Reviews

Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett

bel017's review against another edition

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5.0

I don't normally like books that are part of a series but then move out of the main timeline on some random arc - I want to find out more about what's happening in the main plot and timeline. This is an exception, the story is so good that it's well and truly worth the diversion. Pratchett and the Discworld at their strongest.

mariellejtb's review against another edition

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5.0

my first Pratchett... I loved it!!!

ianbanks's review against another edition

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5.0

This is where Vimes goes back in time and demonstrates the Bootstrap Paradox. It's a clever idea, even if it does buy into the idea of Vimes as a superhero that I think - going by some clues dropped in earlier books and interviews with Sir Terry - is an concept that we move away from around about now because of the number of books that feature other POV characters.

I'm troubled by this one because Vimes does some serious soul-searching and admits, though not in quite so many words, that he is a bit of a fascist, and that he's glad that it's him in charge of things because other people would mess it up. Part of me - the part that admires confidence and competency in characters - has no problem with this at all, but there's another part - the part that has actually dealt with people who genuinely believe this about themselves - that just gets frustrated by how annoying this is. Fortunately, Vimes only straddles the line slightly: he keeps reminding himself that he is only human and that he needs to be constantly on guard against pride and arrogance. And he does so by reminding himself that it is only his behaviour that makes him different from the criminals he chases.

The best part is that the story surrounding Vimes and his struggle is so good: it avoids a lot of the fanwankery that you get in a time travel story set 29 books into a series by introducing a lot of new characters and situations and it deals with many established characters sensibly, by only hinting at what they will become in the future.

It also riffs on Les Miserables quite a bit, which makes it even more hilarious, because it takes the series back to its roots in some ways, as a collection of parodies, with a vague plotline holding it together. Thankfully, we also have an author with 20 years more experience as a writer to hold it together as well so it is tighter and more astute as a story and commentary on story.

jasmi_aaahhhh's review against another edition

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funny lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

intoxicatedcake's review against another edition

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5.0

One of my favourites. It's poignant for Pratchett, but it's not out of place. The sentiment Pratchett brings out in his reader immerses them in the novel, with the feelings that are running high in the city; allowing readers to experience the tension of the characters.

twainy88's review against another edition

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5.0

Well I accidentally skipped some books in the city watch series ...

More of Sam Vimes here and well he’s changed from GG

unsquare's review against another edition

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5.0

Absolutely the best of the Discworld books I've read (so far...), with thrilling action, a refreshing change of pace for the Watch books, and completely un-put-down-able. Highest recommendation!

tillyjournals's review against another edition

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2.0

I hate to say I am just not a Terry Pratchett fan.

I decided to give him another go as I am reading my way through the BBC's book of books. I did enjoy this more than 'The Colour of Magic' but I still didn't really enjoy it, it was ok - I quite liked the story and some of the satire, but I just don't think I understand most of his humour. I'm sure this is a wonderful book if you do though!

shebephoebe's review against another edition

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5.0

 Vimes stared at the thing in his hands. It was a cigar case, slim and slightly curved.
He fumbled it open and read: To Sam with love from your Sybil.
The world moved. Vimes still felt like a drifting ship. But at the end of the tether there was now the tug of the anchor, pulling the ship around so that it faced the current.

Not me struggling not to cry while reading this through the quiet holiday hours at work. Couldn’t be me.
Easily and immediately one of my favorite Discworld books. 

tagrace's review against another edition

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4.0

Terry Pratchett has been one of my favorite authors for more than a decade now, but somehow I had skipped The Nights Watch until this year. It feels very much like classic Discworld: Vimes thrown back in his element, as a magical storm returns him to the beginning of his career. Like a lot of the Discworld books, there's ample commentary about society and cities without ever being too browbeating. The only reason that I would give it four rather than five stars is that the book feels much like Vimes in the narrative: a victim of its own success. Vimes is one of the most popular Discworld characters and in the series saw a meteoric rise from captain to duke. He's stopped foreign wars and arrested the Patrician himself. The book in some ways is an attempt to reset Vimes after such success and take him back to his roots. But in that sense the plot feels less like a natural extension of the Discworld narrative and more like a literary experiment by Terry Pratchett. The whole conceit of the book never seems to go anywhere, and as much as I enjoyed seeing Vimes back in his element I finished the book wondering if anything in Discworld had really been changed by this addition.