Monday, 21 December 2009

Night Watch

I can't believe it's been more than two weeks since I posted here about books! Obviously, the time of year is responsible. I'm always optimistic that I'll get all the Christmas stuff done early and have time to read and every year it's the same - I just don't. But anyway, I have been reading a little so here's my first book for the Terry Pratchett reading challenge that runs through 2010, Night Watch.

Sweeper gave him a long, thoughtful look. 'Y'know,' he said, 'it's very hard to talk quantam using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is'.

Sam Vimes is chasing a killer, a man named Carcer. He is evil through and through and has already killed one night watch officer. Passing through the Unseen University on the killer's trail something happens and both Sam and Carcer are transported back to when Sam was a very young policeman on the beat. The sergeant who taught Sam all he knew has been killed, which was not supposed to have happened, so Sam has to pretend to be John Keel in order that his young self learns what he needs to know and keeps on the straight and narrow. But there is still a killer to apprehend and things become further complicated when said killer joins the police force himself. How can Sam bring him down without revealing who he is and where he has come from? And then there's a little matter of a revolution that's about to happen...

Classic Terry Pratchett this one. A pacey plot that keeps you on your toes with all the time travelling details. *Lots* of his usual humour - clever use of language and wry observations on what makes us humans tick.

Legitimate First (a gravedigger) watched them go as they walked away. Sergeant Colon felt he was being measured up.

'I've always wondered about his name,' said Nobby, turning and waving. 'I mean... Legitimate?'

'Can't blame a mother for being proud, Nobby,' said Colon.

Spare and understated - Terry Pratchett always knows exactly how much to say to ensure maximum impact of a joke like that. It's a rare talent and it's impossible to overstate how very much I'm in awe of it. He's never spiteful or nasty, the digs are always gentle and tolerant and so, so true to life. Wonderful.

This is book six in the Sam Vimes 'Night Watch' series of Discworld books. They could easily be read as a series without reading the rest of the Discworld books and would especially appeal, I think, to lovers of crime novels. The first book in the series is Guards! Guards! but *my* next one will be Thud! Reading the synopsis on the inside cover, I'm already looking forward to reading it!

So that's my first book for The Terry Pratchett 2010 challenge which is being hosted by Marg at Reading Adventures. Always nice to get a new challenge underway.


Susan said...

Hi Cath - I guessed Christmas was keeping you busy too! lol You know something? you have given the first review of a Terry Pratchett novel that makes me understand why people love him so. I'm going to start with the first in the series, Guards! guards! - you know me and mysteries! lol thanks so much for the review! It's good to be back!

DesLily said...

if there's a mystery to be found Cath finds it lol.. glad you enjoyed this read, I know you've wanted to read more Pratchett and this sounds like it fits your bill.

Anonymous said...

An enticing review, I have not read Nightwatch but it is on my list to read this coming year. The gentle honesty of his humour is one of the things that makes Pratchett so special, very much enjoyed reading your insights.

Cath said...

Susan: I just e.mailed you, I hope it arrived safely.

I really do think you would appreciate Terry Pratchett's writing. His sense of humour is very subtle in a very English way. I hope you read Guards! Guards! and can't wait to hear what you think. My favourite of the Vimes series is actually The Fifth Elephant, which is a werewolf and vampire yarn.

Pat: LOL, yeah I always find the mysteries but to tell the truth I think TP's books are much more about his characters than the plot.

Book Pusher: I hope you get around to this one and look forward to your thoughts. Are you doing the Terry Pratchett challenge?

Magpie said...

This is one of my favourite Discworld novels. It's a little darker than most, but it holds up to repeated readings. The Watch novels are definately my favourites, although the Moist Von Lipwig ones are catching up.

Cath said...

Magpie: I think the Watch books are my favourite Pratchetts too. Closely followed by Tiffany Aching, but really... I like the *all*. My favourite stand-alone is Monstrous Regiment.

Ana S. said...

I'm in awe of his talent too. And this is such a good book! I need to real them all again :P

Cath said...

Nymeth: I would love to read all of the Watch books again from the beginning and fully intend to at some stage. Can't wait to read Thud! now to see what Sam reads to his son. :-)