37th novel – 7th individual story
association football (soccer)
Unseen Academicals is the 37th novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. The novel satirises football (soccer), and features Mustrum Ridcully setting up an Unseen University football (soccer) team, with the Librarian in goal. It includes new details about "below stairs" life at the university. The book introduces several new characters, including Trevor Likely, a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can; Glenda Sugarbean, a maker of "jolly good" pies; Juliet Stollop, 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, a cultured, enigmatic, idealistic savant. According to the publisher, Transworld, the "on sale" date for the hardback was October 1, 2009 although the official publication date is October 8, 2009. Bookshop chain Borders included a small set of exclusive Discworld football cards with each book.
Unseen Academicals tells the story of the faculty of Unseen University being forced to choose between (only) three meals a day and playing a game of football, as tradition mandates the game in exchange for their large financial endowment by a wealthy family. The wizards soon learn that the local version of football (similar to the actual game of mob football) is very violent and deaths are common. Thus, in collaboration with the city's tyrant Lord Vetinari, they set out to make new 'official' football rules, which includes forbidding the use of hands and mandating the use of official footballs as opposed to the makeshift balls the street games use. The book includes a satirisation of the Mallard ceremony performed at All Souls College, Oxford
Parallel to this, the book tells the story of four young people. A candle dribbler named Mr. Nutt discovers that he is not what he thinks he is and must overcome the fear of his race, both by humans and by himself. He is also chosen to train the university's team for the big match. Trev Likely, who is Mr. Nutt's coworker and best friend, is the son of the Ankh-Morpork's most famous deceased footballer, but has promised his (late) dear old mum that he won't play. Glenda is a friend of Mr. Nutt and Trev, runs the Unseen University Night Kitchen, and bakes the Disc's best pies. Juliet works for Glenda, has a crush on Trev, is simple and beautiful, and daydreams about fashion. The four of them end up advising the wizards on their football endeavour, which culminates in an intense game between the Wizards and the former street footballers.
- Football (Soccer)
- Athletic Teams
- Sports Fandom
- Fashion & Modeling
- College Rivalry
- University Traditions
- Racial Insecurity
- Self Worth
Unseen Academicals is a proposed television adaptation of the book. In 2013 The Mob reported that it was scheduled for production in 2013. However, as that statement has disappeared from their website, the status of the project is unknown.
- Review by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing.
- Review by The Guardian.
- Review by The Telegraph.
- Review by Matt Barber.
- Flood, Alison (2008-07-14). "On Embuggerance And Humour". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- "John Connolly: Bestselling Author". www.johnconnollybooks.com. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
- "Tough at the Top", SFX Collection Special Edition #34, Future Publishing, June 2008
- "Transworld : Book Details for Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett". Booksattransworld.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- The Discworld Monthly issue 144
- "In Production". The Mob. Retrieved 23 June 2013.[dead link]
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|Reading order guide|
|37th Discworld Novel||Succeeded by
I Shall Wear Midnight
A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices
|9th Individual Story
Published in 2009
To be announced
|Novels by Terry Pratchett|
I Shall Wear Midnight