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
"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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"Foot the ball game for the masses"
This is a continuation of the Pratchett franchise on a footballing theme. The standard is excellent with narration by Stephen Briggs
Any of the disc world novels
Laugh at the one liners or the double entendre equally funny
Catches the absurdity of sport fanatics whilst at the same time illuminating the bias and prejudice that people exhibit .
Pratchett never fails to highlight ridiculous behavior, but he does so in the gentle humorous fashion that defines all his stories. Brilliant.
"Pratchett at his best"
Its up in the top ten
The best of Disc World
Yes, they are always good
The ending was very sweet
"Another brilliant Discworld romp"
Great story and a very good performance. If you love Pratchett you will love Unseen Academicals
"Another entertaining Discworld novel"
Not up there amongst the best Discworld novels I've read but adequately entertaining.
My favourites are Guards! Guards! and Men At Arms.
"Another Fatastic(al) Fiction"
Another fantastic and fantastical book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. All of his characters are so rich and memorable and his balance between merriment and message is just right. Add to this the wonderful narrating skills of Stephen Briggs, and it would be hard to find anything to dislike. I find myself listening to many books in this series again and again.
This is one of his best, bringing together a number of the regular cast as well as some new. This time we meet Mr Nutts who has a mysterious past and is able to dribble candles beautifully, Unseen University cannot have normal candles. Glenda who is runs the Night Kitchen, Trevor Likely who runs the candle vats where Mr Nutts works.
Then we move to the main plot 'Football'. Oh no I here you say, I do not like football, no problem, you will enjoy this.
The characters leap out of the page at you. Terry Pratchett's sense of humour and timing are fantastic, taking you through the different groups of people and places in Ankh-Morkpork who are involved in The Shove and today's football.
The Wizards find out that they must play and win a game of football or their life will change for the worse. Vetinari wants the game changed, the Shove is violent as is today's football.
How will this happen, how will the shove take it?
"Fabulously Read Pratchett Tale Spinning"
If you have read the book before and have sounds and images in your head this reading is not (like some) very jarring with your already imagined voices and personas. Briggs has a very soothing tone, especially for the main character and whilst not lacking in character its also quite neutral. Indeed I have struggled to listen to some things I have read before so strong was my internal view of the book - but this is one of the most comfortable listens I have come across in a long time.
If you have never read the book, but read Pratchett before - its a good solid Pratchett Novel. Having read and listened to most of the Pratchett Novels you can tell the story struggles a little in places... but that is hardly noticeable as when he hits his stride he really hits his stride. Still I think for all I thoroughly enjoyed it, its not going to be anyone's favourite Pratchett Novel, but that is more due to the fact there is stiff competition and the characters are possibly not as strong as some of his previous characters.
If you have never heard or read a Pratchett Novel the joy of a Pratchett Novel is in the mixing of humour with finely crafted tales that now approach something more of a fairy tale in that they take serious real world issues and re imagine them in a way that gives you a very different view of the imagined world and the real world. Would I start my journey here? Probably not... go listen to some other books first - the early city based books especially, but earmark this and come back when you have.
"Read this, if you're hard enough!"
As usual, Pratchett's work is laced with wit and a occasional moments of emotional thuggery, catching you unaware and then casually rifling through your heart for memories that you thought were only for you. If you understand the Beautiful Game, and it's not the one where people kick a ball around, then this story will give you some joy as well as sadness, tinged with an uneasy moment or two when you have to ask yourself if you're a bigot.
That's good. Because, if you can say no, you can read the rest of the story.
"Pratchett always makes me laugh"
A great parody of life, education and sport as the social classes clash, bicker and rise above it all...
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