Unseen Acadmicals (Terry Pratchett) Book Review

Hello all, and another book review! Back to Terry Pratchett, as I re-read Unseen Academicals recently. This was the first TP book I read, and what got me into the Discworld series. It’s great! I expect this will be a fairly short review, especially in comparison to the LOTR one.

Unseen Adademicals is the story of a Mister Nutt. Mister Nutt is a something, in that many people (including he) don’t know what that thing is. In UU, Mister Nutt attempts to achieve worth through working as a candle dribbler at the Unseen University. That is, until the wizards decide to get in on the troublesome game of foot-the-ball. Along with an unorthodox ally in the form of Trev, Mister Nutt comes into his own, and learns a thing or two along the way.

The plot is fairly slow-moving in UA. If you have read Pratchett before, you’ll be used to this. If you’re new, though, it may not seem very flowing (especially if you read lots of modern fantasy). You’ll get used to it, trust me! There aren’t many ‘huge’ events, but as we move through the book there is a building sense of anticipation up to the ‘big match’. Of course, there are subplots subtly intwined within the main plot, such as Nutt’s realisation of self and worth. There’s the romance of Trev and Juliet. It all builds a great sense of life, as if there are real things going on simultaneous to the main plot. The shadow of Uberwald looms over Nutt, and things transpire in a very satisfying way. This was the first Pratchett book I read, so I was new to the pace and music of the book. It may seem strange at first, but I urge you to continue! I expect you’ll fall in love with the Discworld just as I did, and perhaps – perhaps – you’ll understand why Pratchett chooses to write his way.

All of Pratchett’s characters are magical, and I tend to wax lyrical in every review of his work. I just really enjoy reading about them. The characters themselves just seem so real that it is a pleasure to have a window into their lives, and the ever shifting events of Ankh. Okay, getting carried away now. Whoah there! Mr Nutt is probably my second favourite Pratchett character (the first being Vetinari), for his intelligence and dry wit. He seems innocent, but when he realises what he truly is, subtle changes come over him. Trev is quite a character too, with a skill that nobody truly values, except Glenda. All Trev wants to do is do right by his old Mum, and he is all the more loveable for it. Finally, there are the wizards, who are always brilliant. I love the way Pratchett writes these wizards – they are portrayed as having the power to destroy all of time and space (in both directions), yet are rarely seen to cast the simplest of spells. And they’re hilarious, too.

As always, Unseen Academicals is a really nice read. Most of the characters are a joy to read about, and the plot is really interesting. It’s not the main plot line, but the realisation of Nutt was the most interesting to me, although I managed to second guess it

This book gets a 7/10. A worthwhile read!


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