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. But there's a problem: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future.
Here is a Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen, and other children of the revolution. Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!
© Terry and Lyn Pratchett; (P) Corgi Audio
"The best Discworld book in the whole world ever. Until next time." (SFX)
"The author's talent for comedy does not falter as he continues to set the standard for comic fantasy." (Library Journal)
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Tony Robinson has the ability to blow life into any Discworld abridgement in such a way that you won't even miss the titbits cut out by the abridger. In the case of 'Night Watch' the niceties found in Terry Prachett's sideway remarks and such colourful characters as Constable Buggy Squires, Sergeant Anqua and Captain Carrot Ironfoundersohn are almost completely absent. The abridgement seems also a bit more children friendly with words like 'arse' changed to its more suitable counterparts.
Fortunately enough of Terry Pratchett's wit is left to make this Night Watch novel just as enjoyable as the unabridged version.
The story is solid, with sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankhmorpork City Watch, chasing a cop murderer into the past to ensure that justice will serve. Pratchett catches the camaraderie between Police officials splendidly and vividly. When the arch-criminal and cop murderer Carser becomes one of the gang, the plot thickens and Vimes has to choose between going back to his time of serving justice. Typically Discworld style Vimes chooses against what you and I would have.
I thoroughly enjoyed this recording of 'Night Watch.' You might want to buy it for Tony Robinson's performance and for being child safe, otherwise the unabridged version should be seriously considered.
I got into Audible for this exact book. I was reading it one day and wondered how the song went, and wondered if an audiobook narrator would tell me. Tony Robinson did not disappoint. I first met him as Baldrick in Blackadder, and he has outshone himself. He has given each character a life of his/her own, instead of just sounding like a man doing women's voices, etc. Kudos. He got me hooked (:
In a hurry I purchased one of my favourite Pratchett novels - Night Watch. Only to realise that I hadn't read the listing clearly enough. It is the shortened version. The abridged versions read by Tony Robinson are nowhere hear as good as the full length audiobooks read by first Nigel Planer, then Stephen Briggs. To turn roughly 12 hours of comic genius into 4 hours of product is a crime against the original author and his vision. I must now curse my inattention to detail and wait patiently for audible to make the full length story available.
"Why is no unabridged version available?"
This is my favourite Pratchett book and I have reread it a few times. The abridged version of this book is very entertaining and Tony Robinson is an excellent narrator, but I know this book well enough to know what I am missing.
There is an unabridged version of this book available to US users of Audible, but not to UK users.
4 out of 5 for an excellent reading of a shortened text. 1 out of 5 for the poor choice available to UK users.
"Abridged vs. unabridged / Narrator"
I have read the book long time ago, not in the English original, so I am not absolutely certain what parts of the story are missing.
Due to the not avaliable unabridged version here at the moment I bought the abriged one.
As I am used to the voice of Stephen Briggs I found it quite hard to listen to Tony Robbinson at some times. Unfortunately I was not able to understand some of the lines where Tony Robbinson changes his voice for some characters even after listening to the book 2 and more times. Might also be, because I am not a native English speaker.
Though, imo, his voice goes a little bit too much on the whiny side for some chars. Voice volume is most of the time quite normal and ok, but at special occasions it turns very quiet and faint, too.
But else the book is great as Terry Pratchett's books generally are.
To conclude, if you have still other books to get, do so and wait for the unabridged version of this one.
"Cut short....and ruined"
I've listened to both versions of this book and (as usual) it has to be said the Unabridged versions read by Stephen Briggs are hugely superior to the abridged versions. Hopefully Audible will release it soon.
That said the actual book is my favourite of all the Discworld novels and I've been a fan for years...but if you've not read/listened to a Pratchett novel before I certainly couldn't recommend starting here. There's far to much written for the fan's ears and as a new reader you'd miss most of the books worth. Start with Guards! Guards! or any of the other earlier works.
"The Unabridged version? Please?"
This is one of my favourite books. I love the suspension (a true page turner) and the comedy part of the novel. It is a book you'd want to listen to all day long. And it is an absolute waste to shorten a book of which every word is worth reading, and indeed every letter, into less than half of the complete book. So audible please, please, please make the unabridged version available. I'd be the first to buy it.
"A Masterclass in Dramartic Tension"
Sam Vimes is my favourite Discworld character, so this is a real treat for me, a Vines book that not only gives us present day Sam, but also an insight into his past and his journey towards being a good copper.
In pursuit of the thug Carser, Vimes runs into a magical accident that plunges both him and his quarry back into Ankh Morpork's shady past, before Vetinari's iron grip cleaned up the city's act, when the City Watch was ineffective and frequently on the make. There Young Sam is under the somewhat dubious tutelage of watchmen the like of Nobby Nobbs, learning how to be a bent copper.
Vimes remembers his mentor, John Keel, the man who taught him what policing was all about - the only trouble is that due to the same magical accident, Keel is dead and Vimes must take his place and his identity, teaching his younger self while trying not to get either of them killed. There's major unrest in the city; revolution is close at hand with the outraged population ranged against a mad ruler and to make ythings worse Carser has insinuated himself into the ranks of the ruthless Unmentionables, the not-so-secret police). Only Keel and the ordinary coppers of the Night Watch, trapped between the two factions, can avert pitched battle and gory bloodshed.
Will VImes as Keel succeed in preventing needless slaughter, teach his younger self enough to survive and get back to hs own time with Carser in handcuffs, or does Vimes own future end in his own past? For, you see, Vimes knows what young Sam does not, John Keel dies in the riots.
This book is a masterclass in how to stretch dramtic tension almost to breaking point before letting the reader breathe again. I was genuinely afraid for Vimes, wondering if it was time to Pratchett to write him out of the series. I think this is Pratchett's finest book.
"Unabridged version please!"
This is one of my favourite Discworld stories but as it is only offered in the abridged verion on audible I havn't downloaded it, afraid I cannot stand abridged books. Luckily itunes had the unabridged verion for sale, the audio quality was bad but the story was of course, superb. Come on audible, you have most of the discworld books unabridged, why not this one?
"Another good read!"
Most Sir Terry fans have their favourite themed novels, and I have to say that, whilst liking the wiches, Death and the urban themes, I am first and foremost a City Watch fan. This book is devoted primarily to Vimes, and in it Pratchett explores some really interesting and thoughtful ideas about time and the nature of how we form personality, whilst including a brilliant plot twist (or seven), some cracking action scenes and shedloads of humour. It's really a loving insight into the archetypal hard-bitten cop, who we've seen grow from hopeless but idealist drunken wastrel to happily married bloke and father-to-be. It's probably my favourite Discworld book. And then came Thud!
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