Robyn's Reviews > Unseen Academicals

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Nov 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in November, 2011

There was a lot to like, and some to not like so much in this installment of the Discworld series.

First, the 'not so much' bits. The pace of this novel was a bit wonky, I felt like it moved in fits and starts, with many little sort of mini climaxes within the course of the story. This was likely a function of the second objection I have, and that there was simply too much going on: We have a love story, a story of a new sport being introduced to Ankh-Morpork, the origins of a new race on the disc, and a member of that race finding his way in the city, the story of a rising fashion model, another love story,and on and on. I kind of feel like the book kept starting to go in one direction, and then remembering some other direction it had been headed in previously. This happens repeatedly, and I feel like there were plans to head in some other directions that never really got started, and that the bits that made it in could have been handled with a bit more depth. This really could have been two books, easily.

However, Sir Terry pulls it out rather well in the end, making almost all of these divergent bits of story come together in the end, so it feels mostly coherent. Not quite as tightly plotted as some of his other novels, sure, but the new characters are truly lovable, the time we spend with the established ones is, as always, enjoyable.

So, yeah, this was a book I'm a little lukewarm to. However, it contains a little paragraph from Vetinari that I loved so much, that moved me so profoundly, which struck me as so full of fundamental truth, that I stuck an extra full star onto the score of this review just on the basis of it alone.
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Quotes Robyn Liked

Terry Pratchett
“And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.”
Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals

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Erin Do you remember what the paragraph was? I would love to read it.

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