In the fifth part of Night Watch, Vimes learns the rules. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read Discworld.Â
Whew, this is so dense and exciting LET ME YELL ABOUT ALL THE THINGS I ENJOYED IN THIS SECTION.
- I actually did dig the Garden of Inner-City Tranquility, especially since it reminded me so much of what it felt like to live in downtown Los Angeles nearly a decade ago. Thatâ€™s where I was the year before I moved up to Oakland, and I can honestly say itâ€™s changed a lot since I lived there. Was it for the better? I dunno, I feel like a â€œclean upâ€ of a neighborhood usually means that someone had to be pushed out for that to happen. Progress routinely happens at the expense of someone else, you know?
- BUT OKAY, Iâ€™M HONESTLY NOT TRYING TO GET ALL SERIOUS HERE. I have a different tolerance for the sights, smells, and sounds of a city, especially since Iâ€™ve gravitated to large metropolitan areas once I was able to. For example: I know people are disgusted by the way New York City deals with garbage. We donâ€™t do big-ass dumpsters or recycling bins; my super packs our garbage into large black trash bags (recycling goes into clear bags on the day it gets picked up) and itâ€™s piled on the sidewalk just off the way from the alley behind our building. I should note that sidewalks in my neighborhood are two to three times wider than Iâ€™m used to in most places in California, so it doesnâ€™t actually block anyoneâ€™s path.
- The point Iâ€™m making is that this is just the standard here, and Iâ€™ve already gotten used to it. So I feel like thatâ€™s part of the joke of Lu-Tzeâ€™s garden. Life is just different here, and thus, Lu-Tze manages to pull meaning from everything thatâ€™s in the garden.
- Well, not everything. Not that damn beer bottle!
- In the Garden of Inner-City Tranquility, Lu-Tze walks Vimes through the ground rules of multiverses so that he can understand why he canâ€™t just be popped back home and why the universeâ€™s magic may have deliberately dropped him into this specific moment. What upset the timeline enough to pull Vimes here is still a mystery, but I suspect it has to do something with Carcerâ€™s arrival and his first crime: murdering John Keel a day earlier. Is this all a course correction? Is history trying to repair itself?
- That question is almost unnecessary, though, because Lu-Tze does his best to impart the importance of Vimesâ€™s will. More so than perhaps ever before in Vimesâ€™s life, the man has the chance to change the entire universe. Without the nudge that happened at this exact time, a multiverse option may become reality: Vimes will become a terrible cop. And how can he not, when heâ€™s surrounded by people like Sergeant Knock, Corporal Quirke, and Constable Colon?
- I found it interesting that weâ€™re flat-out told that these two new characters were awful people, but not shown that. Normally, thatâ€™s a weird way to tell a story, right? Why wouldnâ€™t we be shown why this might unfold into the darkest timeline? But I think this was necessary for a different reason: weâ€™ve already seen good Vimes. These secondary characters arenâ€™t as important when compared to the main conflict, which is that Young Vimes lost the mentor that guided him towards being a good person.
- (Admittedly, Iâ€™m curious why Colon is included here. I suspect he will be shown to be even more bigoted than he has been in past books?)
- Thus, this is a quantum paradox, since two timelines are currently existing side-by-side, and the History Monks can only maintain them for a few days before one of them takes hold of history and becomes reality. And at this point, the bad timeline has got the upper hand, doesnâ€™t it?
- I love this because itâ€™s not the traditional time travel story I normally read. Time is not relative to Vimes, and his â€œpresentâ€ timeline could be overrun by the multiverse one. Thus, the main conflict has REAL tension. Itâ€™s believable, itâ€™s scary, and itâ€™s absolutely an engaging idea. Vimes has to stop himself from becoming a nightmare.
- QU. At least I figured out the reference not long after it was made. I UNDERSTOOD IT.
- Can we appreciate that he made a privy that dumps waste into a volcano ten million years in the past? LETâ€™S MAKE A LITTER BOX FOR CATS THAT DOES THIS, TOO.
- So, with this weighty and important mission in mind, Vimes is snapped back into the Watch House, where he proceeds to BEAUTIFULLY manipulate Captain Tilden into GIVING HIM A JOB. Yâ€™all, he got arrested and GOT A JOB OUT OF IT. He literally threatened Tilden to WALK OUT THE DOOR AFTER BEING ARRESTED IF HE DIDNâ€™T GET HIRED. I just??!??! I ADORE VIMES.
- Itâ€™s all about authority. Pratchett takes it to an extreme length, of course, but yâ€™all. Vimes just acts like he has authority, and he is given literally everything he asks for. Itâ€™s incredible!
- Itâ€™s also incredible to see the transformation come over him. I recalled how much he missed the â€œgood olâ€™ days,â€ before he ran the Watch, before he cared so much. And look: he got what he wanted. He gets to walk a beat in boots whose soles are nearly worn through.
- But the time he is in is bleak, yâ€™all. Pratchett only gives us a small sense of the chaos; the curfews; Lord Winder; the violence. Vimes is comfortable being a Watch man, but heâ€™s not comfortable in this time. It seems there are constant reminders of that on the page, and Iâ€™m really invested in seeing how these reminders will continue to manifest in the story.
Iâ€™M SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK.
Mark Links Stuff
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