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Mikeharvey

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

A TV version of Sarah Water's 'The Night Watch' is on BBC2 next Tuesday July 12th. I found the backward narrative hard to read. I wonder how it will be managed on screen.
Sandraseahorse

The TV Times described it as "the best loved" of her novels.  Most of the people I know who read it felt that the backwards narrative didn't work - including me.  I just kept thinking  "Oh, so that was what they were going on about" and experienced a sense of anti-climax.
MikeAlx

My guess is that it might be her best-selling novel to date, but that Fingersmith is the best-loved. (Personally I like Affinity).

I didn't have trouble following the chronology; but I thought it felt contrived because it was used to artificially impose suspense that wasn't really inherent in the story itself. Of the three Waters novels I've read, it was the one I liked the least.
GwendolineMaryLacey

You're probably right there MikeAlx re. it being her best-selling novel...  My personal favourite so far is also Affinity, creepy and gut-wrenchingly sad.  

I wonder whether The Little Stranger could be a good TV series or one off film?
Green Jay

I find myself agreeing with all three comments above. The Night Watch was a distinct let-down after the others and its backwards structure did not justify itself in terms of tension. (Must admit I've not read Tipping The Velvet, only seen it on TV). I'm sure Fingersmith is the most popular, both as a much anticipated book and after it was televised. And yes, I liked Affinity best, read it first and was totally taken in. I wonder if the TV channel just made up this phrase to help promote its programme.

I'd love to see The Little Stranger made into a really creepy film or series, but not squished up into a simplified hour and a half! Though I suppose many good movies are not much longer than that - and if they're over 2 hours they tend to be too long and drag a bit.
Sandraseahorse

The story structure seemed to work reasonably well on TV.  The bit on the end bringing the characters up to date in 1947 I don't remember from the book - I assume it was added.

Did anyone else watch it?
mike js

I haven't read any of her books, but watched this adaptation. I agree that the time slices shown in reverse seemed mainly to mask a lack of interesting plot. I did find it atmospheric overall though, with some very good, understated acting. Let us not overlook some gratuitous undraped-iness.
Green Jay

Sandraseahorse wrote:
The story structure seemed to work reasonably well on TV.  The bit on the end bringing the characters up to date in 1947 I don't remember from the book - I assume it was added.

Did anyone else watch it?


I thought the same, and I don't think that last bit was in the book.

I wasn't terribly impressed, although it looked great. I just didn't care about any of the characters much and thought their stories rather trite, especially the three interlinked women, Julia, Kay and ? Though Anna Maxwell Martin is always very watchable. I still don't know what I'm supposed to conclude about the relationship bewteen Duncan and the old prison guard.
KlaraZ

I'm really sorry I missed 'The Night Watch' as Sarah Waters is one of my favourite writers. I was abroad on holiday when it was screened, and when I got home and found I'd missed it, it was no longer available to see on BBC i player.

That having been said, The Night Watch is my least favourite of Sarah Waters's books (I'd probably put 'Tipping the Velvet'closely followed by 'The Little Stranger'at the top of my list), even though I love books set in the period, esp. the immediate post-war.  Hope there'll be a repeat soon, though as I'd like to see it.

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