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Night Watch (2002)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: City Watch (6), Discworld (29)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,310155554 (4.38)402
Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck... Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. There's a problem:if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future... A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution. Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!… (more)
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» See also 402 mentions

English (145)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Tagalog (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
Með betri bókum Pratchetts um Diskheim. Sam Vines, yfirmaður Næturvarðanna, er að kljást við raðmorðingja sem er kolklikkaður (eðlilega) og drepur sér til skemmtunar Næturverði borgarinnar, þegar þeir báðir kastast aftur í tíma þegar íbúar Ank-Morphok er á suðupunkti og borgararnir undirbúa byltingu gegn klikkuðum og ofsóknaróðum kóngi. Allar gjörðir til góðs og slæms hafa afleiðingar en Tímamunkarnir keppast við að halda hlutum innan marka. Skemmtileg og spennandi. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
The chief of the Discworld city watch wants to get Back to the Future.

3/4 (Good).

It has an engrossing story, although there aren't any surprises. It's not very funny. Enough silliness to lighten the mood but not enough to get a laugh seems to be pretty standard for the City Watch books - which is fine by me, I'd much rather have a good story than a joke. However, most of the better characters are barely in this one.

And it spends a lot of time relating Vimes' personal philosophies, which are off-putting. Besides being generally pro-cop (and yes, he's a cop, that's unavoidable, but does he have to spend so much time going on about it?), there are also such gems as an argument against gun control, and a lot of excitement for the death penalty.

(Feb. 2022) ( )
  comfypants | Feb 13, 2022 |
I'm probably not doing this book justice with my rating, but as much as I think the writing is brilliant, it dragged for me badly.

I started it thinking it would work for my werewolf square in bingo, and by the time I realised it definitely wasn't (Agula the werewolf is only mentioned and never appears), it was too far in to stop.

This is a much deeper, more serious storyline that any of the other Discworld books I've read so far and there's a lot of political philosophy (and a fair amount of quantum physics). It's brilliant political philosophy, but I was expecting werewolves, so Poli-Phi and string theory was more work than I was prepared for. (Also, I'm not a fan of time travel plots.)

Still, this is Pratchett and as MT said, for a book I was complaining was hard work to get through, I was laughing out loud an awful lot. Pratchett is a genius at using his words, and the scene involving the ox and the raw ginger had tears coming to my eyes (and likely theirs). So many laugh out loud moments in this one that even though I'm glad it's over, I'm definitely also glad I've read it.

(Luckily, there are enough other elements in this book that I can use it for the Free Space.) ( )
  murderbydeath | Jan 25, 2022 |
Night Watch is the 29th novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and the 6th of the City Watch sub-series. Sam Vimes goes on a timey-wimey adventure into Ankh-Morpork and the City Watch's past landing in the middle of major historical events in the city.

"And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn’t that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.

As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn’t measure up."


Time travel is one of my least favorite tropes in fantasy. Thankfully that is not the focus of the story, though there is plenty of fretting over changing the future by altering the past. Instead it is the story of the events that shaped young Sam Vimes into the old Sam Vimes we've grown to love over five previous books by, err, himself. Or something. There's definitely a time loop involved.

That bit of head scratching logic aside, this is a surprisingly poignant read and not the story I was expecting for a Watch novel. Pratchett has some insightful things to say about society, policing, government and duty that feels extremely relevant in these trying times. I don't know how Pratchett does it. This story is both disturbing in how real it is and comforting for the hope it provides. ( )
  Narilka | Dec 22, 2021 |
Huh, go figure. Just as the 28th book in this long-running series took a (what I believe to be terrible) left turn, this very next one also took an unexpected turn, and is a darker and more violent book than any of the previous 28.

And it's also an extremely good one. Probably top five in the series so far. The laughs are still there, the humour as biting and witty as ever, but there's this whole other level of depth that Pratchett delivers this time around.

I will say I was actually reluctant to read the next one in the series because of how much I disliked [b:The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents|34534|The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld, #28)|Terry Pratchett|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1168566225l/34534._SY75_.jpg|1179689], but this one completely restored my faith. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
A fine place to start reading Pratchett if you don't mind a few ''in'' jokes, ''Night Watch'' transcends standard genre fare with its sheer schoolboy humor and characters who reject their own stereotypes.
 
What makes the book intriguing is Pratchett's Chestertonian common-sense morality. While his blunt logic doesn't always equip him to deal with the niceties (at one point, he seems to argue against any controls on gun ownership), it allows him to break through liberal confusions and conservative certainties.
added by melmore | editThe Independent, Robert Hank (Nov 29, 2002)
 
Not a side-splitter this time, though broadly amusing and bubbling with wit and wisdom: both an excellent story and a tribute to beat cops everywhere, doing their hair-raising jobs with quiet courage and determination.
added by melmore | editKirkus Review (Nov 12, 2002)
 
Stories both trap people in a continuum and console them with images of beginnings and ends. Pratchett is a master storyteller.
added by Shortride | editThe Guardian, A. S. Byatt (Nov 9, 2002)
 

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Vicq de Cumptich, RobertoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orosz, IstvanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijn, Rembrandt vanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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First words
Sam Vimes sighed when he heard the scream, but he finished shaving before he did anything about it.
Quotations
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."

-- Detritus learns about weapons safety (Terry Pratchett, Night Watch)
"Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes."

-- (Terry Pratchett, Night Watch)
'It's not me, you understand,' said Vimes, 'but if I went back
and showed my captain this piece of paper and he said to me,
Vi- Keel, how d'you know he's Henry the Hamster, well, I'd be a
bit... flummoxed. Maybe even perplexed.'

-- (Terry Pratchett, Night Watch)
Maybe the best way to build a bright new world is to peel some spuds in this one.
'One's got a lot of holes in his feet, one dropped through the privy roof and has got a twisted leg, and one's dead.'

'I don't think I can do much about the dead one' said the doctor. 'How do you know he's dead? I realize I might regret asking that question.'

'He's got a broken neck from falling off a roof and I reckon he fell off because he got a steel crossbow bolt in his brain.'

'Ah. That sounds like dead, if you want my medical opinion.'

(Terry Pratchett, Night Watch)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck... Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. There's a problem:if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future... A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution. Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!

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Book description
Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all.

But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck...

Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion.

There's a problem: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future...

A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution.

Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!
Haiku summary
When the lilacs bloom,
Vimes must do it all again.
Can he do it right?

(espadrile)

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