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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2009 Terry and Lyn Pratechett (P)2009 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"At its heart, this is an intelligent, cheeky love letter to football, its fans and the unifying power of sports." ( Publishers Weekly)"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kent on 09-30-10

Not Pratchetts best but still enjoyable

Pratchetts latest book fails to the reach truly dizzying heights he has been capable of.
As it stands it has to settle for merely being very good. Stephen Briggs is as brilliant as
always and certainly does his bit to ensure that the audio version compares well - or
perhaps even surpasses - the written work.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Jacobus on 04-07-13

Mediocre Discworld

Have you read "Asterix and the Falling Sky"? Uderzo's drawings of Asterix and his friends are some of the best, but the story reaches a new low point. I am not sure if this is really the case with "Unseen Academicals" but it is really not one of Pratchett's best. There are individual episodes of brilliance in the book. You are also left with the feeling that this is supposed to be (partly al least) THE parody on the Harry Potter-series. Yet, it felt if the storyline lacked some of the Pratchett brilliance I have come to know and love.

Stephen Briggs, almost like always, does a superb job in the reading of the book. I think he brings the game of foot-the-ball sufficiently to life. If I have to choose between reading the book or listening to his interpretation, I would prefer his interpretative reading by far.

Like "Asterix and the Falling Sky" this book is definitely a must for Discworld die-hard fans. You are also guaranteed a chuckle or two, if you are not so familiar with the Discworld, but I have read and listened to better from Prachett's pen. Maybe, the Unseen University and its staff have become a just too familiar place and set of characters in the Discworld.

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Customer Reviews

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By Mary on 12-27-09

Always so much more than fantasy

"I can't be doing with fantasy," said my dear 70 year old neighbour, shuddering with well-bred distaste at my suggestion that he'd enjoy Pratchett. But once I had nailed his ear to the MP3 he was soon as full of praise and awe as I am. And saw what is there under the delightful and funny surface.

WHy oh why are Pratchett's novels called "fantasy"? They are far more about our own down-to-earth Earth than most books that purport to hold a mirror up to nature. Of course this story is about football and is very funny indeed - but it is also about... friendship, racism, the nature of love, bullying, courage,the best kind of politics, the desperate need to find self-worth, pies...

Terry Pratchett just gets better and better. This novel is on a par with Night Watch and Going Postal. I can't praise them enough for their un-po-faced sharing of wisdom and optimism.

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30 of 31 people found this review helpful

By Marie on 10-13-11

Good story, brilliantly read

This story has grown on me -and though at first I thought it wasn't one of Pratchett's best, it improves on repeat listening and reading! Stephen Briggs is just one of the best readers EVER. He has very clear, distinct voices, so you know who is speaking. Even better than that, he has obviously thought really hard about conveying the personality of each character through their voice. He's terrific and really performs with energy and delight. This and Going Postal are probably my favourite Pratchetts read by Briggs. I wish he'd re-record the earlier Nigel Planer ones, which are ok, but he has a tendency to do about a quarter of his characters as thick sounding when it really isn't in character. Good fun

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By H. Du Plessis on 01-17-18

Another Pratchett tour de force

Terry Pratchett brings to life another lineup of spectacular characters who inhabit a fascinating story. Well worth the read!

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By BankAngle on 03-28-17

You think it's all over?

A typically Pratchett perspective on something blends the mundane (watching foot-the-ball is not for me) into something mythical. Stephen Briggs' narration is, as always, spot on.

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