By Terry Pratchett
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061161704, 400pp.)
Publication Date: October 2009
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The wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University are renowned for many things—wisdom, magic, and their love of teatime—but athletics is most assuredly not on the list. And so when Lord Ventinari, the city's benevolent tyrant, strongly suggests to Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully that the university revive an erstwhile tradition and once again put forth a football team composed of faculty, students, and staff, the wizards of UU find themselves in a quandary. To begin with, they have to figure out just what it is that makes this sport—soccer with a bit of rugby thrown in—so popular with Ankh-Morporkians of all ages and social strata. Then they have to learn how to play it. Oh, and on top of that, they must win a football match without using magic.
Meanwhile, Trev (a handsome street urchin and a right good kicker) falls hard for kitchen maid Juliet (beautiful, dim, and perhaps the greatest fashion model there ever was), and Juliet's best pal, UU night cook Glenda (homely, sensible, and a baker of jolly good pies) befriends the mysterious Mr. Nutt (about whom no one knows very much, including Mr. Nutt, which is worrisome . . .). As the big match approaches, these four lives are entangled and changed forever. Because the thing about football—the most important thing about football—is that it is never just about football.
Sir Terry Pratchett's many honors include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Printz Honor, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Britain's Carnegie Medal, the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award for lasting contribution to young adult literature, and the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. His books have sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. Knighted for his "services to literature," Sir Terry lives in England with his wife and many cats.
“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.”
“At its heart, this is an intelligent, cheeky love letter to football, its fans and the unifying power of sports.
“This account of Unseen University’s entry into the world of soccer (or, as they occasionally call it, “foot-the-ball”) pushes past the usual conventions of satire to offer equal parts absurdist philosophy and heartwarming romance....A witty addition to the long-running fantasy series”
“Thirty-seven books in and ... Discworld is still going strong...and doing so with undimmed, triumphant exuberance. ”
“It’s a triumphant effort”
-The Independent on Sunday