As usual Pratchett has performed feats with the English language that appear at first glance to be impossible. Words just fit better together coming from him. We're transported back in time along with a somewhat frustrated Sam Vines who's got to save the city with the help of a younger version of himself and, gods help us, a street urchin version Nobby Nobbs. For die-hard Pratchett fans, that's all the information you need to realize that this is a rollicking good read.
Stephen Briggs performs nicely as narrator and makes the whole trip pleasant. Alas, I'll always be biased - These tales truly ought to be read by Nigel Planer. Nigel's voice will forever and always ring true for me as the 'proper' voice of each of the Disk World folk.
"Nightwatch" is arguably Terry Pratchett's best Discworld novel. If you want to see Duke Vimes at his copper best, this is the book for you. Cast back in time thirty years, he is stripped of the multi-species team he has built in the Watch. While Sybil is giving birth, Vimes must find a way home (and take a loopy killer back him), while revolution swirls through the streets of Ankh Morpork. Also on the scene are the recently recruited, and green as the woobly bits the rats won't even eat, Private Sam Vines, and an odd monk who sweeps out the station house. Fred Colon and a young Nobby Nobbs are also on the scene.
I believe that Sir Terry is on record as saying "A Hat Full of Sky" is his personal favorite, and I agree that it is a great book, but I have to respectfully disagree with His Grace on this. I feel "Night Watch" is not only the pinnacle of his "Watch" themed books, but the best of Discworld. This book always seems to transport me to Ankh-Morpork and bring it and the characters to life; this is escapism at its best. And Stephen Briggs is, simply put, _The_ voice of Discworld. (Though, how amazing would it be for Briggs and Nigel Planar to team up, each doing the characters they do best? I'm not sure that Pratchett fans would be able to handle the euphoria of that pairing.)
If you've never read Pratchett's work, or are new to Discworld, I think this book could easily leave you wanting more. There are other Discworld books that precede "Night Watch" in the "Watch" arc, and having that background would certainly help make this reading a bit richer. But this book stands on its own nicely and would be a great introduction to Pratchett's work and the massive Discworld series. Be warned--Discworld has driven the most sane and boring of us to ridiculous levels of fanaticism. You may soon find yourself looking for a red pointy hat and a staff with a knob on the end.
In the Sam Vimes series this is absolutely one of the best, maybe 'the' best. It isn't necessary to have read the others to enjoy it but it comes in between the Fifth Elephant and Thud. Time travel plots are usually mildly entertaining but with many holes in the story that are left to be explained by time paradox. But not so with Night Watch - the events are meaningful to the character development, and the narration makes such an engaging experience that it left me a bit stunned - and I had to listen right over again.
I rated this three stars, entirely because the recording quality is horrendous. The story is wonderful, the narration brilliant. Too bad they apparently used a 1967-era 8-track tape recorder in a freeway tunnel to record it.
What new praise can I possibly add about the wonderful source material and the reading by Stephen Briggs? The writing and story are brilliant and moving, the characters obviously as cherished by the author as they are by his fans, and Briggs, as always, brings the prose and characters to life.
When I first purchased this title, I was totally underwhelmed by the terrible audio quality. It sounded as though the narrator was reading from the bottom of a deep well. Thankfully, Audible seems to have responded to customer concerns about the terrible echo and remedied that problem. I recently downloaded the newly available Enhanced Audio version and was pleasantly stunned by the pristine quality of this new recording.
The fight to capture a murderer in Ankh-Morpork suddenly takes a strange, sudden turn into the city's dark past. Terry Pratchett takes a creative, gripping and (as always) funny spin on the travel-back-in-time plot so frequently found in sci-fi/fantasy and makes it thoroughly "Discworld." This is a personal favourite, with both the Watch and the History Monks. Definitely recommended!
Terry Pratchett is one of the most insightful and wittiest satirists of popular culture literature has seen. Night Watch is, as with his other Discworld books, an incredibly addictive and enjoyable story. Sam Vimes takes another step in his ongoing evolution as a character, and some of the egnimatic Patrician's past is revealed. this is a great story, and the narration is superb. Get this book!
This is one of the best of the series. Here when I thought he might be running out of steam he comes out with a really good read / listen. It had me laughing out loud more than once.