Night Watch

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 16, 2004

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Nine of the 10 people who showed up to discuss this Discworld novel had tried reading it, but only 5 finished. Six had read Pratchett before and 2 sent in e-mail comments.

Although still satire, this is Pratchett’s darkest book in the series. It’s a socio-political police procedural. In it Sam Vimes, one of the Ankh-Morpork Guards, ends up in his own past during a time of political struggle. He mentors his younger self as he does his duty as a good beat cop, trying to keep order while uncertain whether this alternate past will turn out the same.

The book starts off slow and somewhat confusing for readers not familiar with the Guards. This was where most of the non-Pratchett fans stopped reading. Once Vimes went back in time the pace picked up considerably–one reader couldn’t put it down until the end.

We probably did not get many of the puns, but for most of us that didn’t interfere with enjoyment of the story. We liked the temporal monks and how their tampering with history allows Pratchett a means of making changes in the series–to the surprise and delight of his fans.

— Sandy Kayser