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'Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.' For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer at loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution. The people have found their voice at last, t 'Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.' For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer at loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution. The people have found their voice at last, the flags and barricades are rising...And the question for a policeman, an officer of the law, a defender of the peace, is: Are you with them, or are you against them?


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'Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.' For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer at loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution. The people have found their voice at last, t 'Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.' For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer at loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution. The people have found their voice at last, the flags and barricades are rising...And the question for a policeman, an officer of the law, a defender of the peace, is: Are you with them, or are you against them?

30 review for Night Watch

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    Eat more cake when you are that hungry. Stupid mob. Usually, I am no friend of the crime and thriller genre without extreme violence and psychological terror, with skim and scanable character focused investigator plotlines in between, but satires of the genre are definitively my thing, because the stereotypical badass attitude of the detectives is something with huge self satirizing potential. Just as the serial killers, always the same motivations, childhood traumas, preferred methods, just the Eat more cake when you are that hungry. Stupid mob. Usually, I am no friend of the crime and thriller genre without extreme violence and psychological terror, with skim and scanable character focused investigator plotlines in between, but satires of the genre are definitively my thing, because the stereotypical badass attitude of the detectives is something with huge self satirizing potential. Just as the serial killers, always the same motivations, childhood traumas, preferred methods, just the lunatic absentminded perverted unorganized ones or the sociopathic geniuses with neurotic perfectionism and extra charisma to bewitch their victims. But I am asking myself how many hidden innuendos for crime and thriller fans might lurk in the City Watch series, how many investigations, methods, and character archetypes of the troop have backgrounds in these genres. I don´t even know if Pratchett liked and read crime and thriller, so it could easily be that there is no secret, second layer, but because of his tendency to pimp everything, it´s not that improbable. Sam Vimes' character development is one of the most amazing, besides the young witches growing up. His changes in attitude and motivations are drastically and while the wizzards, Ank Morpork standard characters, and fantasy creatures stay quite the same, one should consider reading the City Watch subseries and witch novels with Magrat Garlick and Tiffany Aching in chronological order, because it could get confusing when the protagonists' mentality is suddenly completely different or, if one randomly reads from the last to the first novel, Sam Vimes degenerates backwards towards an even more disillusionized and cynical person. At least I get the historical implications in this one, because the French revolution is something that always stays in mind of important political leaders to avoid catastrophes that follow the same pattern of greed, incompetence, growing social injustice, neofeudalism, etc. I mean, it would be absolutely crazy to not have learned out of all the ancient revolutions, 2 world wars, many financial crises,…oh. Facepalm. There we are again, just as over 200 years ago, just with lasers and smartphones instead of pitchforks and torches. Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph... This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheibe... The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    My favourite Pratchett novel, but I'm not really sure why. I think that Sam Vimes' being in it definitely helps: I think my favourite "series" in the Discworld novels are the City Watch series (along with the witches of Lancre and Death). His character arc really comes to a head in this one, even though he still has another level to go to in Thud! I also think that time travel being in it also definitely helps. Though not the quantum, metaphysical, zany fun of Thief of Time (though Lu Tze makes an My favourite Pratchett novel, but I'm not really sure why. I think that Sam Vimes' being in it definitely helps: I think my favourite "series" in the Discworld novels are the City Watch series (along with the witches of Lancre and Death). His character arc really comes to a head in this one, even though he still has another level to go to in Thud! I also think that time travel being in it also definitely helps. Though not the quantum, metaphysical, zany fun of Thief of Time (though Lu Tze makes an appearance), this trip through the Trousers of Time is meaningful, poignant, even tragic. Oh. I think this was the first Discworld novel to make me cry. I don't cry a lot when I read: rarely do I even get weepy. Discworld always, always makes me laugh (a lot); it makes me want to write, wonder, think, grin, ponder, mull, and all that... but this book was the first to make me cry. I think this is the first Discworld novel in which I really realized that Pratchett is who I want to be as a writer. Night Watch is funny, yes... it's fantasy, yes... but it's more than that. It's human. It tells a story of being human. Pratchett has some great characters with great arcs (like Moist in Going Postal), and he has some epic, meaty stories (like Thud!) with so much behind them you can hardly breathe... but Sam Vimes, in Night Watch, is about as truly human as Pratchett gets. And that is probably why this is my favourite Discworld novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melindam

    The AWESOMEST DISCWORLD BOOK, EVER! "People are content to wait a long time for salvation, but prefer dinner to turn up inside an hour." “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." "His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Samuel Vimes" has been my acknowledged, unconquerable Discworld/literary C*R*U*S*H ever since the 1st book about The AWESOMEST DISCWORLD BOOK, EVER! "People are content to wait a long time for salvation, but prefer dinner to turn up inside an hour." “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." "His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Samuel Vimes" has been my acknowledged, unconquerable Discworld/literary C*R*U*S*H ever since the 1st book about tge Night Watch, Guards! Guards!. I would choose him over Mr Darcy & that's saying somethin'. Shame none of the Watch-books were put to film, I could have imagined the divine Alan Rickman (R.I.P.) playing him to perfection. But the time has come to reveal my -so far- secret (hush)crush on Lord Vetinari. Why? A) He is awesome & unattainable & we would be totally mismatched as a couple. B) Terry Pratchett is genius. C) I blame Jeremy Irons & Charles Dance. D) All the above. I also love the relationship between Vimes & Vetinari, the grudging respect they have for on another: Night Watch is a brilliant book & my undisputed favourite of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch series (and believe me, I love them all). TIME / TIMING are given new dimensions with Vimes living on borrowed time, being behind/ahead of times at the same time. And he is literally walking down Memory Lane when he finds himself transported back 30 years earlier and has the terrifying/wonderful chance to teach his younger self (a rookie of the Night Watch) some policing while trying to deal with the sinister politics of those times and getting some support from the time Monks led by Lu Tze, the Sweeper. I loved meeting the young Vetinari, Rosie Palm, Dibbler, Nobby, Fred & Reg Shoe and also some new characters, like Mossy Lane, the "pox doctor" and Sandra Battye who is a real seamstress (&actually knows how to sew).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Terry Pratchett may have been the coolest writer on earth. Certainty one of the coolest. In 1969, Steve Winwood and his band mates in Blind Faith (some little known musicians named Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech) sang these beautiful lyrics in the haunting song Can’t Find My Way Home. “Come down off your throne and leave your body alone Somebody must change You are the reason I've been waiting all these years Somebody holds the key Well, I'm near the end and I just ain't got the time And I'm w Terry Pratchett may have been the coolest writer on earth. Certainty one of the coolest. In 1969, Steve Winwood and his band mates in Blind Faith (some little known musicians named Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech) sang these beautiful lyrics in the haunting song Can’t Find My Way Home. “Come down off your throne and leave your body alone Somebody must change You are the reason I've been waiting all these years Somebody holds the key Well, I'm near the end and I just ain't got the time And I'm wasted and I can't find my way home” In 2002 Pratchett first published his 29th Discworld book, the hauntingly beautiful Night Watch, in which we gentle readers learned that heroic as Sam Vimes was before, Pratchett had not yet demonstrated to what degree of heroism was this character drawn. Exploring themes of leadership, identity, revolution and justice Nigh Watch is at once one of Pratchett’s most satisfying Discworld novels and perhaps it’s most somber and dark. There are still plenty of smiles, some laughs, but Pratchett, taking a page from the Dickens playbook of vilifying what is villainous and making courageous what is valiant at it heart, demonstrates his great range of writing ability. Sam Vimes, while chasing a murderous bad guy, is flung back in time to when he had first joined the Watch, amidst tensions that threatened to tear his city apart. Buried amidst each Terry Pratchett Discworld are golden nuggets of cultural references – readers can search and find them and have fun like kids on Easter Sunday finding eggs. My favorite here were two jewels of PINK FLOYD and THE WHO references. One of his best.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Speedtribes

    While Terry Pratchett is known for the humor in his Discworld series, I enjoy them primarily because-- while on the surface, his books do indeed classify as humor, he also writes these almost painful realities, very human thoughts and incredibly immersive emotions in situations that you generally don't find in most humorous fantasy/sci-fi which tends more towards parody and caricatures. Though, I wouldn’t exactly say that the Discworld series isn't a parody-- because his books are parodies, or s While Terry Pratchett is known for the humor in his Discworld series, I enjoy them primarily because-- while on the surface, his books do indeed classify as humor, he also writes these almost painful realities, very human thoughts and incredibly immersive emotions in situations that you generally don't find in most humorous fantasy/sci-fi which tends more towards parody and caricatures. Though, I wouldn’t exactly say that the Discworld series isn't a parody-- because his books are parodies, or social commentaries. They just happen to parody the real world more than parodying the fantasy genre. In the Nightwatch series of books, this being the first one, you are introduced to a series of ragtag characters who are disrespected and disillusioned. Then a Heroic character is introduced into the ranks. This Heroic character proves to be the inspiration and catalyst necessary for the members of the Nightwatch to stand up and finally do what they wanted to do somewhere deep in their hearts (even if, in some characters' cases, this need was buried very deeply). Be upright, respectable guards. Uphold the law. They wanted to make a difference. They wanted to matter. And by the end of the story, they do. The conclusion of this story had me nearly in tears-- it was humble and inspirational, and an entirely hilariously exciting read. I have so much love for them and their story. <3

  6. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    from my blog at https://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2015/... Thud! Thud! In one timeline, that’s the name of another Pratchett Discworld novel (the 34th, apparently). Thud! In another, that’s the sound of me marching to my own drum. In yet another, that’s the sound the vegetables thrown by my book-loving friends make when they hit my hard head. Because, honestly, this was in between the “okay” and ‘liked it” kind of read for me. Given my GR friend average rating of 4.52, I’m missing something. Most likely from my blog at https://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2015/... Thud! Thud! In one timeline, that’s the name of another Pratchett Discworld novel (the 34th, apparently). Thud! In another, that’s the sound of me marching to my own drum. In yet another, that’s the sound the vegetables thrown by my book-loving friends make when they hit my hard head. Because, honestly, this was in between the “okay” and ‘liked it” kind of read for me. Given my GR friend average rating of 4.52, I’m missing something. Most likely, it is books one through five in the Night Watch sub-series of Discworld. I did read at least two Vines books, Men at Arms, and possibly Feet of Clay. Or maybe it was that other timeline, because it was a really, really long time ago, and Vines was almost all I remembered (remember, I told you: “I often have only foggy details stored.”) Night Watch: A Discworld novel in which guardsman Sam Vines learns that Time Travel is Confusing. Currently a Baron, with time occupied more by meetings than by feeling the city stones beneath his feet, Sam Vines is thrown back into history as he attempts to catch a serial killer. In an unusual twist, Vines will have to play mentor to young Sam. Certainly interesting, at times philosophical, it definitely has a feel-good aspect that helps it go down easily. The trouble is, much of the story has to do with the history of the city of Ankh-Morpork and the various politicking of the rulers and those propping them up, and the Night Watch’s own role in keeping the peace. Certainly a worthwhile topic, particularly at this time in American history (I can’t speak to other countries), but the message is incompletely rendered to those unfamiliar with Discworld’s intricacies. The upshot? Don’t listen to me, unless you haven’t read any of the Discworld books. Thud!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This was a reread but it has been so long that I did not remember much of it at all, so it was just like reading it for the first time. Two of my favourite Discworld characters are Vimes and Vetinari and since they both featured in this book it had to be a success in my mind! I loved the way Pratchett created an alternative past and we got to see Vimes as a young man as well as the well worn cynic that we know so well. Plus a tiny bit of back story for Vetinari did not go amiss. Terry Pratchett w This was a reread but it has been so long that I did not remember much of it at all, so it was just like reading it for the first time. Two of my favourite Discworld characters are Vimes and Vetinari and since they both featured in this book it had to be a success in my mind! I loved the way Pratchett created an alternative past and we got to see Vimes as a young man as well as the well worn cynic that we know so well. Plus a tiny bit of back story for Vetinari did not go amiss. Terry Pratchett will always be one of my go to authors when I want to read a book I know I will enjoy. Fortunately I have two whole shelves devoted just to him. Such a shame he left us much too soon.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laure

    I really enjoyed listening to this audio book. I thought the narrator was excellent with the different character's voices. It was all very entertaining. I adored the humour and the wit present throughout the book. It was the first book from Terry Pratchett I have read - I am not sure why I waited so long to read any of his output - but it will certainly not be the last. A fanstatic read. I really enjoyed listening to this audio book. I thought the narrator was excellent with the different character's voices. It was all very entertaining. I adored the humour and the wit present throughout the book. It was the first book from Terry Pratchett I have read - I am not sure why I waited so long to read any of his output - but it will certainly not be the last. A fanstatic read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Smartarse

    Following a magical accident, City Watch Commander Samuel Vimes finds himself in the Ankh Morpork of his youth. The good news is that the criminal he was chasing has also joined him in the past, so no more cop murders in the present time. The bad news is, that said criminal has more than enough charisma to join and thrive in the Day Watch of the time: a cruel organization way above the law. To keep up with the man, Sam Vimes will infiltrate the Night Watch, adopting the identity of his childhood Following a magical accident, City Watch Commander Samuel Vimes finds himself in the Ankh Morpork of his youth. The good news is that the criminal he was chasing has also joined him in the past, so no more cop murders in the present time. The bad news is, that said criminal has more than enough charisma to join and thrive in the Day Watch of the time: a cruel organization way above the law. To keep up with the man, Sam Vimes will infiltrate the Night Watch, adopting the identity of his childhood hero, John Keel. Luckily, it's not like our favorite City Watch commander is without help. The History Monks are working round the clock (hah!) to ensure his safe return to the present. So in the meantime, Vimes might as well take up his role in the upcoming civil war that has been brewing in the streets for some time. For fans and connoisseurs of the Ankh Morpork City Watch series, this book is such a treat. We get to see Sam Vimes turn into his own chidlhood hero, as he skillfully navigates the tactical and political pitfalls of a lawless city on the brink of war. It was positively exhillariating to see our commander protect his turf and slowly but surely expand it. And all it (apparently) took, was to follow a few common sense rules. But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. Truth! Freedom! Justice! And a hard-boiled egg! My favorite parts however, were old-Vimes' mentoring moments with 6-year-old Nobby, and the young Vimesy. The first one, as a handy spy, and the second one (primarily) out of dire necessity. After all, it wouldn't do to have his past self die now, if old-Vimes wanted to have a future to return to. Nobby's brow creased in genuine puzzlement. 'What's pulling wobblers mean?' he said. Vimes gave him a similar look. Street parly had changed a lot in thirty years. 'That's stealing trifles... small items. Isn't it?' 'Nah, nah, mister. That's "tottering nevils",' said Nobby relaxing. 'But you ain't doing badly, for someone who's new. ' Vimes held up Nobby. 'See this?' he said. 'Is it a monkey?' said the woman. 'Har, har, very funny,' moaned Nobby, as Vimes lowered him again. 'Just one more thing, Nobby...' 'Yes, sarge?' said Nobby, still spooning. 'Give me back my notebook, my handkerchief and the four pennies you whizzed from my pockets, will you?' Nobby opened his mouth to protest, dribbling slumgullet, but closed it when he saw the glint in Vimes' eye. Sliently, he produced the items from various horrible pockets. Score: 4/5 stars Four well-deserved stars for a poignant, funny, bitter-sweet and nostalgic as heck origin story on Sam Vimes, Havelock Vetinari, as well as several important members of the (future) City/Night Watch. ... and did I mention there's quite a bit on young Vetinari, the apprentice assasin? Because there is, and it's brilliant! Just sayin'. ============== Other books featuring the Night Watch: Review of the 1st book: Guards! Guards! Review of the 2nd book: Men at Arms Review of the 3rd book: Feet of Clay Review of the 4th book: Jingo Review of the 5th book: The Fifth Elephant Review of the 7th book: Thud! Review of the 8th book: Snuff

  10. 4 out of 5

    Merand

    I may have said this when I finished the last Discworld book but this was by far the best Discworld book yet. Perhaps the best Pratchett book I've read. I loved it. It was not laugh out loud funny the way many of Pratchett's books are but it was so good. It was darker, delving into the history of Ankh-Morpork (Discworld's largest city) and allowing us glimpses into the past of several repeat characters, primarily Sam Vimes, Commander of the Night Watch, but also Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh- I may have said this when I finished the last Discworld book but this was by far the best Discworld book yet. Perhaps the best Pratchett book I've read. I loved it. It was not laugh out loud funny the way many of Pratchett's books are but it was so good. It was darker, delving into the history of Ankh-Morpork (Discworld's largest city) and allowing us glimpses into the past of several repeat characters, primarily Sam Vimes, Commander of the Night Watch, but also Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, and several others. Pratchett has an amazing talent at looking at universal themes from a fresh perspective, poking fun at our preconceived notions, and simply making us think. This book looked into the black hearts of men but rather than having to go into gory detail, Pratchett knows we can imagine more horrors than he could write and so he leaves us to our own minds. This book has such merit I would recommend anyone to read it but you can't fully appreciate its complexities or the heartbreak and challenges of the characters without having read the other books that pertain particularly to the Night Watch. Sam Vimes has come such a long way. In the first book he's featured in, he's a drunk with a horrible outlook on life, merely a captain, no family, no life except for the Watch. Now, several books and years later, he is a Duke, the Commander of the Watch, sober, married and about to have a child. I have never seen such redemption in a character and have to wonder if Vimes isn't Pratchett's favorite character. Rather than let him stew in his own miserableness (as typical cop movies, books, shows do) Vimes rises above his own demons to know another, better world (and he doesn't sacrifice any of his character to do so). I was very much looking forward to reading this book and was never let down.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    Somehow Terry Pratchett seems to go down particularly well when I'm not feeling at my best. I've read several that I've enjoyed but not been particularly grabbed by. In comparison, the times that I've read one of his books while sick or exhausted, I have liked them a whole lot more. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook Somehow Terry Pratchett seems to go down particularly well when I'm not feeling at my best. I've read several that I've enjoyed but not been particularly grabbed by. In comparison, the times that I've read one of his books while sick or exhausted, I have liked them a whole lot more. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  12. 4 out of 5

    Morganlise

    If I could give this book ten stars, I would. In fact, it makes me rethink all of the other books that I've given five stars, perhaps they don't deserve it... Here's the problem: This book isn't going to have the right impact unless you've read, at the very least, three of the previous Ankh-Morpork Night Watch books. Please, if you have heard about Pratchett and are looking for some place to start, go with "Guards Guards!" or "Mort", and read a few more before you embark on this one. You'll thank If I could give this book ten stars, I would. In fact, it makes me rethink all of the other books that I've given five stars, perhaps they don't deserve it... Here's the problem: This book isn't going to have the right impact unless you've read, at the very least, three of the previous Ankh-Morpork Night Watch books. Please, if you have heard about Pratchett and are looking for some place to start, go with "Guards Guards!" or "Mort", and read a few more before you embark on this one. You'll thank me later. Thanks to time travel, we get to go back in time and see many of our favorite Ankh-Morpork characters in the tail end of the bad old days that many would like to forget. And it's no wonder - Ankh-Morpork is ruled by a fascist Patrician who had imposed a city-wide curfew, and, due to his paranoia, is having his "Unmentionables" round up anyone who might be a dissident and torturing them into giving information. Vimes chased a totally Bursar criminal with no morals onto the roof of the Unseen University Library, and through a freak electrical storm, winds up back in the days when he himself was a rookie in the AM Night Watch. The criminal, Carcer, killed the man who Vimes remembered from the time as being his role model, John Keel, leaving Vimes to step into his place and try to guide the events of the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May to their necessary conclusion. But could Vimes change the path of history this time and spare the lives of a few good men? Or is history doomed to repeat itself? This is my favorite Discworld novel, and that is an incredibly hard title to come by. I find it to be incredibly moving and emotional, and it makes me cry every time. "All the little angels rise up, rise up..."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    One of the best books in the Discworld series. The story revolves around Sam Vimes, and it's a very good example of the author's shift from slapstick comedy to a subtler form of humor and to targetting in his imaginary world real problems from the world we live in. Using the plot device of time travel, the author throws the Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch back to a revolutionary episode of the city history and to his own apprenticeship in the Watch. The theme offers the author rich picki One of the best books in the Discworld series. The story revolves around Sam Vimes, and it's a very good example of the author's shift from slapstick comedy to a subtler form of humor and to targetting in his imaginary world real problems from the world we live in. Using the plot device of time travel, the author throws the Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch back to a revolutionary episode of the city history and to his own apprenticeship in the Watch. The theme offers the author rich pickings in lampooning both moneyed olygarchy and revolutionary zealots. It's easy to see why Sam Vimes is becoming one of my favorite characters from Discworld - he is a pragmatist and a cynic who expects the worst from his fellow men, yet does not give up, and "concentrates on the job at hand" , he fights dirty when it needs to be done, and he fights for his principles even when nobody else cares. His fondness for the city and its unruly inhabitants shine through the soles of his cheap boots, telling their own history to the perceptive mind. The book has an added attraction in the encounters with younger versions of staple characters like Cut-Me-Own-Throat-Dibbler, Nobby Nobbs, Vetinari or Reg Shoe. I will continue with the series, and I wish we could have many more years and many more books from the author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lightreads

    Another Watch novel, in which Sam Vimes Is accidentally transported decades into the past in pursuit of a murderous psychopath, whereupon he must play the part of the old Sergeant who first taught young Lance Corporal Sam Vimes what it means to be a copper. Meanwhile, political unrest spreads across the city, the old Patrician is on his way out, and the barricades are going up. Vimes knows what’s going to happen – he was there after all – and he’s visited the graves every year since. And now he’ Another Watch novel, in which Sam Vimes Is accidentally transported decades into the past in pursuit of a murderous psychopath, whereupon he must play the part of the old Sergeant who first taught young Lance Corporal Sam Vimes what it means to be a copper. Meanwhile, political unrest spreads across the city, the old Patrician is on his way out, and the barricades are going up. Vimes knows what’s going to happen – he was there after all – and he’s visited the graves every year since. And now he’s got to do it again. Oh. Oh, oh, oh. Okay, I’m fine – it will take a lot more than this book to reduce me to a gibbering, inarticulate wreck. This isn’t as funny as some Discworld novels, by which I mean that it’s not as giddily hilarious, though it is dry and sarcastic and unflaggingly witty. Pratchett usually has a selection of particular targets for that wit, and this time around It’s Les Miserables, which he sort of turns inside out and upside down and then sets it going with a gentle pat. This is a book about doing the job that’s in front of you, about being clever in the face of stupidity. Vimes starts out just trying to catch a killer, and ends up trying to assure his own future and, by the end, save as many innocent bystanders as possible from being crushed between the military machine and the shifting tides of political power. Because Vimes is a copper. His master is the law, and this book wholeheartedly believes that the law is not something we are given by higher authority, it’s something we’ve got just because we are. And that’s what I love about the Watch novels, I think. They’ve got a keen, unerring nose for the right of the thing, and a deep disdain for those who maintain there is no right. And by ‘they,’ I mean Sam Vimes. Vimes believes in things like justice and truth with a purity and strength which should be laughable, and which is usually idiotically obnoxious in a hero. But Vimes’s justice and truth aren’t the cheap knock-offs, manufactured of pasteboard and excuses glued together with a stew of stick-up-your-ass. They’re the real thing, and they’re worth it. And that’s just so wonderfully refreshing after spending too long navigating between two equally irritating options – the books that’ve never heard of a shade of gray, and the ones who think absolutes are just way too much fucking work, so better chuck away the whole mess in a nihilistic tantrum. (Sorry. That last one, in particular, really gets on the nerves of this pragmatist with an idealist’s heart). So these books make me happy because they believe in things with towering strength, and the things they believe in are actually worth it. Also, I love Sam Vimes with every fiber of my being.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    7.5/10 This is rated as one of the best Discworld novels out there, a number of friends put this at the top of a highly rated pile so coming into this on those high hopes didn't take much for it to fall short for me. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this. It's a Watch novel which involves time travel. Talk about a winning combo! Add into that seeing all the characters you enjoy reading about at an earlier stage in their life, a revolution, and some quite emotional scenes then you have a recipe 7.5/10 This is rated as one of the best Discworld novels out there, a number of friends put this at the top of a highly rated pile so coming into this on those high hopes didn't take much for it to fall short for me. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this. It's a Watch novel which involves time travel. Talk about a winning combo! Add into that seeing all the characters you enjoy reading about at an earlier stage in their life, a revolution, and some quite emotional scenes then you have a recipe for success. Sam Vimes teaching himself (a younger version of himself, time travel remember) tips and tricks on how to become the man he is stands out as some of the more interesting aspects of the Discworld series. Why it fell a little flat? Me, in a word. Busy schedules and a weekend away drinking in excess meant that I couldn't get the story flowing, things were forgotten and motivation was low. This is definitely one of those books that would probably have impacted me more if I could have cracked at it quicker. A Discworld novel should take about 4-5 days for me to read, this took 11 which sums it up really. So in summary, don't drink and read. I'll probably come back to this in the future and give it the time and attention it truly deserves. If you like this try: "The Hogfather" by Terry Pratchett

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    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 V 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    TL

    I'm a sucker for a good story with time travel or reincarnation... I see a book with those themes and I snatch it up if I have the funds. There's just something about them :) This one was on the good side... around page 240 or so it dragged for awhile but picked right back up. Other than that little blip, it kept my attention quite nicely and made me smile when I thought about Sam revisiting his memories and having doubts as to whether it was him or Keel. I remember saying to him in my head "Don' I'm a sucker for a good story with time travel or reincarnation... I see a book with those themes and I snatch it up if I have the funds. There's just something about them :) This one was on the good side... around page 240 or so it dragged for awhile but picked right back up. Other than that little blip, it kept my attention quite nicely and made me smile when I thought about Sam revisiting his memories and having doubts as to whether it was him or Keel. I remember saying to him in my head "Don't think too hard on time travel, you'll only get a migraine" The time travel parts were handled nicely, it made sense... as much it can in this type of thing, and wasn't too outlandish, staying true to the "ground rules" it laid out. The one end bit with Sam when he came back. and the wizard was hilarious. Glad Carcer's fate was what I hoped it was and Vetinari... love that bastard :) Well done again Mister Pratchett! Can I go to Ankh-Morpork and join the Watch? Sounds like fun ;-) Would recommend, happy reading!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    Here's a tricky one. Is this a good book? Yes, without a doubt. It takes a well-known character, three-dimensional and beloved by fans, and throws him back in time into a much darker and gloomier era out of which his present-day has thankfully moved on. It illuminates us on the backstories and youths of the recurring cast, introduces a few of whom we've heard of but never seen in action, and then throws in it some completely new characters - some of the darkest and most hateable villains seen in Here's a tricky one. Is this a good book? Yes, without a doubt. It takes a well-known character, three-dimensional and beloved by fans, and throws him back in time into a much darker and gloomier era out of which his present-day has thankfully moved on. It illuminates us on the backstories and youths of the recurring cast, introduces a few of whom we've heard of but never seen in action, and then throws in it some completely new characters - some of the darkest and most hateable villains seen in the series, and that's saying something. It's some tense, frightful, gripping stuff: you don't know how it will turn out and you'll genuinely fear for your favourites. In a vacuum, this is one of my favourite novels in the series - certainly in the top five. But is it a good Discworld book? Ehh... Really, it depends on what you think "Discworld" means - what the series stands for. It's been doing great many things over the decades, according to the interests and whims of its creator Terry Pratchett (mayherestinpeace); it started out as a straight-up fantasy parody that didn't even try to take anything seriously, but quickly grew into its own thing, a weird and irreverent realm of wonder that was never short of laughs but could get dramatic and thoughtful when it wanted. It may be that you think Night Watch - and what comes after that - still fits just fine into the setting and that nothing is fundamentally wrong with the direction the later books took. But I, personally, always thought that the humour was an essential foundation stone of the series. However serious things could be from time to time, it always snapped back into comedy and levity and a great joke or two. Whenever I think of Discworld now, "comedy fantasy" is how I define it. But the scale kept on gradually shifting as the series went on: you had less of the comedy and more of the drama, as if the foundation stone was being chipped away. Night Watch was where the scale tipped over for me. This was the first Discworld book that I recall not being funny at all. Not that it didn't have a few jokes, still, but those jokes all had a certain edge to them: all the gloom of tyranny and revolt and civil warfare enveloped them far more thoroughly than anything else that had come before now. And it didn't get any better afterwards: later books concerned themselves with warfare and gender equality, con men and frauds, racism and slavery and terrorism, faith and higher truths, lynch mobs and even teen miscarriage - some of these had come up earlier, true, but never nearly so solemnly and seriously. Comedy and parody shifted away into satire. And Terry, I'm so sorry to say this, never really handled satire all that well. He was quite unsubtle about it and always made sure his readers knew exactly what he thought of a subject and what, in his opinion, was the Right Thing. At worst, once so beloved three-dimensional characters devolved into mouthpieces. I'm not even saying that he was wrong - if anything, he hit the nail on the head more often than not - just that he all too often let it get in the way of making a good story. And this is where it got its start. Night Watch is where comedy died. I liked it anyway, still, but this is where it all begins to go downhill. For me, at least.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love! And a Hard-Boiled Egg! This 29th Discworld novel has us go back to Ankh-Morpork again. Sam Vimes is about to be a father! But then, just when he thought that waiting for his wife to give birth was the most nerve-wrecking thing, timey-wimey stuff happens when he and The Watch are trying to apprehend a cop-killer on the memorial day of a revolution. So he ends up in the past, not least thanks to the intervention of The Library as well as Lu-Tze, and has to Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love! And a Hard-Boiled Egg! This 29th Discworld novel has us go back to Ankh-Morpork again. Sam Vimes is about to be a father! But then, just when he thought that waiting for his wife to give birth was the most nerve-wrecking thing, timey-wimey stuff happens when he and The Watch are trying to apprehend a cop-killer on the memorial day of a revolution. So he ends up in the past, not least thanks to the intervention of The Library as well as Lu-Tze, and has to find his way home. Along the way, we get to se a wholly different side of the city and its citizens from a time when Vetinari was not Patrician (yes, it boggles the mind). This book, mainly, is about politics, about The People, about freedom and justice as concepts as well as the reality of them. But it is also very much about what makes Sam Vimes be who he is. It was a deep character study as well as a look at history and its repetition. Moreover, in addition to some of Pratchett's best writing including the well-known gems such as puns and turns of phrases, it was a mad dash. Theoretically, we all know more or less what happens to Vimes since we know there will be other The Watch books, but I was still fearing for him, sitting on the edge of my seat. And I wanted him to go give Carcer the justice that little shit deserved - preferrably without abandoning his principles. Not to mention that in this one case I actually wanted history to repeat itself since I knew where it would lead to. You see, I actually like Vetinari, his leadership style and what has become of Ankh-Morpork. Did it? Well, I shan't spoiler it for those of you who haven't read this madcap adventure yet. I might be wearing a Lilac every 25th May (in addition to my towel) from now on. And now excuse me while I go and eat my hard-boiled egg.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Esme

    Pratchett is my favorite author ever to pen a book. I've re-read so many of these books because they just do not get old. The Watch sub-series within the series is most peoples favorites, but it actually took me a while to come around to Sam Vimes. He's an angrier character with a huge arc, and I guess when I was younger I just didn't connect to him that much. As I've gotten older I've started to really enjoy the Watch series over the Wizards - which has more silly Hitchhikers Guide to the Galax Pratchett is my favorite author ever to pen a book. I've re-read so many of these books because they just do not get old. The Watch sub-series within the series is most peoples favorites, but it actually took me a while to come around to Sam Vimes. He's an angrier character with a huge arc, and I guess when I was younger I just didn't connect to him that much. As I've gotten older I've started to really enjoy the Watch series over the Wizards - which has more silly Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy/random type humor in it. While the Watch has more serious books like Night Watch, and Snuff. Only Terry has been able to write books that both make me laugh out loud constantly, and also pull on the heart strings within the same novel. A mix of dark and light that I've never seen another author be able to pull off.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Levka

    I admit, I like Terry Pratchett a lot anyway, but "Night Watch" is hands down my favorite Discworld novels (Jingo comes in a distant second). One of the darkest and most complex of the City Watch stories, while pursuing a truly depraved criminal named Carcer, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes is thrown back through time on the eve of the birth of his son to help... well, himself. Ankh-Morpork is on the brink of revolution, and somebody's got to make sure young Sammy doesn't die before his time. But it's I admit, I like Terry Pratchett a lot anyway, but "Night Watch" is hands down my favorite Discworld novels (Jingo comes in a distant second). One of the darkest and most complex of the City Watch stories, while pursuing a truly depraved criminal named Carcer, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes is thrown back through time on the eve of the birth of his son to help... well, himself. Ankh-Morpork is on the brink of revolution, and somebody's got to make sure young Sammy doesn't die before his time. But it's so much more than that. The high drama of the story comes from the subtle portrayal, not only of good and evil, but the extremely gray area of civil war, class warfare, the human spirit, and the will to survive. Parodising works like Les Miserables, time travel stories, and Eastern philosophy, Pratchett draws on a rich tapestry of history, from the English Civil War to the bloody French Revolution to paint a sometimes comical, sometimes tragic, always wry but never detached story of what happens when you get a split the trousers of time, deftly handling a time paradox and complex issues of destiny, fate, fellowship in adversity, faith, fidelity, and the morality and importance of our choices, the last being a Sam Vimes theme that is carefully developed and explored through later Discworld books. As a bonus, this story also features the teenaged Havelock Vetinari, in a rare portrait of the young tyrant before his time, in a fascinating cameo that adds yet another layer of texture to this complex tapestry of drama in the best possible sense, written with all of Pratchett's sensibilities and ironies in the world quite like ours, only... not.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Vimes is one of Pratchett's characters that has grown greatly over the course of the Discworld series. This book affirms Vimes' place as the traditional family man, a far cry from where Vimes was when the reader is first introduced to him in Guards! Guards!. The story itself highlights the growth of Anakh-Morpork as well as gives the reader valuable insight into the city's recurring, though not central, characters, such as Reg Shoe, Nobby, and Colon. Pratchett seems to really like Vimes, and in f Vimes is one of Pratchett's characters that has grown greatly over the course of the Discworld series. This book affirms Vimes' place as the traditional family man, a far cry from where Vimes was when the reader is first introduced to him in Guards! Guards!. The story itself highlights the growth of Anakh-Morpork as well as gives the reader valuable insight into the city's recurring, though not central, characters, such as Reg Shoe, Nobby, and Colon. Pratchett seems to really like Vimes, and in fact, Vimes seems to be the most human of all of Pratchett's creations. One wonders if Vimes is in some way Pratchett's own alter-ego. Along with Granny Weatherwax and Ridcully, Vimes represents in many way the old guard of the Disc. In this book, Vimes becomes use to his skin, to being called "his grace". He sees, perhaps, the need for such things as well as the use of politics. He doesn't want to go back to what he once was. Here, we see a Vimes at peace with himself, far more than he was in The Fifth Elephant. Pratchett does not seem bored with his characters nor he is afraid to show the readers a pair of older lovers. Pratchett teaches us that we never stop learning or growing, not even as adults; nor can we fully disavow the past because the past helps us to grow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019. Samuel Vimes has come a long way in the world since his first appearance in Guards! Guards!. Duke of Ankh Morpork, Commander of a very healthy and diverse city watch and soon-to-be-father. While Sybil is in labor, Sam chases down a murderer and has an accident at Unseen University, all of which results in him being sent back in time to a very specific point of Ankh Morpork's history and that of his own younger self. Vimes is Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019. Samuel Vimes has come a long way in the world since his first appearance in Guards! Guards!. Duke of Ankh Morpork, Commander of a very healthy and diverse city watch and soon-to-be-father. While Sybil is in labor, Sam chases down a murderer and has an accident at Unseen University, all of which results in him being sent back in time to a very specific point of Ankh Morpork's history and that of his own younger self. Vimes is one of Pratchett's masterpieces, and this story is one of the reasons why. Samuel Vimes is one of those truly great heroes that completely understands both the wrong way and the right way of things, has a deep appreciation of both that sees him tempted, and always makes the right choice, especially when its a hard one. Deeply cynical, but with a huge trust in the rightness of the systems that he supports, all of which makes him a wonderful contradiction. This is also one of those very few books in the series that can be read completely standalone.

  24. 4 out of 5

    YouKneeK

    Night Watch is the 6th book in the Watch subseries of Discworld. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this one pretty well. I say “surprisingly” because, as I’ve said in other reviews, Vimes often gets on my nerves. This book focuses on him very heavily, more than any other book since the first Watch book. However, we see more of the sarcastic and clever aspects of Vimes which I do enjoy and far less of the bitter, woe-is-me, self-destructive aspects which drive me crazy. This is a time travel story. Vimes ac Night Watch is the 6th book in the Watch subseries of Discworld. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this one pretty well. I say “surprisingly” because, as I’ve said in other reviews, Vimes often gets on my nerves. This book focuses on him very heavily, more than any other book since the first Watch book. However, we see more of the sarcastic and clever aspects of Vimes which I do enjoy and far less of the bitter, woe-is-me, self-destructive aspects which drive me crazy. This is a time travel story. Vimes accidentally gets thrown back in time, to a point shortly after he had first joined the Watch. History of course gets changed, and now he has to make sure events happen that will keep his future in-tact. It wasn’t a completely riveting story, but it had its fun parts. Some of those fun parts came from seeing various other Discworld characters at an earlier stage in their lives and learning what they were like before the series began. I particularly enjoyed meeting a younger Vetinari, a character I’ve enjoyed since he was first introduced.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    I was right. It is my favorite Discworld novel so far. It is dark, gritty, hilarious, fun to read. And somehow, very real. It made me feel I was running chasing bad guys and tiptoeing along side Vimes. I would love a day hanging out with him, my fave character so far. And I think Vetinari was pretty awesome as well. Argh, can't wait to read the other Watch novels! I was right. It is my favorite Discworld novel so far. It is dark, gritty, hilarious, fun to read. And somehow, very real. It made me feel I was running chasing bad guys and tiptoeing along side Vimes. I would love a day hanging out with him, my fave character so far. And I think Vetinari was pretty awesome as well. Argh, can't wait to read the other Watch novels!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    Night Watch is officially one of my new favorite Discworld novels. I've always enjoyed seeing Sam Vimes, but he really outdoes himself here. The time travel is so fun and it's a cool to see his origin story in a way. Plus, it was great to see the relationship between Vimes and Vetinari. Night Watch is officially one of my new favorite Discworld novels. I've always enjoyed seeing Sam Vimes, but he really outdoes himself here. The time travel is so fun and it's a cool to see his origin story in a way. Plus, it was great to see the relationship between Vimes and Vetinari.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    This is, in my not particularly humble opinion, the best thing Sir Terry ever wrote. It speaks to me in ways nothing else ever did. It is dark, and real, and very funny. Every time I read it, it seems to get shorter, but my memories of it richer. I love this book. I miss you Sir Terry

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wastrel

    Night Watch isn't the best place to start Pratchett, not because it would leave a bad impression, but because you just won't get as much out of it as a seasoned fan. That's because it's a novel that doesn't just follow on from the events of previous books, but that culminates, explains, and perhaps even justifies them. The plot may be close to standalone - there are very few facts a newcomer would need to learn to understand the plot - but the examination of, and recontextualisation of not only Night Watch isn't the best place to start Pratchett, not because it would leave a bad impression, but because you just won't get as much out of it as a seasoned fan. That's because it's a novel that doesn't just follow on from the events of previous books, but that culminates, explains, and perhaps even justifies them. The plot may be close to standalone - there are very few facts a newcomer would need to learn to understand the plot - but the examination of, and recontextualisation of not only the central human character of Vimes, but of the broader character of the city of Ankh-Morpork itself, is the source of the book's power. It's a strikingly grim, messy and restless Discworld entry, eschewing the easy moralisation that Pratchett was sometimes prone to - or rather, the easy moralisation is there... but so are the doubts. How much evil can a man do in the name of overcoming evil? How much tyranny is permissable in order to protect freedom? Night Watch feels like one of the stories that Pratchett was born to tell - and it's also one of his masterpieces. My full review of it is over on my blog.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    2005 October 9 Sam Vimes is a most excellent policeman, the platonic ideal that is possible in a work of fantasy. Pratchett plays around with the idea of the past, both our own, and our society's, and dabbles with fate and bootstraps. Meanwhile, there is a psychopath to stop, and an insurrection to deal with, and the governing bodies of the past are worthless or deranged... I can't even throw all those words into a review and come up with anything funny, let alone, insightful, which is what Pratc 2005 October 9 Sam Vimes is a most excellent policeman, the platonic ideal that is possible in a work of fantasy. Pratchett plays around with the idea of the past, both our own, and our society's, and dabbles with fate and bootstraps. Meanwhile, there is a psychopath to stop, and an insurrection to deal with, and the governing bodies of the past are worthless or deranged... I can't even throw all those words into a review and come up with anything funny, let alone, insightful, which is what Pratchett can do, and why he's such a good writer. I think Pratchett is a very good treatment for misanthropy. Yes, of course, people are stupid and unthinkingly evil, but they're still kind to their mothers or kittens or something. He's a bit like Jane Austen there, because he seems to think that no matter how hopeless people are most of the time, a thoughtful individual can steer them, or at least, reduce the harm. Personal copy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    I have read and enjoyed most of Pratchetts books set in the Disc World. For recent reads, whilst I have liked the books for the language and comedy, I have felt that the plots were getting formulaic. This book has reaffirmed my faith in Mr Pratchett. It is a wonderful read, full of pithy comments and hugely funny.

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