Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

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Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:19 pm

**Warning**

This thread is for discussing Night Watch in some depth. If you haven’t read the book then read on at your own risk – or, better still, go and read the book and join in the fun.

For those of us that are going to join in the discussion, here are a few guidelines:

Please feel free to make comparisons to other Discworld books, making sure you identify the book and the passage you are referring to. Others may not be as familiar with the book you are referencing, so think before you post.

Sometimes we’ll need to agree to disagree – only Terry knows for sure what he was thinking when he wrote the books and individuals members may have widely different interpretations – so try to keep the discussion friendly.

We may be discussing a book that you don’t much care for – don’t be put off joining in the discussion. If you didn’t care for the book, then that in itself is a good topic for discussion.

Please note: there is no time limit to this discussion. Please feel free to add to it at any time - especially if you've just read the book.

And finally:

Please endeavour to keep the discussion on topic. If necessary I will step in and steer it back to the original topic – so no digressions please!

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Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
Originally published 2002

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Introduction

In hot pursuit of deranged killer, Carcer, Sam Vimes and his foe are catapulted back in time 30 years to a somewhat different Ankh-Morpork. Sam needs to make sure history repeats itself (as much as possible) and at the same time teach his younger self to be a good copper.

How do they rise up?
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Sorry I’m so late posting this – I only just finished it yesterday and I’ve had all sorts of problems on another site. Sometimes traveling back in time seems like an awfully good idea. :D

Anyhow, this really is a good book – gripping from start to finish. It’s great to get some of the history of A-M – especially the early years of Vetinari and the line of corrupt patricians that came before him.

It’s kind of interesting that this book hints at events that took place in Thief of Time and it’s always good to see Lu Tze.

But what did you think of it?
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby swreader » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:22 pm

This is one of my favorite books for a large number of reasons--it not only explains more about the history of a number of characters that we've already met (and to some extent how they became what they are). And one can have all sorts of fun with speculating what the future history of The Duke and Duchess of Ankh-Morpork would have been without the changes that happen as a result of Sam's visit to the past. Some are fairly certain--others we can speculate about but probably never get a definite answer.

For example, Sam's having met Dr. Lawn is absolutely crucial to the safe delivery of young Sam and all the changes that leads to. But whether Vetinari actually participated in the Grand & Glorious Revolution before Sam's changes in history is, I think, impossible to decide one way or the other.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:31 pm

*sneaks in whilst Pooh's asleep still* :P

No secret that Nightwatch is one of my fave books, and definitely my fave Watch book but this won't be a big post you'll be pleased to know (that'll come later on). One thing that did strike me a lot on this re-reading (also in the Thief of Time discussion too) is the wonderful Bond/Q send-ups with Lu Tze and Qu - Now pay attention Lu-Tze! and the testing area back in ancient times when hippos did indeed play in the Ankh :P

So what other little send-ups did people like in there?

Quick edit on Sharlene's comment about Vetinari and his involvement in the final fight and Keel's 'official' death. I think this was one of those self-fulfilling time/space anomalies. Near the beginning, Sam remembered about how cold Keel's body had been from his younger self's memories of the events. When it happened 'for real' when Lu Tze stopped time to deposit the several days dead body of the real John Keel on the streets, he remembers it again, but he also then realises how many narrow misses there were in his own 'suspended real time' survival and then back in the present understands why Vetinari also wears the lilac... So I think that what is written had already happened in a time loop/wrong trouser leg/quantum event and that Vimes did indeed have to go back and was his own mentor.

The parts that he thinks 'didn't happen' mostly did but he doesn't know that because he's seeing things from 'Keel's' perspective this time around and not his young self's. Also nothing that Ned Coates does is substantially different and he knew both Keel and Vimes... Carcer's presence appears to be less certain, but then again - Young Sam doesn;t have too much to do with him as Old Sam keeps them apart as much as possible - also young Sam's too dazzled by Keel in the bits where he does come into contact to him.
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:31 pm

swreader wrote:But whether Vetinari actually participated in the Grand & Glorious Revolution before Sam's changes in history is, I think, impossible to decide one way or the other.


It happened in the past, although they didn't know, so it had already happened even if they didn't know until now, but Vimes was taught how to be a copper from himself, he just didn't know until now.
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:05 pm

Nightwatch is one of my "more favored" books by Terry. I enjoyed the bits about Sandra Battye and the "I Do Crochet!!" :lol: :lol: with the old man coming up to Rosie and holding up a bag of darning that needs doing. That was also when Rosie thought she might have to have a chat with her about making more business than Rosie did... and her oh so innocent questions and whether she was having one over on her. (side note: Sandra Battye is a real person for those who didn't know it. I believe she donated to a charity or something to win the right to be a character.)

Sam Vimes, I truly admired his ability to make it work. Lu Tze helped immensely (especially with the cigar case to root Sam), but Sam had to do the hard work of "remembering" and keeping it all together. Especially when confronted by the "young Sybil" and remembering all those sharp swords, then realizing that her Father was there too and leaving appropriately quickly.

As said already, he Had to meet Dr. Lawn and know about the "paddles", so, of course it already had happened. I love Dr. Lawn, he is so funny in this book and later books i.e. Going Postal when he says that Doctors would love to study Mr. Groat, at a distance, preferably behind a tree and that Moist should Never let him take up tap-dancing. PMSL :lol:

Making the Barricade Properly and having the Grannies shouting things from the top and giving them pikes to viciously poke through holes below was perfect. :twisted: I loved it when the soldiers were deserting because grandma was going to tell everyone about what they did when eleven years old. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: Fear the Old Women and their Knowledge... hehehe
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby mspanners » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:24 am

One of the most engrossing books that Terry has written, Mystics, Time Travel, nods to other classic stories, Vimes early life reveled and so much more.

In fact a true classic book, and in My opinion ripe for a Movie.

Except the book relies so much on the reader knowing some of the History of the Discworld from other books to get the most from it... for examples we see where Nobby came from and His early life and the abuse He received at the hands of His Father, Reg becoming a Zombie and How Vimes could have turned out differently had things gone slightly differently when He was a lad.

This Book has so many twists you will never get bored rereading it! 10/10.
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:46 am

....but it isn't particularly funny! Soul Music has jokes on every page, NW doesn't.

I love NW, but I don't rate it even in the top 5 of TP's books.

I look forward to being convinced otherwise. 8)
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Postby Grymm » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:41 am

But it does have a big joke/parody for a cover and IMO even comic books need some darkness or it all gets a bit Timmy Mallet/gameshow host, damn fine book.

The Night Watch
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The Night Watch (hope this doesn't throw the board size out too much)
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Yes I know it's proper title isn't the nightwatch but it is what it is commonly known as in this country at least.

Image replace with somewhat smaller one.

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Postby Trish » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:10 am

poohcarrot wrote:....but it isn't particularly funny! Soul Music has jokes on every page, NW doesn't.

I love NW, but I don't rate it even in the top 5 of TP's books.

I look forward to being convinced otherwise. 8)


No, NW isn't funny.
Plot isn't close to humorous.
However, the charactterizations are.

We see why Nobby is the way he is, a portrait that can be construed as humorous or frightening. Depends.

The interplay between Vetinari & Downey and, of course, Vetinari's 'tiger book.'

We get a look at Vimes then-and-now that, without time travel, wouldnt' be possible.
And learn what made 'Vimesy' tick.

It's a good read. Quite a few throwaway lines, but no overt humor.
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Postby Lady Vetinari » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:18 am

I think it is one of the best ones because it is not as funny as the others. Though to continue the PF theme from another thread the Dark Sarcasm is very funny. I love Time Travel things and so Vimes going back in time is absolutely brilliant and the twist that HE created the Paperwork he so despises is absolutely clever.

I love the Les Miserable feel about the whole thing and also how Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler got his catchphrase and the fact that it showed a pre-Vetinari Ankh Morpork ...

Personally I think it is one of his most clever novels.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:08 pm

Lady V wrote:I think it is one of the best ones because it is not as funny as the others. Though to continue the PF theme from another thread the Dark Sarcasm is very funny. I love Time Travel things and so Vimes going back in time is absolutely brilliant and the twist that HE created the Paperwork he so despises is absolutely clever.

I love the Les Miserable feel about the whole thing and also how Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler got his catchphrase and the fact that it showed a pre-Vetinari Ankh Morpork ...

Personally I think it is one of his most clever novels.

Well we Dr. Who fans would say that :lol:

But yeah - it's not side-splittingly funny because the subject matter is much darker for a start, even more than in GG - and that is the most interesting thing about this book I think. Now we know absolutely why Vimes was so washed up and disillusioned in the first Watch book. How much he was depressed that it had all gone wrong when Carrot came along and made him start to care again about what had happened to the Watch and to the city - it reminds him of how he was back before the revolution and how JK inspired him to make a difference?

In a way Nightwatch also reminds me of Small Gods as it's away from the norm - re-writing our views of the regular characters in A-M when they're 'new' and shiney? Like Nobby, Colon and Reg Shoe and with familiar but less well-fleshed out characters like Rosie and also Vetinari's Aunt (forgotten her name already! :roll: ) who is also someone mentioned in passing in GG when they're trying to work out how to lure dragon hunters into the city? :lol:

Anyway I don't suppose that'll sway Pooh's views but majorities can be right and this is a very influential book in the Discworld multiverse and once again confirms Pterry's consummate skill in constantly finding different angles to challenge the assumptions his readers have about the how and why the Disc is so compelling and how narrow the line is between being 'good' and being 'bad' - much better in my opinion than using Moist as the vehicle for that particular topic :P
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:22 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:
Anyway I don't suppose that'll sway Pooh's views but majorities can be right...


I really didn't like Maurice before that discussion started. I read it again carefully and we had a discussion about it and I realised it was absolutely brilliant.

You provide good argument, I will listen, if it's better than my opinion I'll change.

...and majorities can be wrong too.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:32 pm

poohcarrot wrote:You provide good argument, I will listen, if it's better than my opinion I'll change.

...and majorities can be wrong too.

I'll not make the usual gag about us kind of agreeing getting too scary (although it is :shock: ). And I do agree about majorities being wrong too - quite a lot in fact, but that's mainly because of Roundworld being a much nastier place, where people get frightened and forget to think what might happen if they always go with the popular trend - then they get presidents with more money in his campaign funds than brain cells in his noggin... But I'll stop it there as you'll only agree with me - again :twisted: :wink:
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:34 pm

No, I won't. :P
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:38 pm

*sighs & blows kiss* so considerate! :P
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