Hester's Reviews > Unseen Academicals

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Jun 17, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: terry-pratchett, novels, fantasy, comedy
Read in June, 2010

My fiance gave me this book for Christmas. I repeatedly opened it, read the first couple pages, and then put it down. This was not because I didn't like it; it was because if I read it, then it would end. Unfortunately, this time I could not put it down and read until dawn. Oops.

"Unseen Academicals" is one of the funniest Pratchett books in years, but it still contains the social commentary we have come to expect. The book covers the lives of four workers at the Unseen University. Being protagonists, they turn out to have abilities far beyond their station. Pratchett focuses on one of them, Glenda, a night cook, to examine class in Great Britain. He has already touched on the subject(until Glenda, I thought thoroughly examined) with Sam Vimes. Supportive and suffocating, kind and cruel, he shows how the community can tear down its best for standing out, but also be accepting and kind.

My one problem with "Unseen Academicals" is that Lord Vetinari and Lady Margolotta do not seem to quite be themselves. He is talkative, he drinks, he seems to suddenly care about food, and his dialogue with Ridcully seems a little too spelled out. And since when does Ridcully think about love if Granny Weatherwax is not around? Knowing Pratchett's genius, this is probably character development which will be spelled out later. There are hints that this has to do with Vetinari having a "squeeze."

The scene with the colored candles by the side of the road is one of the most heartbreaking I have ever read. I am glad that Pratchett is not scared of tears in this touching novel.

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