn, which means it is the quintessence of daft. Nobody writes fantasy funnier than Pratchett.” — Booklist
“At its heart, this is an intelligent, cheeky love letter to football, its fans and the unifying power of sports. — Publishers Weekly
“This account of Unseen University’s entry into the world of soccer (or, as they occasionally call it, “foot-the-ball”) pushes past the usual conventions of satire to offer equal parts absurdist philosophy and heartwarming romance....A witty addition to the long-running fantasy series” — Kirkus Reviews
“Thirty-seven books in and . . . Discworld is still going strong . . . and doing so with undimmed, triumphant exuberance. ” — The Guardian
“A triumphant effort.” — The Independent on Sunday