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Our friend Qiao Yang turned us on to the phenomenal Russian movie version of this book, which Fox has already snapped up rights to -- as well as two sequels. The book has now been translated into very readable English by Andrew Bromfield, whose Boris Akunin translations are popularizing that Russian author too. There are enough differences from the film that fans should certainly snag a copy. For one thing, given the expanse of the written word Mr. Lukyanenko has more time and room to flesh out concepts like The Gloom, the nether region that Others can travel in so that time slows down for them. And while the anti-abortion angle is absent from the book, Mr. Lukyanenko's explanation of what attracts the Dark Others is just as compelling:
"What does an experienced Dark Magician tell his novice? Maybe he uses words that are just as beautiful and true?"

"Oh, sure, about freedom. About how everyone gets the place in life that they deserve. About how pity is degrading and true love is blind, and true kindness is useless--and true freedom is freedom from everyone else."
The target there could well be anyone who thinks Ayn Rand a prophetess, but note the nice way it reverses Sartre's dictum: Hell is other people. Rather, as Mr. Lukyanenko points out: Hell is freedom from other people and the obligations they impose on us. The sort of freedom that the Dark represents is pure selfishness, the true evil. Lest you not get the point, a character later says:
What's bad about Dark freedom is not just that it's freedom from others. That's another explanation for little children. Dark freedom is first and foremost freedom from yourself, from your own conscience and your own soul.
That's powerful stuff and results in a novel that's just as good as the film.


Grade: (A)


Sergei Lukyanenko Links:

    -Science Fiction Writer: Sergey LUKYANENKO (Official Web Page)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Sergey Lukyanenko (
    -Sergey Lukyanenko (Wikipedia)
    -ESSAY: Great SF Writer You've Never Heard of: Sergei Lukyanenko (Aliens in this World, 9/14/04)
    -PROFILE: Taking Tips: Are sex-filled thrillers up your alley, or science-fiction fantasies? Think fast, because the bestselling novelist Sergei Lukyanenko is accepting suggestions online. (Anna Malpas, November 19, 2004, Moscow Times)
    -Sergei Lukyanenko - Filmography (New York Times)
    -PROFILE: The Original NIGHT WATCH-Man (NICK HOLDSWORTH, Fangoria)
    -ARCHIVES: "Sergei Lukyanenko" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch: A Novel by Sergei Lukyanenko (Ron Charles, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Jon Courtenay Grimwood, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Stephen Hubbard, Bookreporter)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (A.M. Dellamonica, SciFi Weekly)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (ANDREW SANTELLA, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (ANDREA MULLANEY, Scotland on Sunday)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Roz Kaveney, Independent uk)

    -FILMOGRAPHY: Timur Bekmambetov (
    -Timur Bekmambetov (Wikipedia)
    -INFO: Nochnoy Dozor (2004) [Night Watch] (
    -INTERVIEW: 'Night Watch' Q&A with Timur Bekmambetov: Mark Salisbury catches up with the director of the most spectacular sci-fi film of the year (Mark Salisbury, Oct 4 2005, Time Out)
    -INTERVIEW: Night Watch - Timur Bekmambetov Interview (, 04-15-2006)
    -INTERVIEW: Timur Bekmambetov: Night Watch (Interviewed by Rachel Simpson, BBC)
    -INTERVIEW: It's The Matrix versus vampires; the trilogy begins now! Timur Bekmambetov on Night Watch (MovieWeb, 2/14/06)
    -INTERVIEW: Night Watch: Nocturnal and Unleashed in Los Angeles (Interview by Sonya Alexander, Underground Online)
    -INTERVIEW: Q&A With Timur Bekmambetov, Director of Night Watch: Straight from the horse's mouth (Buttonhole, 2 April 2006)
    -INTERVIEW: Exclusive Profile: DIRECTOR TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV COMES INTO THE LIGHT WITH NIGHT WATCH - PART 1: The director of the most successful Russian film ever, brings his unique world to the United States (CARL CORTEZ, 2/23/2006, iF)
    -INTERVIEW: Exclusive Profile: DIRECTOR TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV COMES INTO THE LIGHT WITH NIGHT WATCH - PART 2: From his sequels DAY WATCH and DUSK WATCH to his adaptation of the comic book WANTED, the director definitely has his plate full (CARL CORTEZ, 2/27/2006, iF)
    -ARTICLE: Universal loves Timur Bekmambetov (Martha Fischer, Feb 14th 2006, Cinematical)
    -ARTICLE: Timur Bekmambetov Finds a Home At Rogue Pictures (Variety, 1/19/06)
    -ESSAY: Great SF Writer You've Never Heard of: Sergei Lukyanenko (Aliens in this World, 9/14/04)
    -ESSAY: Return of the Russian blockbuster (Pravda, 2004-07-07)
    -ARCHIVES: Timur Bekmambetov (Find Articles)
    -FILM SITE: Night Watch (Fox Searchlight)
    -FEATURETTE: the whole movie in 2.5 minutes
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: Night Watch (MetaCritic)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: Night Watch (
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Emanuelle Levy)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Todd Hertz, Christianity Today)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Kenneth Turan, LA Times)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Dolan Cummings, Culture War)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Anthony Lane, The New Yorker)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
I confess to a flagging interest in the struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness. It's like Super Sunday in a sport I do not follow...

    -REVIEW: of Night Watch
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (James Berardinelli, Reel Views)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Stephen Holden, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Ruthie Stein, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Sean Axmaker, Seattle post-Intelligencer)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (MaryAnn Johanson,
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Philippa Hawker, The Age)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (AVRIL CARRUTHERS, InFilm Australia)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (LESLIE FELPERIN, Variety)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Film School Rejects, BlogCritics)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Adam Hakari, Reel Talk)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Andrew Wright, The Stranger)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (David Edelstein, New York)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Stephen Metcalf, Slate)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)
    -DVD REVIEW: of Night Watch (Stella Papamichael, BBCi)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Matthew Leyland, BBCi)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Philip French, The Observer)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Colin Serjent, Nerve)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Luke Y. Thompson , Dallas Observer)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (ABBIE BERNSTEIN, Cinescape)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Eric Hynes, Cinema Scope)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Claude Lalumi�re, Locus Online)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Beckett W. Sterner, The Tech)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (William R. Newcott, AARP Magazine)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (David DiCerto, Catholic News Service)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Nathan Rabin, Onion AV Club)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Kurt Loder, MTV)
    -REVIEW: of Night Watch (Stomp Tokyo)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Night Watch: Inhabiting a moral universe: I've heard about this Russian fantasy thriller for more than a year now. Made on a tiny budget , but sporting impressive and imaginative effects, this movie has won raves. (John Mark Butterworth, 3/01/06, Spero News)
    -INFO: Dnevnoy dozor (2006) [Day Watch] (
    -REVIEW: of Day Watch (David Austin, Cinema Strikes Back)
    -REVIEW: of Day Watch (LESLIE FELPERIN, Variety)
    -REVIEW: of Day Watch (Gabriel Powers, DVD Active)

Book-related and General Links: