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Night Watch

Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3,158 ratings)

Regular price: $53.87

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Publisher's Summary

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a hard boiled egg!

Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck.

Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive; he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his young self to be a good copper, and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. There's a problem: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future.

This is a Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, rebels secret policemen, and other children of the revolution.

©1992 Terry Pratchett and Lynn Pratchett (P)1997 ISIS Publishing Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"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 the phenomenally bestselling Discworld series." (Publishers Weekly)
"The author's talent for comedy does not falter as he continues to set the standard for comic fantasy." (Library Journal)
"Stephen Briggs's voices add dimension to the characters while avoiding exaggeration. He brings out the satire without compromising the subtlety of the humor....The series is meant to be read aloud." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pratchett's Best and Grossly Overlooked in the US

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.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another brilliant Pratchett

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.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ken
  • Detroit, MI, USA
  • 08-25-07

Pratchett'sBest?

"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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • pashopper
  • BUTLER, PA, United States
  • 02-02-09

5 stars isn't enough for this one

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Lousy Recording

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.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb book, excellent naration, poor transfer

Night Watch may very well be my favorite Discworld novel. It's a story of second chances, passion, politics, and standing up for what's right. Pratchett brings his inimitable style to time travel, civil unrest, and what it would be like to meet your younger self. It works as a stand-alone novel, but you'll get much more out of it if you're familiar with the Guards books (start with Guards! Guards!). Stephen Briggs, as always, does a superb job narrating, making the Ankh-Morpork come alive (no mean feat).

My one complaint, and it is a large one, unfortunately lies not with Pratchett, or with Briggs, but with Audible: the transfer is awful. The audio quality is sub-par compared to the CD or cassettes it was clearly ripped/recorded from, and the whole thing is sloppy. Audible's remastering/digitizing of older recordings is usually excellent (Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe Series, to pick one example, were beautifully transferred from Blackstone's CDs, cassettes, or master recordings), but in this case, the whole thing has the same feel of an old vhs tape slapped onto a new blu-ray disc. Night Watch, as one of Pratchett's best novels, deserves better treatment than it has received here. I can only hope that a better transfer will one day provide this site's audiophiles with a reading they can revel in.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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All the Little Angels Rise Up High

If you could sum up Night Watch in three words, what would they be?

Discworld History Ha-HA-ha

What did you like best about this story?

All of the Sam Vimes stories are about hope.

You hope that the men in charge will be good men, be mindful of the welfare of others, do the right thing when there are options, have a conscious, know his Beast and keep it chained until he has to call on it.

You hope that other good men will be drawn to him and by shear force of logic, reasonable speech and consistent actions they will make the same good choices as their chosen leader.

You hope that there will be somebody there to take care of the nasty bits.

And you hope that if you could do it all over again, knowing what you know now, you would do it better.

And I learned a new song...All the little angels rise up, rise up. All the little angels rise up high.

Which character – as performed by Stephen Briggs – was your favorite?

The character parts were brilliant. Snouty, Nobby, Dickens, Reg, the various soldiers, Madam, the Aunts, the list goes on. I estimate near 30 voices and each one was an individual.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

There are several brilliant ones in the story, although you would have to be familiar with the series to understand some of them (start reading!):

All the Little Angels Rise Up

Doing the Job in Front of Them

The Glorious 25th of May - Remember?

Doing the Job they Didn't' Have to Do

Protecting The People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road since the Year of the Dancing Dog in the Century of the Fruit Bat

Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love! and a Hard Boiled Egg!

Password: Swordfish

There and Back Again: A Coppers Tale

Any additional comments?

This story is a metaphor for the isolation and disenfranchisement of the soldier in foreign land. What does he have to do to remember who he is at home-that he has a home- and hang on to the threads that take him back; whether it be a picture or cigar case or lock of hair in his pocket. He has to focus on the job in front of him- at this place in this time. There is no good guy or bad guy, just us and them, and sometimes he wonders where the line really is and if he will ever get home.

As expected, brilliant satire and story line, keeps you laughing and the deeper message comes through.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debora
  • Ipswich, MA, USA
  • 06-08-09

Love Vimes

This is one of my favorite Discworld books. It helps that I'm getting used to Briggs.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Abby
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 10-16-07

history finds a way

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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, great reading

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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shawn
  • 10-02-06

Night Watch

If you are a fan of Discworld, This is a book for you. Superbly read. A real sense of the orator knowing the book well and can anticipate the humour without spoiling it.

If you are new to discworld, this is still a very fun book but i reccommend you listen to a much earlier book in the series. Why? Although this is a great book a lot of the superb humour does depend on a prior knowledge of the other discworld books, in particular, the other Sam Vimes books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 09-24-06

Night Watch

One of Pratchett's best...Commander Vimes of the 'Night Watch' undertakes the ultimate exercise in self defence. While saving himself, he also has to save a city, arrest a psychopath and get home for the birth of his child.

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  • Annalie Prinsloo
  • 07-15-17

Amazing Discworld.

I have read and listened to "Nightwatch", very many times over the years. It remains one of my favourite stories. Missing Sir Terry Pratchett.