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Night Watch: (Discworld Novel 29) (Discworld Novels) Paperback – 13 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (13 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552167665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552167666
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

The new Discworld novel Night Watch has the power and energy that characterizes Terry Pratchett at his occasional best, as well as the wild surreal humour he always gives us. Sam Vimes, running hero of the Guards sequence, finds himself cast back in time to the Ankh-Morpork of his youth--a much nastier city, with an actively deranged Patrician and a sadistic secret police--and finding himself filling in for Keel, the tough honest copper who teaches the young Vimes everything he knows. And, more worryingly, who dies heroically in the insurrection Vimes knows to be imminent. With a psychopath from his own time rising in the vile ranks of the Cable Street Unmentionables complicating things, Vimes has to ensure that history takes its course so that he will have the right future to go back to, and to keep his younger self alive--this is Pratchett's plotting at its most thoroughly constructed and wonderfully devious. Ankh-Morpork has for a long time been one of the most thoroughly imagined cities in fantasy--here Pratchett gives us a fascinating gloomy glimpse of its past and of the younger selves of some of his best-loved characters, and of the brief-lived People's Republic of Treacle-Mine Road. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

- "He is a satirist of enormous talent...His jokes slide under your skin as swiftly as a hypodermic syringe, leaving you giggling helplessly." --"The Times"

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 27 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Night Watch, the 27th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, is a wonderful character study of Samuel Vimes, the head of the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork. In this one, Pratchett turns kind of serious, though there are some amusing bits. Unlike Small Gods, it appears to work in this one. Maybe I just wasn't ready for it before. Or maybe Vimes is such an interesting character that I was willing to forgive. Whichever way it is, Night Watch is yet another masterpiece from Pratchett.
Carcer is one of Pratchett's best villains, I believe, because he's "normal." Yes, he's insane, but he could very well live in the world we live in, unlike some of Pratchett's other bad guys. Not to say that they weren't good as well, but Carcer adds that extra bit of chill. He's a survivor, able to adapt to many different situations. It takes some time for Vimes to adapt himself to what he has to do once he discovers what has happened. Even when the Monks of History (the main source of any humour in this book) tell him what he must do, he is still reluctant. Carcer, on the other hand, jumps in with both feet, ingratiating himself with the higher-ups, and starts establishing himself. Once he realizes what the situation is with Vimes (and the younger Vimes) it gets even chillier. He's very effective, and the reader is often left wondering just how Vimes can beat him.
This book, however, is Sam Vimes' book. I've always found Vimes to be a fascinating character, throughout all of the City Watch books, and this book just builds on those. Every City Watch book is really about the development of Vimes, and Night Watch takes it to the next level, with an in depth character study, where you get under his skin and find out what makes him tick.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is probably a book best read after some of the other 'Watch' novels in the Discworld series - 'Guards, Guards!', 'Men at Arms', 'Feet of Clay', 'Jingo', 'The Fifth Elephant' (I think that's all of them!). It's a Vimes novel through and through, and it would help to have some previous knowledge of Sam Vimes's character beforehand.
I happen to be a great Vimes fan, and I enjoyed it immensely. This is a clever novel that is surprisingly serious for a Discworld book, and yet still retains Pratchett's innate wry humour which prevents it from becoming taxing or sentimental. It follows Sam Vimes (Or His Grace Commander Sir Samuel Vimes the Duke of Ankh) as, by a freak accident, he and a murderer he is pursuing are thrown back in time to an old and dystopian Ankh-Morpork. The adventure that follows is a gripping page turner, full of insights into the nature of evil and the nature of authority. It also features a living Reg Shoe, a young Havelock Vetinari (wonderful!), a child Nobby Nobbs, the novice Dibbler, a younger Sam Vimes, truth, justice, freedom, and a hard-boiled egg.
Our own Sam finds himself a sergeant again, mentoring his younger self and taking a lead role in the rebellion against the paranoid patrician of the time. Pratchett's gentle satire pokes fun at the idealistic rebels who are so sure they can fix everything, but also makes some very pertinent commentary about the role and the power of the police during riots and rebellions.
As usual, Pratchett's characters are cast vividly. Reg Shoe actually reminds me very much of a girl I know in the Socialist Workers' Student Society. Doctor Lawn (who is a doctor to ladies of negiotable affection!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "shoequeen_uk" on 11 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is another fantastic Discworld book. The plot is one of the darkest, yet thoroughly enjoyable Pratchett has produced. The story takes us back in time to when Ankh-Morpork was even worse than it is in present day. Commander of the City Watch, Sam Vimes finds himself transported there alongside a dangerous villain. He comes across his former self and using the identity of John Keel (the man who taught him eveything he knows) he has to somehow teach his younger self how to be a good copper and save the watch without altering the future he wishes to return to.
Throughout this book you meet an extensive array of well known characters as they were back in the day and its incredibly entertaining and believable to read about their pasts. Nobby Nobbs is a particularly likeable scamp and a glimpse into Vetinari's past is also a pleasure.
As a huge Discworld fan, the stories of the watch are by far my favourites and this one is no disappointment. Twinged with darkness, tragedy and intrigue it has a likeness to the older (and superior) Watch books.
Not a good one to start with if your new to Pratchett as you won't fully appreciate it. Get to know the watch in present day first and it will be so much more of a treat. Try Guards!Guards!, or Men At Arms to familiarise yourself with Vimes, Carrot, Colon and the rest of the squad.
And, as though i need to mention, the humour and wittiness in Night Watch is just as present as in the rest of the series!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anna Tigg on 21 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Having been a HUGE Discworld fan for over ten years, I am always eager to read every new book. This, the 29th in the adult Discworld canon, is one of the best Pratchett books ever. Sam Vimes is a creation of genius. Pratchett has been gradually developing him from the drunk, cartoon copper of Guards! Guards! and he is now a fully-rounded individual that the reader is able to really relate to. He is cynical yet soft-hearted, a powerful man in present-day Ankh-Morpork, yet still keen to be on the street with the rest of his coppers. In this book he and the murderer he is chasing are thrown back in time by a magical storm, to a time just before a revolution in Ankh-Morpork. Vimes appears in the past as the Sergeant who taught him all he knows, and has to ensure that history happens as it should in order to get back to his future with his wife and their unborn child. We meet younger versions of many popular characters such as Colon, Nobby, Rosie Palm and even Havelock Vetinari, as a somewhat bullied member of the Assassin's School. There is also a welcome appearance for Lu-Tze, the most well-travelled Monk of History, follower of the Way of Mrs Cosmopolite, etc. There's intrigue aplenty as Vimes tries to save his friends while also knowing that some of them have to die for History to work.

This is a brilliant read, rightly making it into The Big Read Top 100, along with a number of other Pratchett novels. It is funny, sad and clever and it had me totally enthralled from beginning to end. Readers new to Pratchett should probably try one of his older books first, though, to get used to his style. If you want to follow all the City Watch books in the correct order, they go like this: 'Guards! Guards!', 'Men At Arms', 'Feet of Clay', 'Jingo', 'The Fifth Elephant', 'Night Watch', and 'Thud'. Various members of the Watch also appear in a number of the other Discworld novels, including 'Maskerade', 'Hogfather', 'The Truth', 'Monstrous Regiment' and 'Going Postal'.
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