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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
9,553138534 (4.39)386
Sam Vimes can't tell what kind of day he's having. One moment he's fighting a ruthless murderer on top of the library of the Unseen University. The next, he's thrown back in time. But, the city's on the brink of revolt, and that killer he was after in the future is with him here in the past, which is now the present. Now all Vimes has to do is figure out how to get back home--but first he has to change the outcome of a bloody rebellion.… (more)
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» See also 386 mentions

English (128)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Tagalog (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (138)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
In this trip into Sam Vimes past only the elements of magic make a fantasy rather than a serious political novel. Clueless aristocrats, secret police, equally clueless revolutionaries, s psychotic killer on the loose. ( )
  ritaer | Jul 4, 2020 |
it was fine. didn't like it as much as the others - "we've built up a great and likable cast of characters, let's throw the MC into a situation where he doesn't get to interact with any of them!"
  IridescenceDeep | Jun 28, 2020 |
I think I misremembered this one. This is a re-read. I didn't remember it being quite this good when I put the stars down in 2013 for when I read it almost a decade prior.

But you know what? This might be one of my top favorite Pratchett novels.

It may have something to do with the SF element. Maybe it has everything to do with a time-traveling Vimes being a mentor to himself, a big, bad, patriotic battle in the heart of Ankh-Morpork, and some classic Discworld history and a very young Havelock Vetinari entertaining the crap out of me.

If you weren't there, then go away. Wise words.

Fortunately, WE can be there on that fateful day!

Again.

There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about this novel. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This is the last of the trilogy of City Watch novels that for me was the best of the whole sequence of eight; Night Watch is my favorite of them all except for Jingo. Like in Jingo, this book is an exploration of how the real injustice in society isn't street crime-- but also how the police aren't really equipped to deal with that. Vimes finds himself in the middle of a revolution, trying to figure out how he can stop it all from going horribly wrong. It's partially a prequel (and one I'm not entirely convinced lines up with how Vimes was introduced in Guards! Guards!, but whatever), but that just adds to the sense of crushing inevitability. He can't, of course. My favorite scenes were the ones where Vimes's common sense and common decency helps win out over the self-interested and the craven. This didn't quite read the heights of Jingo-- I found some of the time travel stuff very confusing-- but I enjoyed it a lot, and to be honest, I kind of wish it had been the last City Watch novel.
  Stevil2001 | May 22, 2020 |
*3.5 ( )
  Fortunesdearest | Apr 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (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, StephenMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Vicq de Cumptich, RobertoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orosz, IstvanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
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Epigraph
Dedication
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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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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