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Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Night Watch (2002)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

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9,159131521 (4.39)378

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» See also 378 mentions

English (121)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Tagalog (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
Sam Vimes is in hot pursuit of a criminal mastermind when they are both caught in a time hiccup and sucked into the past. They arrive on May 25th, the day of a bloody revolution which Vimes knows all too well because he was there the first time it happened. If he can change history he'll be able to save the lives of good men, but then his own future (wife, soon-to-be-born son,...) may disappear, and anyway it may just take all his efforts just to keep his young, rookie cop self alive.
The absolute best Discworld book I've read so far. So much fabulous going on here. Vimes is at his Vimesiest, which could never be anything but wonderful, and the story has a feeling of everything that came before it being merely a lead-up to this moment. ( )
  electrascaife | May 22, 2019 |
As I'm rapidly approaching the end of the Discworld books, I am more and more impressed with Pratchett's ability. Within the series there are several story arcs that can be read separately but even the most stand-alone of the novels, like 'Small Gods' or 'Pyramids', impacts the rest of the series.

'Night Watch' is of course a Watchman novel, centering on Sam Vimes and a pivotal event in his past. I try to be careful about five star ratings but very early on in this book there was a scene that encapsulated what I love best about Pratchett - there's the laughs of course, the terrible puns (or play on words), the satire of genre fiction and society, and of course the plotting itself which is fantastic; but what I like best is how Pratchett can so easily break down preconceptions and myth-making, and that tendency is most effective when he applies it to his own creations.

The same scene, read by others, may not have the same effect (which is a great thing about fiction), so I won't go into it to much, but Sam Vimes has been built up as a hard, practical man, a realistic idealist, or idealistic realist...anyway, in many ways it was sometimes hard to see Vimes as a complete individual outside of his work and the needs of the plot - but early in 'Night Watch' when Vimes is thinking of the loss of his wedding present from Sybil, and quietly expresses that he wants to go home, that's something else entirely.


Next: 'The Wee Free Men'

Previous: 'The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Night Watch, is flung back in time to the middle of a revolution in Ankh-Morpork that he has already lived through once, as a young Watch recruit. With the help of the History Monks, he has to make sure events unfold as they should and that young Vimes becomes the man he is/will be while catching the bad guy who wants everything to turn out rather differently. Less jokes than a lot of Discworld books, but a good read. ( )
  Griffin22 | Dec 18, 2018 |
My copy is read to shreds; this might be the best exploration of the morality of revolution ever written. The assassins, trolls, zombies and whip-sharp humor are just bonuses. ( )
  jonsweitzerlamme | Nov 28, 2018 |
As always, a fun ride - we learn about young Vimes and young Vetinari while learning the lessons of governments and revolutions. Not as good as Thud - I wish young Sam Vimes was more hashed out, and Vimes had cared a little more about the birth of his son; I would have also liked maybe an extra chapter where we learn how Vetinari came to power. Overall, fun, you can't go wrong with Pratchett. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (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 (17 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
Orosz, IstvanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Sam Vimes sighed when he heard the scream, but he finished shaving before he did anything about it.
"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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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?


No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

One moment City Watch Commander Sam Vimes is fighting a ruthless murderer. The next, he's thrown back 30 years in time when the Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork is on the brink of revolt.

» see all 11 descriptions

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