Jim's Books

Night Watch

Terry Pratchett

Night Watch
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ISBN: 9780552148993

Description

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.

Reviewed on 31st December 2023

Generally considered to be the best Discworld novel, Night Watch follows Samuel Vimes - a character we’ve watched grow for some years now - as he is transported back in time to encounter his much much younger self.

There’s a lot going on, and even on a second read I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface. At its most basic, it’s Back To The Future, and Vimes needs to make sure his future is waiting when he gets back. But it’s also a political thriller, it’s also Les Miserables, it’s also a commentary on society.

But it also feels long - longer than I feel is normal for Discworld novels and longer than I was expecting. I suppose really it’s only taken me four days to read but that feels like longer than it should have.

And while the jokes are there, I don’t think it feels as funny as other books in the series - there’s a lot of heavy, serious stuff, and that detracts from the humour. It’s certainly still very clever in the use of language and in its observation of the human condition, but I wasn’t laughing out loud.

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