The Night Watch
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.
This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the
I think this is my favourite book by Sarah Waters that I've read so far. Unlike some of her other books, I feel like this one had a great ending that wrapped things up beautifully.
The most astonishing thing about this story is the fact that it is told backwards. We start in London in 1947 when we meet several characters whose lives gradually entwine. Then we jump backwards to 1944 when London is in the midst of the war, and we - as readers - get more familiar with the characters an ...more
This may be a sign of two things:
1. My ailing memory due to incipient old age
2. The fact that this books characters were not potentially striking or memorable enough to lodge them firmly within grey matter like a sort of post-reading word shrapnel.
Because no one likes to admi ...more
Luckily, this book improved after the first 250 dreadful pages. But isn't that a long time to wait for improvement? See my earlier comment for the defects of the book's Part One (takes place in 1947). Part two, set three years earlier, is certainly less boring, but only because the war was still on, not bec ...more
The Night Watch was not what I expected. I don't like war time stories. There is very little I enjoy about the gory detail or historical arrogance ...more
I loved this book. It follows the lives of four people backwards through World War II. It begins post-war, in 1947, and you meet these chara ...more
Really loved the first third of the novel, the rest not so much, it wasn't bad, it was just unsatisfying. There wasn't a proper ending to where the main characters were left off in part one of the story, I wanted an epilogue or something to tie up the many loose ends.
-What's What: Split into three sections, the first part of the story set in 1947 London, the next in 1944, and the final part set in 1941. Focuses on four main characters (Kay, Helen, Viv, Duncan) who have survived the war ...more
I love Sarah Waters' writing style. She has this uncanny knack of bringing characters to life by using the unsaid as much as the said - and that's an impressive thing to carry off. Most of her books I've really enjoyed, and this was no exception, though I did have some minor reservations.
Firstly, let's outline the story. It travels backwards through time (from the aftermath of the Second World War to the start of it), and fol ...more
Reading's always subjective, of course, but this one didn't work for me.
“Why is it we can never love the people we ought to?”
I need more of Waters historical books, she is such a talented writer her ability to showcase world war 2 through the eyes of ordinary youngsters was immersive and well executed. She propels the narrative forward by creating such vivid and disturbing scenes and raw emotions from the characters during this awful period.
The Story follows 4 perspectives set in 1940s London during world war 2.
Kay: An eccentric young girl dressed in boyish clo ...more
Probably I was expecting too much. By now I should have learned that I and Booker or Orange Price participants do not mesh well.
I so wanted to like this book, delve into the era, submerge myself in war-time London, only to fetch up short and painfully against the fact that Waters clearly dislikes the characters she writes. She concentrates so fully and entirely ...more
That said, this novel (as other reviewers have noted) is quite different from her others. The plot is certainly not as fast-paced or full of "twists" as the earlier novels; the setting has moved from Victorian to WWII (which makes a big difference to me a ...more
This is elegant, and the unusual structure, which bothered me a little at first, actually works in a peculiar way to give a crescendo of sorts...to the horror of war, to that which has been overcome.
For males thinking "lesbians are hot", this will be a disappointment. It is a much more realistic treatment of the relationships among women t ...more
The novel has an unusual and audacious structure, in that each new section of the book moves backwards in time rather than forwards. So the first section begins in 1947, in the aftermath of World War II, when the people of London are struggl ...more
Were Charles Dickens to read The Night Watch, he might blush at the hot girl-on-girl action, but I think he'd be downright envious of the deftness with which Waters sweeps these characters across more than a decade of war and its after ...more
I was less thrilled with the fact the book starts in 1947 London and works its way backwards to 1941. It's well done, but gimmicky, a perfectly ordinary novel made slightly mysterious with...whatever the opposite of foreshadowing is. Odd ...more
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 ...more
Waters attended university, earning degrees in English literature. Before writing novels Waters worked as an academic, earning a doctorate and teaching. Waters went directly from her doctoral thesis to her first novel. ...more