Tocotin's Reviews > The Night Watch

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
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Dec 03, 2010

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bookshelves: historical-fiction, i-can-has-slash, my-own-books, used-books, contemporary-literature
Read in December, 2010 — I own a copy

I like Sarah Waters a lot (my favorite book of hers is Affinity), and I enjoyed this one, but can't say I was looking forward to continuing the reading (I read on the train, mostly).

It's not the slow pace that bothered me, or the excessive use of details. I think the author did a fantastic job describing the material side of living in wartime London - the food, the lack of cigarettes, the longing for luxury. It's not even that the story is sad and depressing and devoid of hope - and it is - I'm ok with that. It has an interesting construction - intertwined stories of several people's lives during the WW2 - beginning at the end and going back in time, and I liked to read about all characters, although Duncan's prison moments were sometimes hard to bear. My main complaint is that the author seems to concentrate on more squalid stuff of life, all those stinky feet, oily hair, spunk and blood - not that I support the 19th century views of not showing the sordid side - it's just that I can't feel her love... I don't know how to explain it, but I felt as if she herself were grossed out with the world and people she was writing about, as if she didn't really like them... she was cold to them, distant, I don't know.

UGH whatever I still like Sarah Waters. I'd like to see her write a nice story for Mickey, the character I cared for the most.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Steelwhisper Perfectly summed up my own reaction to this book. I squicked out of it. Unfortunately it was my first Sarah Waters, so now it will be an uphill debate whether or not I'll try another of hers.


Tocotin Steelwhisper wrote: "Perfectly summed up my own reaction to this book. I squicked out of it. Unfortunately it was my first Sarah Waters, so now it will be an uphill debate whether or not I'll try another of hers."

Hello! Thank you! I like Sarah Waters due to the subject matter more than anything else... maybe good period atmosphere too. The book I liked the best, and which I felt had the least detachment, was The Affinity. It doesn't have gross elements either, IIRC (but I may be mistaken, I read it years ago).


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