The problem with Goodreads is actually a problem with me. I read a great book, give it 5 stars at Goodreads and a quick off-the-cuff review and then forget to blog about it here. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett is one of those books. Fortunately, all this talk of football with the World Cup has reminded me.
First a declaration. Sir Terry Pratchett is my writing hero. I quote him--and you can't get more serious than that.
Unseen Academicals is Pratchett in top form. It's a book for people who know the Discworld. So many old friends return either as part of the plot or in cameos. Yet the plot is new, the conflict new, the issue--rivalry. Well, there are other issues. That's the thing with Pratchett. You think you're reading an amusing fantasy. It's easy reading. But in fact the writing is so sharp it cuts into your mind (that's why I end up quoting him so often--he's memorable) and the plot is so strong, driven and complex that simplifying it for review--fergeddaboutit.
The reason I mentioned the World Cup earlier is that Unseen Academicals tackles soccer (I'm a good Aussie girl and can't bring myself to call soccer "football". I know real football is Aussie Rules where--good grief--the men can use their hands). But soccer in Pratchett's world is more than a game, it's a life experience, an analysis of loyalties and dreams, of the changes you can make to your life and the fear that can stop you.
Hell. I give up. If you're a Pratchett fan, you've already read Unseen Academicals. If you're not a fan--how is that possible?--I can only offer you my sympathies. The Discworld brightens my life.