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Night Watch

Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
Series: Discworld, Book 29, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Book 6
Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
5 out of 5 stars (433 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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, though: 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.

Browse more novels of Discworld.
©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
  • Oz Pom
  • WA, Australia
  • 02-02-11

Pratchett at his best.

In pursuit of a criminal, Commander Samuel Vimes is thrown back in time to become John Keel, the mentor to his younger self. The twists, turns and political intrigue are inter-mingled with the usual blend of Pratchett humour and wit. This is Pratchett at his very best and, through the excellent story-telling and vocal characterisations of Stephen Briggs, is a pleasure to listen to or to revisit for anyone who has already read the novel. Five star rating!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Naist
  • Arendal, Norway
  • 10-31-18

Simply the best

What more is there to say. In the watch series this is my favorite. Maybe read or listen to the previous books before before this one, just to make it that much better.
Do not listen to anyone suggesting Tony Robinson, not because his narration is directly poor, but because he narrates an abridged edition. That is something you never want to do to a Pratchett book, and really shouldn't listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best Pratchett stories

What did you like about this audiobook?

I would definitely recommend

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

For the first time in a long while, I was surprised by a Discworld tale. When you are a fan of a long-term, 40-odd book series, that is a very good thing.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

Mr Briggs is simply Discworld characters alive. No disrespect to the talents of Mr. Nigel Planer and Mr. Tony Robinson, but there is a feeling of rightness when it is Stephen Briggs who narrates the Discworld stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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For young and old

Terry Pratchett has got to be one of the best story tellers of our time. For young and old alike, his stories remain entertaining and insightful. I look forward to having children that I may share this wonderful gift with them, in the hopes they’ll find as much love for them as I have.

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Murder and time travel

Pratchett can do no wrong, time travel and wise monks and a serial killer on the loose what more could anyone ask for?

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Captivating

I'll be honest - I truly love Pratchett's Discworld. And I especially love anything Vimes. So I'm possibly biased here. But it's an amazing story, written with incredible wit and humor, and read excellently by Briggs. I could hardly put it down and I'm apt to listen to it again, immediately.

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Page flipping even as audio

Page flipping even as audio. Definitywnie one of the best of night watch series. Brilliant

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  • Mr
  • 07-27-15

Sam Vimes at his best!

Would you listen to Night Watch again? Why?

Yes. A story so excellent, it deserves a second (or even 3rd listen). A fantastic novel (thanks Terry) read fantastically (thanks Stephen).

What other book might you compare Night Watch to and why?

Thud ... more Sam Vimes action.

Which scene was your favorite?

So many to choose from ... but when Vimes generally took down 'The Particulars'.

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

"How do they rise up, rise up?" OR "You have reached the end of cake".

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what else could have I expect from Pratchett?

Where does Night Watch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well, not that high, to be honest, but only because I vastly prefer the Witches series and the Death series to the Night Watch.
But this book was still very good. Plus, it had time-travel and young Vetinari. Nuff said.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sam Vimes. Who else.

Which scene was your favorite?

In the beginning - when an Assassin trainee was sent to observe Vimes.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Giggle.

Any additional comments?

AMAZING narration. Usually I speed the narration so it is at least 1.5 times or sometimes even 2 times faster - but I didn't have to with this book.

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More adventures with Sam Vimes

What did you love best about Night Watch?

The story. I'm a huge fan of the Vimes books, and they may be my favourite of the Discworld series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Night Watch?

Vimes' speech to Carcer at the end of the book. Raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Briggs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Stephen Briggs is good, though not to everyone's taste (my wife doesn't like his reading) and his characters are always distinct and fairly consistent across the series (I think his Sergeant Colon changes from "The Fifth Elephant" version).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but it does get a reaction. The comic moments are fewer than they used to be, but it packs a punch.

Any additional comments?

Anyone who started with Guards, Guards and has been following the career of Sam Vimes and the Watch will appreciate this chapter of their story, dealing with time travel and some of the recent history of Ankh Morpork, including a glimpse of a young Vetinari beginning to take hold of his destiny.

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  • Will
  • 11-15-11

Serious fun.

I don't remember being blown away by this book when I first read it, but that was close to a decade ago and I wasn't really old enough to appreciate this story, which is deep and complex even by Pratchett's standards. Listening to it now I'm very glad I chose it. Pratchett's understanding of human nature and capability for more serious storytelling shines through here. Both the hero (Vimes) and the main villain (Carcer) make great character studies and are treated like real people influencing events rather than plot-driving juggernauts. The time travel element is handled sensitively and believably and gives an insight into old Ankh-Morpork which fits in perfectly with the previously sketchy details of how bad things were in the old days. This book is perhaps less funny than some other Discworld novels (though still amusing), but it more than makes up for it in the depth of the setting and the quality of the storytelling. Highly recommended.

Stephen Briggs's reading is as always excellent, though here more than ever his habit of giving everyone different accents is a bit jarring. Still, the narration is good and the voices and characterisation is engaging.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • IPW133
  • 11-16-11

Night Watch

Absolutely brilliant. Love the narrator and the story is great - Vimes at his best. Well worth buying.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • gemma
  • 10-04-11

One of my favourite Pratchett stories

I love this book so was pleased to find it on Audible. I generally found it a good listen, however the range of accents felt a little bit like Briggs showing off! I appreciate that any city will have it's variations, but it was hard to find a common accent across the range of characters. Also I found Briggs' pacing a bit odd in places, but once I'd got used to it I barely noticed it.

Overall an enjoyable story for any Pratchett fan.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Fiona
  • 06-17-17

Night Watch stands above the rest

It's hard to keep reviewing Terry Pratchett's work because the same compliments apply again and again! He really was one of the greatest writers of our age.

However, a couple of the books stand out as even better than the rest - this is one of them. I can listen to it again and again and enjoy it as much - if not more - every time.

A brilliant story. Wonderful characters - clearly a great imagination is at work here, and woven through the whole thing is humour, wit, satire, a astute observation of the human condition, and a passion for ridiculing pomposity and stupidity.

Absolutely brilliant - highly recommended

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Crackdown
  • 10-02-13

Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love..

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

Night Watch is one of the best and most well loved books in the Discworld, and the audio book doesn't disappoint.

Within this story you have mention of the wearing of lilac to commemorate the The People's Revolution uprising on the 25th May.

Following Terry Pratchett's announcement about early onset Alzheimer, many fans refer to wearing lilac, or using the above quote on the 25th of May as a tribute, and also to raise money for Alzheimer research.

I think for that reason alone, this book is always likely to be one of the top Terry Pratchett books of all time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Hevpais
  • 10-27-07

Excellent entertainment

Great story, well read. Recommend A++++

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 06-16-11

Another lovely Pratchett

I love Pratchett's work and his hopefullness about humanity shines through this book, like all the rest.

Not my absolute favourite, but still great! Good on you Sir Terry!
I'm always mixed about Brigg's reading. His characters are really good, but his diction is a bit off. As if he has a cold or something, I think he reads too fast, which gives his readings an amaturish air. Still much better than Nigel Planer's readings IMHO!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 11-16-10

Sublime and dark

This is one of the best Discworld novels out there for adults - up until now I've been very comfortable in a world that's a bit brutal but funny, but this one is dark, interesting and clean in it's delivery - there's less of the funny humour that works on various lvels in here, but it's amazing nonetheless, and a great change of pace from Terry's usual Discworld.
That's not to say there's not some funny parts in here, but it seemed a darker, stronger story in this book.
Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • margaret
  • 09-14-10

Pratchett at his best

Terry Pratchett's grasp on life's quirkier side just gets better and better. This is a very thought prevoking book that had me in tears at times and splitting my side with laughter at others, his description or the 'grannies' is second to none. If you haven't listen to this you are missing one of the best

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip Beresford Webb
  • 08-18-19

Pratchett at his finest

I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan and find it hard to choose a favourites amongst so many contenders. But this is right up there as one of his best. I’d recommend it’s not your first though, you’d be best off reading Guards Guards and a couple of others first so you get all of the references.

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  • Gretta
  • 11-28-14

My favourite City Watch book

This is by far my favourite City Watch Discworld book. The time travel is intriguing. I do prefer Steven Brigg's voice for Vimes and Vetinarie (sp?) but Nigel Planar's voice is better for Carrott. Both narrators bring life to the characters and I highly recommend them both.

I have been reading the discworld in order of story lines. It is like a little mini series. I would recommend starting the City Watch series from the beginning. I have become very attached to the characters and am not looking forward to them ending in two books time.

Definitely worth the listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Hanna
  • 03-24-18

Another great adventure

A fantastic journey into history, and a great in depth perspective into war and the 'beast' within us.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 07-18-19

Pratchett Gold

This book is most fantastic; a bit more suspense and action than the usual Pratchett, with all the wit and imagination. I recommend highly

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-19

Excellent

I loved Nigel Planer's performances, however, the new narrator gave this book the right tone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-20-19

great story

Love Terry Pratchett's books, most of all the ones with Sam Vimes.
I think Stephen Briggs does a great job aswell.
Highly enjoyable.

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  • M. Donaldson
  • 04-03-19

Pritchett doesn't disappoint

Another brilliant story from Pratchett and only enhanced by the performance of Stephen Briggs in the reading. Loved it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-18

my favourite Terry Pratchett

It's hard to think of words after finishing such a book.

I think I'll have a hard boiled egg.

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  • Stephen
  • 11-06-18

Suspenseful

This has all the humour and light of a pratchet book. With the added darkness of a thriller.
An uncertain future and the hope of success.
Carser is almost the Moriaty of Vimes.

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  • Duckypoo
  • 05-08-18

A Worthy Reading Of An Incredible Book

Stephen Briggs did a fabulous job of bringing the story to life, and did justice to one of Terry Pratchett's best works.

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  • Eliane
  • 12-20-17

One of Terry Pratchett’s finest

Night Watch is a superb example of Terry Pratchett’s story telling genius. Sam Vimes and the killer he is chasing are flung into the past, into the middle of a revolutionary scenario. Can Vimes recreate the past, teach his younger self to be a good copper, save Ankh-Morpork and the souls of some good men, nab the killer and get back in time for the birth of his child? Moving, funny, wise, clever and full of brilliant characterisation, brought to life perfectly by Stephen Briggs.