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The Night Watch

February 1, 2007 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781844082414
$15.99
Reader Reward Price: $14.39 info
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Description

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize

'Brilliantly done . . . the period detail never overwhelms the simple, passionate human story. It's a tour-de-force of hints, clues and dropped threads' Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday

Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.
This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching . . . Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret . . . Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover . . . Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances . . .

Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is thrilling. A towering achievement.

About this Author

Thrice crowned 2003 Author of the Year - by the Booksellers Association, Waterstone's and The British Book Awards. Winner of The South Bank Show Award, Sunday Times Author of the Year, The Somerset Maugham Award and the CWA. Shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes.

ISBN: 9781844082414
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 512
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Published: 2007-02-01

Reviews

A triumph... the topsy-turvy time scheme is an elegant and profound device which imbues much of the novel with a poignant dramatic irony and turns every incident, however humdrum, into a revelation that helps to illuminate how her characters became the people they are... [a] finely nuanced, wise and generous novel... Waters is an author to cherish, and this is probably her finest achievement yet--Justine Jordan, Guardian

Sharply and compassionately observed, richly coloured and compelling to read --Independent

A truthful, lovely book that needs no conjuring tricks to make you want to read it again--Philip Hensher, Observer

Brilliantly done... the period detail never overwhelms the simple, passionate human story. It's a tour-de-force of hints, clues and dropped threads--Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday

This outstandingly gifted novelist releases her imagination into her most compelling depiction yet--Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

She produces terrific narrative tension, whether in a mad ambulance ride through the bombs or in loving someone other than the one you're with--Daily Mail

Beautifully written, deeply moving and utterly engrossing--Elle

Burns with a slow but scorching intensity... Sarah Waters is a great writer--Mark Bostridge, Independent on Sunday

Waters' "bomb story" does not at all read like a piece of period fiction. It reads as utterly new and fresh and urgent, both in what it says and the way it says it. It's a work of great beauty and authority and sympathetic imagination--Jenny Turner, London Review of Books

The Night Watch leaves you with the sense of having read something rich and complex pared down with consummate skill by a first-class storyteller into a series of deceptively simple tales of love. Which is a fancy way of saying that Sarah Waters' latest offering lingers on, long after the final page and its first, most fateful meeting--Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard

The trick, as her fans have realised, is to relax, to let yourself be caught up in the current of her story and bob along breathless to the end--Mary Wakefield, Sunday Telegraph

A natural storyteller, Waters also has the most extraordinary ear, the writerly equivalent of perfect pitch--Time Out

A beautifully crafted novel. Full of subtle twists, this tender tale will delight Waters' many existing fans, while winning her a whole raft of new ones--Lianne Kolirin, Express

Four years after Fingersmith, Sarah Waters exchanges rustling petticoats for ration books in a slow-burning, masterly saga of the second world war --Guardian

The twist in The Night Watch is Waters' accomplished structure . . . Waters is an all-rounder, and this novel shows off her talents beautifully--Lucy Beresford, Literary Review

Lives come together, intertwine and unravel like a kind of war-effort knitting . . . On reaching the end of the novel, it is impossible not to start anxiously again at the beginning. But this neither helps nor comforts. The Night Watch stays bleakly in the mind long after its re-reading, underlining the growing authority of its author--Carol Ann Duffy, Daily Telegraph

Waters takes us back in time, gradually sifting through these lives like an archaeologist on a dig trying to reconstruct the past. It's a clever device, efficiently accomplished, intriguing the reader so that you find yourself turning the pages as if in a thriller, your mind racing to solve the puzzles that Waters has devised --Kate Chisholm, Spectator

Steeped in pungent, evocative detail and littered with sad little emotional truths, it's also impossible to put down--Claire Allfree, Metro

There is much to give any reader pure pleasure. The text is saturated in period detail: the ration books, the wireless, the black out, the ARPs, silk pyjamas, Max Factor inches thick, Bakelite light-bulb holders, wartime bureaucracy and typist pools. The dialogue is terrific--Patricia Duncker, New Statesman

Compelling... A writer whose talent for charting social and political intricacies is matched by her delicate feel for the nuances of erotic attachment... Waters's attention to detail is impressive, particularly when she's conveying the atmosphere of wartime London--New York Times

Flawless... A sophisticated, beautifully written novel--Washington Post

A wonderful novel... Waters is almost Dickensian in her wealth of description and depth of character--Chicago Tribune

Waters has the gift of story, the ability to dissolve the distance between reader and subject until nothing but experience remains--Los Angeles Times

Compelling... sexually and psychologically provocative--USA Today

Masterful--Seattle Times

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