Skip to main content

The Night Watch is exceedingly good

Ok, The Night Watch deserves a better review than just "it's about some gay people in WWII." Because WHILE THAT IS TRUE, it is also about OTHER stuff. And also it's really really good and you should read it.

So Sarah Waters is awesome. If you're looking for lesbian authors who are good/respected/don't only write about sexy lady detectives who fall in love with other sexy ladies, then she should be on your list. In fact, I think it's pretty much her, Emma Donoghue and Jeanette Winterson (but we all know how I feel about Winterson, yes? DEFOGIFY YOUR WORK, WOMAN — "I'm writing about my childhood now....or am I?").

I'd add Dorothy Allison and Fannie Flagg to that list. And probably Alice Walker. But anyway.

It appears that in a dastardly attempt at disappointing my future self, I did not write down quotes from this wonderful book. 


So you shall have to trust me when I say that the writing is clear and wonderful, as is usually the case with Sarah Waters.

Night Watch starts in 1947, introduces you to several threads — Kay is sad; Helen and Viv have Mysterious Pasts and also run a 1940s OkCupid; and something....something is up with Duncan.
 
This is how we begin. And it goes BACKWARDS. So you hit 1944 and 1941, and you basically learn how to feel like shit over how easy Americans had it in WWII. "Oh, you weren't constantly living with the fear of being blown to pieces by a bomb or drowned in a flooded Underground station? How nice for you. Good job on that Victory Garden though." And now I'm even angrier about what a dick Molly was to Emily in Happy Birthday, Molly.

Because it's Sarah Waters, it's a super-gay book. And by 'super-gay' I mean 'has gay characters.' So if that's not your cup of tea (*eyeballs you*), then I guess stay away? But if you like awesome books, you should read it. Plus there's a token straight character, so, y'know. That should appease you, right?

And there are FEELINGS and CHARACTER ARCS, even though they happen backwards, and tons of WWII-related things I did not KNOW about, and ladies kissing ladies and some dudes being in love with dudes.


No, but honestly, the appeal is in the characters and slowly understanding how they end up where they are in '47. It's the best that Waters has written, if we're going by "literary merit" and not "has sexy scenes of sexiness" (in which case, Tipping the Velvet would obviously win). So you should read it. And apparently DON'T read Waters's The Little Stranger, because I have been informed that that one sucks.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

The Women's March 2018: Be Seen, Be Heard, Stay Angry

On January 20th, 2018, Chicago will host a second Women’s March. Those who attended the first remember the astounding numbers, miraculously warm weather, and surge of energy across the nation as America’s women stood up and said “we are here and we are angry.” 

So we did it. Our elected leader who bragged about sexual assault and who has made countless denigrating remarks about women is still in charge. Why are we marching again? 

 There is a tendency in any movement for things to lag. People become complacent, they accept their new reality, and think they can make no change. It makes sense that after the draining year that 2017 turned out to be — a year where one could constantly feel buffeted on all sides by waves of racism, misogyny, cruelty, and disregard for the planet — after that exhausting year, why should people come out in January weather to stand in the streets once again and say “We are still here and we are still angry”? 

 The answer is because without that voice, and withou…