Unseen Academicals

Unseen Academicals
Terry Pratchett
The Discworld series
37th novel – 9th individual story Unseen.jpg
Characters Mustrum Ridcully
Ponder Stibbons
The Librarian
Havelock Vetinari
Lady Margolotta
Locations Ankh-Morpork
Motifs association football (soccer)
Publication details
Date of release 2009
Original publisher Doubleday
Hardback ISBN 0385609345
Paperback ISBN 0552153370
Other details

Unseen Academicals is the 37th novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. The novel satirises football (soccer),[1][2] and features Mustrum Ridcully setting up an Unseen University football (soccer) team, with the Librarian in goal.[3] It includes new details about "below stairs" life at the university.[3] The book introduces several new characters, including Trevor Likely, a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can; Glenda Sugarbean, a maker of "jolly good" pies; Juliet Stollop, a dim but beautiful young woman who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been; and the mysterious Mr Nutt, a cultured, enigmatic goblin savant. According to the publisher, Transworld, the "on sale" date for the hardback was October 1, 2009 although the official publication date is October 8, 2009.[4]
Borders stores have a small set of exclusive Discworld football cards included with each book.[5]

The title is a play on the names of rugby and football teams in the UK who have or have had a connection to educational institutions, examples being Hamilton Academical and Edinburgh Academicals.



Unseen Academicals tells the story of the faculty of Unseen University being forced to choose between (only) three meals a day and playing a game of football, as tradition mandates the game in exchange for their large financial endowment by a wealthy family. The wizards soon learn that the local version of football is very violent and deaths are common. Thus, in collaboration with the city's tyrant Lord Vetinari, they set out to make new 'official' football rules, which includes forbidding the use of hands and the use of official footballs as opposed to the makeshift balls the street games use. The book includes a satirisation of the Mallard ceremony performed at All Souls College, Oxford

Parallel to this, the book tells the story of four young people. A candle dribbler named Mr. Nutt discovers that he is not what he thinks he is and must overcome the fear of his race, both by humans and by himself. He is also chosen to train the university's team for the big match. Trev Likely, who is Mr. Nutt's coworker and best friend, is the son of the Ankh-Morpork's most famous deceased footballer, but has promised his dear old mum he won't play. Glenda is a friend of Mr. Nutt and Trev, runs the Unseen University Night Kitchen, and bakes the disc's best pies. Juliet works for Glenda, has a crush on Trev, is simple and beautiful, and daydreams about fashion. The four of them end up advising the wizards on their football endeavour, which culminates in an intense game between the Wizards and the former street footballers.


It has been confirmed that Unseen Academicals will be the fourth movie to be produced by SkyOne. It is due for production in 2011.



External links

Reading order guide
Preceded by
Making Money
37th Discworld Novel Succeeded by
I Shall Wear Midnight
Preceded by
A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices
9th Individual Story
Published in 2009
Succeeded by
To be announced
Novels by Terry Pratchett
Preceded by
Succeeded by
I Shall Wear Midnight

External links