Night Watch Paperback – Sep 29 2003
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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 the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
British author Pratchett's storytelling, a clever blend of Monty Pythonesque humor and Big Questions about morality and the workings of the universe, is in top form in his 28th novel in the phenomenally bestselling Discworld series (The Last Hero, etc.). Pragmatic Sam Vimes, Commander of Ankh-Morpork's City Watch, can't complain. He has a title, his wife is due to give birth to their first child any moment and he hasn't had to pound a beat in ages but that doesn't stop him from missing certain bits of his old life. Thank goodness there's work to be done. Vimes manages to corner a murderer, Carcer, on the library dome at Unseen University during a tremendous storm, only to be zapped back in time 30 years, to an Ankh-Morpork where the Watch is a joke, the ruling Patrician mad and the city on the verge of rebellion. Three decades earlier, a man named John Keel took over the Night Watch and taught young Sam Vimes how to be a good cop before dying in that rebellion. Unfortunately, in this version of the past, Carcer has killed Keel. The only way Vimes can hope to return home and ensure he has a future to return home to is to take on Keel's role. The author lightens Vimes's decidedly dark situation with glimpses into the origins of several of the more unique denizens of Ankh-Morpork. One comes away, as always, with the feeling that if Ankh-Morpork isn't a real place, it bloody well ought to be.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Once Lse-Tsu, the Sweeper, has explained the science behind the events Vimes (now known as John Keel) finds he has four days in which to educate his younger self and locate and take Carcer back with him, all before the revolution. However, he has the major advantage of a)being intelligent, b)knowing all about what should happen. So he inveigles his way into becoming a Nightwatch sergeant-at-arms, promptly shakes up the accepted corruption within its ranks and then sets off on his mission. Fairly quickly he manages to upset the course of history by ensuring the Morphic Street Conspiracy didn't end in a massacre before realising that Captain Swing of the Unmentionables has now recruited Carcer as a sergeant.Read more ›
It is springtime in Ankh-Morpork, the lilac is in bloom. As his wife Sybil is about to give birth to their first child, Commander Samuel Vimes of the City Watch heads to the cemetary of Small Gods, to commemorate the day Sergeant John Keel, his mentor, and six other coppers died some thirty yeas ago.
Later, arriving at the Patrician's Palace, he hears that Carcer, a serial killer who's been wreaking havoc around town lately, has just been cornered. This might be his only chance to arrest the murderer.
Outside, there's a storm brewing. After a chase in the streets of the city, Vimes and Carcer end up in the tower of the wizards' University, a highly magical place. And as the Commander is about to catch his prey, lighting strikes, and both are transported back in time, some thirty years earlier... Soon Carcer commits another crime and kills John Keel.
Night Watch has a strong "Back to the Future" theme, where changing events in the past... well, the now, of course affects those in the now... well, the future. Many things have changed in thirty years, and Vimes struggles to put his own past back on the track. It won't be long until he encounters his younger self. Passing himself off as Sergeant John Keel, not only will he have to teach young Sam to be a good copper, but he must also survive the oncoming Revolution.
True to form, Terry Pratchett gives us yet another witty, intelligent, hilarious Discworld novel of the City Watch, with its traditional footnotes and tongue-in-cheek humour, and some cameo appearances of Death... what more could we possibly ask for?
This book is a perfect example of Pratchett's trademark combination of action, witt and philosophy. Old fans will adore meeting Nobby Nobbs as a street urchin, Havelock Vetinari as a student assassin, and Reg Shoe as a young (and very much alive) rebel-without-a-cause. As for new readers, just read the first sentence and see if you don't like it. Go on, I dare you. Here it is:
"Sam Vimes sighed when he heard the scream, but he finished shaving before he did anything about it."
Curious? Interested? I hope so.
Terry Pratchett's writing style is so vivid and elegant that the reader is pulled right into the story. His writing is so good in fact that I think a reader would be justified in saying "I was there."
Most recent customer reviews
A classic Terry Pratchett and probably one of my favourites along with Thud. All the humour, the whimsy, and the genius that goes with a classic Pratchett.Published 4 months ago by Simon
We totally loved the time spent listening to Night watch! Terry Pratchett brings diskworld to life in so many amazing ways! Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2014 by Foxy Lady
This one is very focused on one character, luckily that character is Sam Vimes so it ends up being one of the better Discworld novels in my opinion.Published on Dec 19 2013 by Dan
Terry does it again with this tale of a time-travelling Samuel Vimes looking to keep his other self out of trouble during the Ankh-Morpork rebellion. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2003
While Night Watch is one of the best of the Terry Pratchett novels, this reading of the book is completely disappointing. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2003 by S Pomeroy
Forgive the corny joke. This is a marvelous book, the first that really focuses completely on Sam Vimes. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2002 by A
A comparison between a Discworld novel and the Star Trek TV series would not usually come to mind. However, in NIGHTWATCH, we are discovering something like the program's temporal... Read morePublished on Dec 12 2002 by Friederike Knabe