Review: Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett (audiobook)

Until the release of Monstrous Regiment I have bought and read every one of the ‘adult’, regular, Discworld books. That one marked a clear break in what I otherwise had thought of as consistently funny and thoughtful books.

To tell the truth I didn’t much enjoy Thief of Time either, but that was made up for by Night Watch being very good. Never much liked Going Postal or Thud! or Making Money though so at the arrival of this new one I decided I could just as well listen to it instead of have it take up shelf space.

The decision turned out to be the right one because, I’m sorry to say, Unseen Academicals has the feel of an unfinished work – a working draft, published too early. A few giggles do not make up a book and the football parts are not insightful in the way we are used to from Pratchett’s works.

Like the other Discworld audiobooks it is narrated by Tony Robinson, for me primarily known as Baldrick in all those Blackadder series’ and as the presenter of Time Team. Generally I think he does a good job but as differing voices for the cast goes he’s not transparent and the reader has to engage in some guesswork to understand who’s saying what and to whom, at times.

Go read some of his earlier books instead, like Night Watch or Moving Pictures or Small Gods or Reaper Man.

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