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The Big ReadNight Watch

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Doubleday

Published : 2002

Copyright : Terry & Lyn Pratchett 2002

ISBN-10 : HB 0-385-60264-2
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-385-60264-8

Publisher's Write-Up

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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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ray (220103) Rating (8/10)
Review by Nigel (011202) Rating (8/10)

Review by Ray
Rating 8/10
Vimes has a criminal to catch. A particular nasty one. And little does Vimes know, he'll be chasing him for longer in time than he thought was possible…

The plot of going back to past to save the future is very familiar in Science Fiction and when it is applied to the Discworld, Terry does a very convincing job of creating a story that brings in some DW favorites and making the book a page turner.

I probably read this book twice as quick as any of the other DW books that I have (which is still probably quite long to the likes of Nige & Chrissi). It has a much darker feel to it and as the story draws to a conclusion, darker still. You've got the baddy (Carcer), the goody (Vimes), the funny sidekick (Nobby) and the old favorites Dibbler and Vetinari.

This book has the usual Pratchett humour but as of late the story and plot are taking more precedence. You get to find out interesting stuff about the characters of Nobby, Dibbler and Vetinari but not of Vimes himself as the story revolves more around the elder. Terry does a particularly good job of Carcer, who you have no doubt in your mind, is a complete and utter murderous nutter.

I've always liked stories about the Watch and this one is one of the better ones. I agree with Nigel about people who haven't read previous books might not enjoy the book as much as people who know the characters in the future as it were, but don't let that stop you from reading it. I reckon Thief of Time would be a good warm up to introduce you to the characters that you find in this book and whilst not as good as Night Watch in my opinion, it would help you enjoy the story more...
Ray (22nd January 2003)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
This is the twenty-seventh Discworld novel (if you don't count The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents and The Last Hero) and sees a return for Sam Vimes and the Watch... in more ways than one.

While chasing Carcer, a rather nasty villain, across the roofs of the Unseen University, Sam is struck by lightning, and this combined with the high magical field, sends him back to the same time as his own youth and his first days in the Watch… a very different watch to the one he now runs. On top of this Carcer has also been thrown back and the time he finds himself in is much more conducive for a man of his talents.

As a natural leader and not someone who likes to take orders Sam finds himself rising through the ranks of the watch at a particularly nasty time in Ankh-Morpork's history, a time of revolution.

We get to see all the familiar characters that make up the modern day watch as they start out in their careers, so to speak. We meet a very young and dirty Nobby, a cool and calculating apprentice assassin by the name of Havelock Vetinari, as well as a young and impressionable Sam Vimes.

Not only is Night Watch a good story in its own right but for Discworld fans, and in particular fans of the watch, the nature of the tale allows all the characters to be given a history that would otherwise have been difficult in a sequential story with each novel following on from the last.

A must for every Discworld fan but not a book to be read if you are not familiar with the Watch as too many of the references depend on the future character's traits. Actually, this is not strictly true. The book would read fine as a stand-alone but you would be missing so much of the stories quality.
Nigel (1st December 2002)

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