Summary: The wizards of Ank-Morpork’s Unseen University are facing a quandary. In order to hold onto their largest donation, they are required to field a football team (in this case, soccer with a bit of rugby thrown in). As the University struggles to figure out what football IS, much less how to play it, the lives of four individuals will become entangled and changed forever.
Review: Pratchett, a UK native, has been gaining popularity in the United States over the last 10 years. He has written 40 Disc World novels, many of which stand alone and others of which fit into series within the larger series. In short, don’t stress about reading them in order. Pratchett nearly always has a message built into his books, in this case why sports take such a prominent role in human culture. Agree with his assessment or not, Unseen Academicals is a funny and heartfelt story.
Read-a-likes: Pratchett’s success is in many ways due to his unique ability to blend fantasy and humor together into a story that leaves you with the nagging feeling that you may have inadvertently learned something. As such, read a likes are not easy to find. If you would like to check out his first book, The Color of Magic, it is available as an eBook and has been turned into a movie (which the library owns on DVD). While much of his work is different, Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys and Stardust should appeal to Pratchett fans as well.
Reviewed by: Eric