I love Terry Pratchett's writing. At first this story was not a favorite of mine but after a 2nd listen I enjoyed it more. It is probably because I like the stories about the Night Watch in DiscWorld best but this one has a good part for the Patrician and the magicians draw you in so all in all--if you like Pratchett--purchase it. Stephen Briggs does an excellent job of narration which is essential in an audible book.
First off let me say that I love almost everything Terry Pratchett has ever written, and this book is no exception. It has his trademark whit and humor.
That said, I was very surprised by this books overall theme of "It's great to go along with the crowd and do stupid, dangerous things to impress people." which is pretty much the exact opposite message of every other "Discworld" book. In fact, there are a lot of elements in this book that are held up as positive that are exactly the same things Prachett lampoons in his other books: fanatical devotion to a group; trendy fashion; heated rivalry based on arbitrary differences. I guess going along with the crowd is only bad until it's a crowd who likes the same thing Pratchett does.
It's not bad, it's just surprising. I would never have pegged Terry Prachett as a sports guy.
Avid reader. Baker. Musician. Did I say avid reader?
Terry Pratchett never fails to entrance and delight me. Great characters, great story, pointed satire ... what's not to like?
Stephen Briggs is uniformly, consistently brilliant!
Though I'm sure I missed some of the "football" jokes being an American who's not into soccer or rugby, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fun, and, as an academic, I enjoyed the school humor quite a lot.
I love Terry Pratchett and have for years. This book is fun and enjoyable, as are most of his books, but is by no means a representation of his best work. I do enjoy the character of Mr. Nutt - a self-conscious nonentity who has some amazing talents. Also, the idea of the wizards playing football (soccer for us from the U.S.) is certainly amusing, but if your'e new to Pratchett I would recommend Thud!, The Truth, or Going Postal.
The first time I listened to this I dismissed it as not one of his best - nothing of consequence was happening; no wars, murders, dragons etc. But when I listened to it again with out the expectation of momentous events, I was enchanted. Pratchett's humor and love for his quirky characters comes through on every page. This is very much worth a quiet listen.
To be fair, this is only the second time I have heard a TP book without first reading the book (the first was Making Money which was excellent,) but I was disappointed by both the book and Stephen Briggs' delivery. I have always much preferred Briggs as a narrator, but for some reason this time it didn't gel. It may be the book, it may be the delivery, but what ever it was, it didn't work for me. Not as much dry humour as I expect from TP either. Saddened under the circumstances.