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Night Watch (Discworld #29)

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  59,663 ratings  ·  1,100 reviews
'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,
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by Corgi (first published 2002)
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Night Watch by Terry PratchettGoing Postal by Terry PratchettSmall Gods by Terry PratchettGuards! Guards! by Terry PratchettMort by Terry Pratchett
The Best of Discworld!
1st out of 49 books — 650 voters
The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingA Storm of Swords by George R.R. MartinHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century
45th out of 1,355 books — 4,876 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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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 ...more
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- ...more
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’ ...more
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
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Algernon
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
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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
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Chris
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
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Olga Godim
Unlike most other Discworld novels, this is not a funny book. It’s exploratory and philosophical and delves deep into the natures of leadership and decency, courage and tolerance.
By accident, Sam Vimes, the Watch Commander of Ankh-Morpork and a Duke, is transported 30 years into the past, when the young Sam Vimes was just starting his work in the city police. The streets are boiling with unrest on the eve of a bloody rebellion, and it’s up to the older and much more experienced Vimes to preserv
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Roger
Mar 08, 2008 Roger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone over 12
Pratchet is brilliant. The story is part of the 'Guards' sequence in the Disc World series. For non-Disc Worlders you have to understand that prolific Pratchet created a comic fantasy world called the Disc World and then proceeded to write stories set in different parts of it, with different characters etc that sometimes meet each other.

The Guards sequence centres on Sam Vimes who is a cop in the city of Ank-Morepork. It is kind of medieval, kind of modern. In this story Sam has risen to be comm
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L.J. Smith
Where do I begin with this most beloved of books, by this most beloved of current authors? I guess I can start by explaining how I came to read the world-renowned works of Sir Terry “the new Chaucer”* Pratchett myself. It was because of a blog that I came across accidentally. The blogger was thrilled because a new Disc World book had come out in the USA, and she couldn’t wait to read about “Death’s granddaughter.” She added that she envied anyone who hadn’t read a single book in the fantasy seri ...more
Jovana Vesper
"Zvuči kao prave-pravcate tunge. Ali ponekad ne mogu a da se ne zapitam: Šta bi se desilo da sam nekad postupio drugačije..."
"Kao ono kad ste ubili svoju ženu?"
Vajmsova ravnodušnost zadivila je Čistača.
"Iskušavate me, je li?"
"Brzo učite, gospodine Vajmse."
"Ali u nekom drugom univerzumu, verujte mi, zamahnuo sam i maznuo vas pesnicom."

Što bih volela da mi je Vajms ćale. Kakav je to lik, oštrouman, pošten, pravi Čovek. I same Bene Geseritke bi klimoglavile kad bi ga videle. Zapravo on mi se čini k
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An Odd1
"Night Watch" by Terry Pratchett. Duke Sam Vimes is Ankh-Morpork City Watch Commander, one privileged to don a purple sweet-scented lilac sprig for 25 May memorial of the Revolution. Many, including fellow officers, lost their lives, and corrupt dictator Patrician Winder was assassinated. Our hero is no longer the naive inexperienced novice recruit of weeks, mentored by senior John Keel of the night shift. Nor is pregnant wife Sybil young, her firstborn is due within hours.
Perhaps continuity wi
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Kathleen
This is a book about fatherhood. Yet the baby is only born at the very end. This is a book about the fact that when talking to a child, adults are often only talking to the child they once were. Yet it makes the rarely stated point that it might just be best if the adult simply didn't know the hard lesson they learned from whatever mistake the child is about to make. This is a book about revolution. Yet the change that comes is slow and insufficient.

This is a book about responsibility. And how a
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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!
Fantasy Literature
Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch has all but arrested Carcer, a serial killer who specifically targets members of the Watch, when they are thrown back in time.

Time travel is always inconvenient, but it is particularly trying for Sam Vimes, who is about to become a father. Worse, Vimes soon realizes this time in Ankh-Morpork’s history is especially awful because the city is about to revolt against the Patrician, Lord Winder. The people will revolt, Vimes remembers, and cavalrymen will put t
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Сергей Бережной
"...Не то, чтобы город погряз в беззаконии - как раз законов у него было в избытке. Просто он создавал для граждан не так уж много возможностей существовать без их нарушения. Свингу и в голову не могло придти, что цель его службы - ловить преступников и, не мытьём так катаньем, делать из них порядочных людей. Вместо этого он предпочитал ловить честных людей и делать из них преступников..."


Читаешь такое и думаешь - ах, старый чёрт, эко он насмотрелся на наших российских правоохранителей! Ведь оди
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Donna
While it had its moments, I have to say I struggled to get through this one. I just didn’t find it all that interesting. I did, however, pull some excellent lines from the text–

“Old Tom, the University’s venerable clock, tolled not sounds but silences. Not simple ordinary silences, but intervals of noise-absorbing nonsound, which filled the world with loud soundlessness.”–Footnote

“The Watchmen turned and stared. A large blob of foam, which up until that point had been performing sterling servi
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Chris
Pratchett books are like potato chips - can't read just one.

The Discworld books are broadly arranged into four groups. The Death books look at what it means to be a human being, the Wizard books are about how we deal with the universe at large, the Witches books are about how the individual fits into the rest of society, and the Watch books are about how we deal with being part of a system. Having been a poli-sci major, I tend to enjoy the latter group the most.

The main character of the Watch bo
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Lynnette
Oh, my. Oh, oh, oh my. I do love this book. Of all the Discworld books, I have read it the most often, and find something new to think about every time. I have a lot of trouble writing about my most-loved titles without sounding like a sniveling, sentimental sycophant, but I will try.

This particular book deals with heinous crime, time travel, the creation of a family, political intrigue and alternate histories, (or futures, depending on your POV). All of my favorite characters from Ankh-Morpork
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Vlad
Unlike most Discworld novels, Night Watch has a far more serious tone. This often occurs at the expense of humor, and frequently goes as far as being sad or tragic. It was a risky experiment on Pratchett's part, and while it largely succeeds, it's not quite up to the level of his best work.

We follow Sam Vimes, the leader of the City Watch (Ankh-Morpork's police force), and now a Duke who is second in power only to Lord Vetinari himself. However, while chasing after dangerous criminal Carcer, an
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Frances
Read this five or six times, now, and hadn't realized I hadn't put it in Goodreads until now.

It's the seventh Watch book in the Discworld; I think it probably requires a little bit of background. This is a shame, since it's a book I love enough I would like to be able to recommend that people read it with as little wait as possible.

It's about fear, and the problems inherent in trying to manage people, and secret police, and what you are and are not willing to give up for the right thing. History
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Jaz
Sep 11, 2014 Jaz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites
Finally finished in the wee hours of this morning, banging headache in tow, feverishly turning each page (I'm dramatizing only slightly )

What a tale!
The book has Terry's trademark humour but with serious overtones. As for the protagonist Sam Vimes (Commander of Ankh-Morph City Watch, Discworld), his personality really comes into focus and knocks you out with force and magnetism.

Sam is now the Commander of the Watch, richest man in the city and his wife is expecting. He misses the streets, now he
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Shanshad Whelan
I think this is Pratchett at his best right here. It certainly is some of the best Vimes character work. A few of Pratchett's books have certain scenes that make me tear up. This one has quite a few--and many, many places where I simply want to quote whole paragraphs. Marvelous, profound and so undeniably human. Thank you, Mr. Pratchett, for this book.
pinar
without a doubt my all-time favorite of the whole series. somewhat darker compared to most other books and great insight by pterry on the nature of people in general, revolutions in particular and everything in between. can't remember how many times I might have quoted (from memory) from Night Watch. I think I actually re-read it once a year.
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
Peregrine
I think this is one of the best Discworld books I've read so far. It was excellent. I mean, it had the Assassin's Guild, the Time Monks, AND the Watch. What's not to like?
Aleksandra
What can I say? I love this novel.
I love its silly timey-wimey original idea of sir Samuel travelling back in time, meeting his younger self and interfering with his timeline. I love the constant interplay with "Les Miserables", done subtly, but rather obvious for those familiar with the musical (rather than the novel). And I love, first and foremost, how this time-wimey story, combined with a musical pastiche, is used by Pratchett to compose what is possibly the most serious of Discworld novel
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Adam Malenczak
I'm usually pretty good at remaining emotionally detached from whatever I read, but this book always turns me into a giant baby. I finished reading it on the bus home from school today and it took everything I had to not start openly weeping.

It kind of sucks that it's the fifth entry in a series that exists in a super complex continuity with like 40+ books in it, because it makes it really hard to recommend to people. It's Pratchett's best book, but it's also probably the worst one for a new rea
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Marilag
I thought The Truth would remain to be my personal favorite of the Discworld series. Then Night Watch came along. I really arfing loved this one, from beginning to end. It wasn't even just about the little gems that Pratchett usually comes up with (though Death talking about cake in CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE THIS only further made me laugh and love this book even more). It was the story and the characters and well, the wibbly wobbly timey quantum-y. Yes.

I must admit that I knew to pick the book up be
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Quantum 5 105 Dec 16, 2012 10:47PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: BBC Radio serial of Night Watch 9 42 Dec 05, 2011 11:26AM  
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, ...more
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“No! Please! I'll tell you whatever you want to know!" the man yelled.
"Really?" said Vimes. "What's the orbital velocity of the moon?"
"What?"
"Oh, you'd like something simpler?”
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“We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything.” 571 likes
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