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Among my top 5 Pratchett novels of all time
"Night Watch" is probably the darkest and most contemplative of the Discworld books so far. Hardened copper Sam Vimes survives a magical storm only to find himself stranded in the past at the time of a terrible revolution; Carcer, a dangerous murderer, has also travelled back in time and changed the course of history. Following the classic "Quantum Leap" type of storyline, Vimes must put things right to return to his home in the future. Some of the "present day" scenes seem silly and out of place in this more serious work - the nakedness symbolism, already explored aptly in "The Fifth Elephant", is an example; and the end of the book is rather rushed, which, if a device to give an idea of panic, is not too effective in practice. However, the core of the novel sees Pratchett at his most brilliant - his observant sense of humour and convincing portrayal of character are clearly apparent here, and biting political realism conspires with a feeling of compassion and morality to make him truly "guilty of literature".