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Night Watch Paperback – July 26, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax Books / Hyperion; 1st edition (July 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401359795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401359799
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in contemporary Moscow, Lukyanenko's fantastic American debut—the first in a series about an epic struggle between good and evil—charts the adventures of a race of supernaturally gifted Others, who serve either the Light or Dark Side. The Others slip in and out of an eerie parallel world where they coexist in an uneasy peace that a terrible revolution may soon disrupt. Philosophical Anton Gorodetsky, an earnest Night Watch agent, falls in love with 24-year-old Svetlana Nazarova, a troubled young doctor under a Dark Magician's curse. While Anton endeavors to undo the curse, he discovers Egor, a gifted boy unwilling to choose between his Light or Dark abilities. As humankind's fate hangs in the balance, Anton is forced to re-examine his allegiance, and Svetlana is drawn deeper into the exotic, vivid universe of dueling magicians, shape-shifters, witches and vampires. Potent as a shot of vodka, this compelling urban fantasy was adapted to a Russian blockbuster movie in 2004. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Night Watch is an epic of extraordinary power.”
—Quentin Tarantino

Star Wars meets the Vampires in Moscow . . . it bursts with a sick, carnivorous glee in its fiendish games.”
The New York Times

The Night Watch is inventive, sardonic and imbued with a surprising sense that, for this author and his audience, much of this stuff is new-minted.” —The Independent (UK)

A “sceptical, intelligent thriller.”–Telegraph (UK)

“Fascinating. . . . [The] excellent translation by Andrew Bromfield keeps the pace moving. . . . One of the most original and readable supernatural fictions in some time.”–Scotland on Sunday

“Brace yourself for Harry Potter in Gorky Park. . . . The novel contains some captivating scenes and all kinds of marvelous, inventive detail: The vampires’ seduction of a teenage boy is bone-chilling; every time Lukyanenko described the Other-worldly Twilight, I felt lured into it; and the fantastical powers exercised by Anton and his colleagues range from delightful to awesome.”– Ron Charles, The Washington Post Book World

“Lukyanenko is great at rolling out new concepts for the reader to savour.”–The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

“[As] potent as a shot of vodka. . . . [A] compelling urban fantasy.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This modern day mythical fantasy is Anne Rice on an epic scale, a hugely imagined world. A chiller thriller from cold of Russia, this one's been selling like hot cakes around the world.” —Sunday Sport
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I first saw the movie before I read the book.
Martha
Although there is a little too much exposition in the internal thoughts of Anton, I didn't find it bogging down the pace of the story.
Shlepzig
It's really well written, the level of detail is supremely good and the character/plot development is so detailed.
M Sockel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By J. B Kraft VINE VOICE on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a reader of Sci-Fi and Fantasy for almost 50 years, and I can say that this is the best "first novel in a series" I have read in about ten years. In fact, I literally could not put it down, starting it at 10PM on Friday night and finishing it at 3AM on Saturday morning. Then I couldn't sleep thinking about the ideas in the book.
If you have read translated Russian fiction, you will find a familiar feel to the translation that accentuates the best of the Russian Masters. At the same time, as ideas go, the premise is an ingenious variation on a recurrent and Manichean theme -- Light versus Dark. The story is told through the perspective of Anton, a Night Watcher, who works for an Agency that (1) keeps its eyes on the forces of the Dark; (2) enforces an uneasy and temporary truce with them; (3) pursues its own inscrutable agenda in preparation for the inevitible struggle to tip the balance of humanity one way or the other. I have not enjoyed a novel on this theme one-tenth as much since the late Roger Zelazny's "Jack of Shadows", which I thought superb. Yet, Night Watch is even better and more nuanced.

While long (about 500 pp), it is deliciously detailed but fast paced. The characters are wonderfully drawn as we discover new things about them through Anton's eyes, and he becomes increasingly ambivalent about the "party line." I agree that only a contemporary Russian could tell this story as effectively, given the recent history of that country. You will be constantly surprised and entertained as you deduce the real rules that govern this Earth and see the characters develop.

This was a great read, and I can't wait for the next installment. Because the novel is told in the first person point-of-view, I have some skepticism of how well this can be turned into a movie, and still convey the complex ideas and character development -- especially that going on in Anton.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By W. McMillin on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been waiting on this book for months. I am a great fan of the film and wanted to read the book it was based on. I should note that the films Night Watch and Day Watch actually come from the first two sections of this book. A world of good and evil that exists around us. A world where a single moment could tip one towards good or towards evil as we are all just an action away from being lost to the other side. A world of spells, vampires, and the gloom but more importantly a world where the line between good and evil is not always clear.
I found the translations to be clear and easy to read but with an actual flair to them. This is not some boring by numbers translation.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shlepzig on March 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Night Watch is a well written and stimulating new entry into the genre of contemporary gothic horror. The novel follows the progress of agent Anton of the Night Watch in Moscow as he is gaining his first field experience after working a desk job for the Watch for several years. Anton is referred to as a Light Magician with some potential but little experience, and the Night Watch he works for is the mystical law-enforcement agency that oversees the actions of the dark magical beings; werewolves, vampires, and dark witches and sorcerers. As part of the Night Watch Anton interacts with a cast of interesting mystical characters, both light and dark with their own motivations and emotions as he tries to unravel the series of mysteries presented to him. These characters (both light and dark) grow on you over the course of the novel, where they may seem to be paper thin creations when you first encounter them they each deepen in the course of the novel and in the sequels.

The novel is broken into three novellas that happen sequentially. Each novella stands mostly on it's own, but does build on the events of the previous. In the first section, Anton must determine the cause of a curse hanging over a single woman that threatens all of Moscow and possibly the world. In the second Anton is framed for the murders of dark ones and must find the real culprit and clear his name. In the last, all the pieces scattered around the board are gathered together into an end-game, Anton is torn between duty and his own motives as he slowly sees the potential outcomes of his actions in the previous two stories.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peter U. Malyshev on March 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Moscow is swept with the Night / Day / Twilight Watch mania these days. Obviously, I became intrigued with the concept and promptly picked up the book this winter not to be disappointed. The plot draws you quickly into the mystery world of the two opposites: the Light and the Dark (note that NOT the Good and the Evil). One can clearly see multiple parallels with Master and Margarita, albeit modernized and less humorous and delivered in a less literary language than Bulgakov's. The similarity is not coincidental given that both novels were written in the periods of Russian history when the lines between what is clear and what is not are not obvious and each participant in the daily living drama must make his or her own moral or judgment call. The book is very visual - you can literally see each of the episodes play out in front of you. The movie adaptation is equally good although has the same drawbacks - the storyline is a bit choppy and it is sometimes hard to follow the plot. Overall, both the book and the movie are worthwhile endeavors.
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