I’m amazed, that having been a lover of magic, wizards and the fantasy genre in general from almost as soon as I could read that Terry Pratchett is relatively new to my list of favourite authors.
Pratchett has been in the press on a regular basis in the last year or so, talking intelligently, sensitively and with great insight, about his fight with Alzheimers and his views on euthanasia.
His books, (Unseen Academicals included) are fun, irreverent and full of the intelligence and insight that he includes in his non-fiction work. His take on the world of Academia extends throughout the Discworld Series (now up to the 39th volume) and the bumbling professors take on the game of ‘foot-the-ball’ is laugh out loud funny.
Avid followers of the series will be comforted by the familiar surroundings of Unthank University and the re-appearance of Rincewind and the Librarian. I’ve read only 4 or 5 of the Discworld series so far, so am no means an expert, and this was my first real dive into the world Ankh Morpork and its people and politics. The more I read of Pratchett, the more I feel that ‘Comic Fantasy’ doesn’t really cut it as a description of his work.
We have witty insight into the nature of a football crowd and the nature of ‘mob mentality’, a cutting yet non-confrontational judgment on immigration and persecution and references to Shakespeare (not the first time the warring families of Romeo and Juliet have been transposed onto football teams I’m sure) and other classical literature I’m sure I have not picked up on.
This is a book about love. Not just of ‘The Game’ but a deep and meaningful love of humanity.
A perfect holiday read which I sped through, but not without setting my braincells spinning!