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Night Watch: (Discworld Novel 29) (Discworld Novels) Hardcover – 4 Nov 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 317 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (4 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385602642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385602648
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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


'His spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction.' -- Mail on Sunday

'Like Jonathan Swift ... he is a satirist of enormous talent ... incredibly funny ... compulsively readable.' -- The Times

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
Terry Pratchett is a paragon among writers. While some authors achieve a peak and slide away, even if only temporarily, Pratchett climbs upward, one step [book] at a time, reaching new crests. This work is indisputably his finest endeavor. Unlike other "fantasy" [ugh!] writers, he is able to draw on scientific sources to support his stories. In this instance it's quantum physics, time travel and probability. Oh, yes, and people. Plot and environment are set gently aside in Pratchett's quest to portray folks. Real people in real circumstances. Or at least as real as living in Ankh-Morpork, the Discworld's major city, will allow. We are once again confronted with the puzzle of how much is Sam Vimes Pratchett's idol and how much is Pratchett himself?
All Terry Pratchett's characters are fascinating in their own way. Rincewind, a spectacular coward, expresses a survivor's continuing agonies of fear and distrust. Esme Weatherwax dons a cape of firm self-assurance you could roof a shed with - until she's alone and surveying her frailties. In Sam Vimes, however, Pratchett produced someone special. In his own view Sam sometimes strides on feet of clay. Plagued by self-doubts, worrying about problems often not his, beset by hordes of enemies and unpredictable circumstances, Vimes manages to trot up to the finish line soiled but sturdy. We live in an era when "character" is a disreputable phrase. Still, Sam Vimes arrives at each finale by employing resolute self discipline, applying it to himself or imparting it to others. In this book, that example becomes bifurcated by Sam's knowledge that he's coaching his younger self. Maintaining his own standards while imparting them to young Lance-Constable Vimes is a challenging situation.
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