raptornx01 wrote: In other books, he considers himself a servant of The Law. In Snuff, he IS the law.
No. He isn't. I don't have the book in front of me so I can't remember the name of the young watchman, but Vimes tells him that he serves the Law, not any other person or body of people. And that attitude is so ingrained in Vimes' own soul that no amount of power or position will change it. But... back to Night Watch...
When I first read Night Watch I was riveted from the start. I have now re-read it twice and am half way through the third re-read. This time I finished it and went straight back to the beginning and started again. Is that fanaticism or what? I thought I would skim it this time, but no, every word and every detail is being reabsorbed. This time I'm reading it with the Compleat Ankh-Morpork at my side and that is getting opened at every mention of new roads and places. I've always loved maps and discovering the geography of where the characters all are helps to bring the book into reality for me. Oops! I did say 'reality' didn't I? Well, I live in the __ _ place: maybe I'm getting sucked through the Portal. And I live not just in Ankh Morpork, but at the end of Treacle Mine Road, and my house has a label on it: 'The Olde Watch House'. I think I might re-name it and leave out Olde. After all, it got re-opened didn't it?
I guess Night Watch has grabbed me because it uses one of my favourite story devices: incognito characters. And Vimes teaching his younger self is different from most time travel stories; they more commonly have some catastrophic, time shattering event happen if a character meets his/her younger self.
In this book you can see Vimes' character development, so brilliantly illustrated in the whole series of Watch books, span the course of one story. Mention is made, in a way that is not just to fill in back story, of all his stages of growth and change: from his innocent youth to his alcoholic days, and through to his recovery, marriage, promotions and onwards.
Vimes is definitely the strongest and most real character in the whole catalogue of DW books, and I believe that Night Watch is the best of his stories.