Summary and book reviews of Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Night Watch

by Terry Pratchett

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett X
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2002, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2003, 432 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Flung back in time by a mysterious accident, Sam Vimes has to start all over again. He must whip the cowardly, despised Night Watch into a crack fighting force -- fast. Because he knows what's going to happen. It's part of history. And you can't change history...

This morning, Commander Vimes of the City Watch had it all. He was a Duke. He was rich. He was respected. He had a silver cigar case. He was about to become a father.

This morning he thought longingly about the good old days.

Tonight, he's in them.

Flung back in time by a mysterious accident, Sam Vimes has to start all over again. He must get a new name and a job, and there's only one job he's good at: cop in the Watch. He must track down a brutal murderer. He must find his younger self and teach him everything he knows. He must whip the cowardly, despised Night Watch into a crack fighting force -- fast. Because Sam Vimes knows what's going to happen. He remembers it. He was there. It's part of history. And you can't change history . . .

But Sam is going to. He has no choice. Otherwise, a bloody revolution will start, and good men will die. Sam saw their names on old headstones just this morning -- but tonight they're young men who think they have a future. And rather than let them die, Sam will do anything -- turn traitor, burn buildings, take over a revolt, anything -- to snatch them from the jaws of history. He will do it even if victory will mean giving up the only future he knows.

For if he succeeds, he's got no wife, no child, no riches, no fame -- all that will simply vanish. But if he doesn't try, he wouldn't be Sam Vimes.

And so the battle is on. He knows how it's going to end; after all, he was there. His name is on one of those headstones. But that's just a minor detail ...

Chapter One


Sam Vimes sighed when he heard the scream, but he finished shaving before he did anything about it.

Then he put his jacket on and strolled out into the wonderful late spring morning. Birds sang in the trees, bees buzzed in the blossom. The sky was hazy though, and thunderheads on the horizon threatened rain later. But for now, the air was hot and heavy. And in the old cesspit behind the gardener's shed, a young man was treading water.

Well ... treading, anyway.

Vimes stood back a little way and lit a cigar. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to employ a naked flame any nearer to the pit. The fall from the shed roof had broken the crust.

"Good morning!" he said cheerfully.

"Good morning, Your Grace," said the industrious treadler.

The voice was higher pitched that Vimes expected and he realized that, most unusually, the young man in the pit was in fact a young woman. It wasn't entirely unexpected -- the Assassins' Guild was aware ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author Pratchett's storytelling, a clever blend of Monty Pythonesque humor and Big Questions about morality and the workings of the universe, is in top form in his 28th novel in the phenomenally bestselling Discworld series.

School Library Journal - Susan Salpini
This gripping novel is essential for fans of the series, and is also recommended for those who haven't had the pleasure of traveling there yet.

Booklist - Regina Schroeder
This time, though, the metropolis has a sense of its history and of the Right Thing to Do, which makes for something of a departure from the norm for many of the characters longtime Discworld readers know and love. Still, Pratchett has really developed the characters of the Watch, at least, since their early days in Guards! Guards! (1989), and it shows!

Kirkus Reviews
Not a side-splitter this time, though broadly amusing and bubbling with wit and wisdom both an excellent story and a tribute to beat cops everywhere, doing their hair-raising jobs with quiet courage and determination.

Reader Reviews

Chris Moorhead

Among my top 5 Pratchett novels of all time

Christopher Outen

"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 ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Terry Pratchett

If you liked Night Watch, try these:

  • Something Rotten jacket

    Something Rotten

    by Jasper Fforde

    Published 2005

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop the hostile takeover of Hamlet by Orphelia?  Can Swindon win the world croquet championship and thus prevent the end of the world?  All this and more is revealed in this, the 4th volume in the Thursday Next series.

  • The Well of Lost Plots jacket

    The Well of Lost Plots

    by Jasper Fforde

    Published 2004

    About this book

    More books by this author

    In this delicious sequel to The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book, Fforde's redoubtable heroine Thursday Next once again does battle with philistine bibliophobes.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Office of Historical Corrections
    The Office of Historical Corrections
    by Danielle Evans
    In The Office of Historical Corrections, the second story collection from Danielle Evans, readers ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Dutch House
    by Ann Patchett

    The Dutch House is my introduction to Ann Patchett, which, after reading it, surprises me. I had ...

  • Book Jacket: Nights When Nothing Happened
    Nights When Nothing Happened
    by Simon Han
    A quiet atmosphere of dread permeates Simon Han's subdued debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened. ...
  • Book Jacket: Take It Back
    Take It Back
    by Kia Abdullah
    In Kia Abdullah's novel Take It Back, sexual violence advisor Zara Kaleel becomes involved in a case...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
    by Marie Benedict

    The real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie is perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Fortunate Ones
    by Ed Tarkington

    An engrossing story of class, love, and loyalty for fans of Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Waiting for the Night Song
by Julie Carrick Dalton
A startling and timely debut about friendships forged in childhood and ruptured by the high price of secrets.
Win This Book!
Win The House on Vesper Sands

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell

Introducing a detective duo for the ages who unlock the secrets of a startling Victorian mystery.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T T T Light F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.