Unseen Academicals

I took some time out of my voyage through the Nero Wolfe series to devour the new Terry Pratchett novel, Unseen Academicals.

It’s a good book, which I really enjoyed. I’d recommend it with one caveat. Part of the humour is very English. It comes from the characters, who speak a subdialect which I am led to believe is called Chav, striking social situations outside their cultural experience. Now, I kind-of understood it, and kind-of appreciated it, but I think the effect would be stronger, for me, if these characters were part of my cultural milieu. I’m not saying it’s a bad book, but this is an Australian library site, so I think it is fair to note that up front there really is a lot of cultural load you need to get through to reach the plot.

The plot is about how football is not about football. Now, being a nerdy chap, I think that the thing that football is about, when not about football, is still not really a worthwhile thing, but I get that the rest of you like it, and you aren’t scaring the horses, so, that’s none of my business.

The story has many laugh-aloud moments and the occasional cameo by beloved characters from earlier in the series, so its great for a fan. For new readers, I’d start somewhere else (say, Guards! Guards!) unless they really like football.