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Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger (edition 2012)

by Terry Pratchett

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1,475935,049 (3.95)138
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Doubleday Childrens (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Reviewed

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Dodger by Terry Pratchett


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Dodger - Terry Pratchett -
audio performance by Stephen Briggs
5 stars

In the author’s commentary, Terry Pratchett called this book historical fantasy, or ‘ a fantasy based on reality’. I call it delightful entertainment with a five star audio performance. The Dodger of the title is not Dickens’ Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, but they do share certain personality traits. Pratchett’s Dodger combines a complete disregard of the law with an heroic sense of justice. He is a force for good. In the course of his adventures, he encounters a variety of historical characters from Sweeney Todd to Queen Victoria. His exploits are abetted and recorded by Charlie Dickens.

Dodger’s ‘tosher’ avocation (looking for treasure in the sewers) causes this book to be somewhat reminiscent of Gaiman’s Neverwhere. This story was just as much of an adventurous romp as Neverwhere. But, although Pratchett gives a good description of the ugly conditions in 19th century London, this book is not as graphically violent as Gaiman’s. I also liked Dodger’s friend, Solomon. Solomon is no Fagin. Pratchett went a long way to correct Dickens’ unfavorable portrayal of London’s Jews. I don’t usually expect to learn anything new from a young adult book, let alone a fantasy. However, although I’d heard of Henry Mayhew, Disraeli, and Robert Peel, I’d never heard of Miss Angela Burdett Coutts. I’m grateful for the introduction.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
The titular Dodger is a young man who is a tosher, someone who searches the sewers under Victorian London for valuables. His most priceless find, though, ends up being a young woman that he rescues from some very seedy men. Dodger then begins a journey through social strata, running into the likes of Dickens, Disraeli, and, eventually, making it all the way to the top.

There was so much to like about this story! There were amazing historical details, amusing uses of historical personages, harrowing moments, and also extremely touching ones. It was also just incredibly fun! Dodger is an amazing character and I plan to reread this book many times to spend more time with him.

http://webereading.com/2016/03/marchmagics-dodger.html ( )
  klpm | Mar 3, 2016 |
This may actually be my favorite book from Pratchett that I've read (and I have read quite a few).
I loved it even though it features a large number of historical characters (like Charles Dickens), a feature which often annoys me, if not done 'just right.' Although not without Pratchett's trademark humor, this is a somewhat more serious historical piece than most of his output.

'Dodger' is a young man just growing out of being one of Victorian London's street urchins. He lives with Solomon, an elderly Jewish watchmaker who has more in his past than one might expect.

Dodger ekes out a living by garbage-picking down in the sewers. But when an impulse drives him to come to the aid of a young lady being assaulted in an alley, he unexpectedly finds himself enmeshed in a chain of events that will open doors to him.

Fun adventure-mystery with plenty of twists and turns and vivid setting and characterization. However, I'm deducting one star for far too much harping on how everyone should have empathy for a serial killer because after all, he was just a traumatized individual himself. No, sorry. Pratchett may believe this, but I don't think that reasons are excuses. Dodger should save his charity for victims, not murderers.

But, even with that one quibble, I'd still highly recommend the book, and not just for the YA audience it's being marketed to, either. (I didn't find it to be particularly YA at all, although it does have a bit of a 'growing up' theme.) ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I love this author. Perfect for Anglophiles (people who love all things English). Dodger is a smart boy who is a tosher, someone who goes into the London sewers to search for lost coins and jewelery. He is witness to a crime and winds up helping to save a young lady named Simplicity. It took me a long time to read but the writing is brilliant. ( )
  ddbrown201 | Jan 23, 2016 |
I enjoyed the Dickens references as well as some of the additional historical characters in this book. But all in all, I am not a Terry Pratchett fan. I think her style is nonsensical and childish which does not ring true for me in a young adult adventure story. I always feel like I should be reading a picture book when I read her books. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 22, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Henry Mayhew for writing his book,
and to Lyn for absolutely
everything else.
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The rain poured down on London so hard that it seemed it was dancing spray, every raindrop contending with its fellow for supremacy in the air and waiting to splash down.
He had been most interested to discover that the Froggies had drains too, pretty good ones, which you would have expected from Froggies, and so he jigged and dodged and ran on to the safe house he had sorted out last night, and he was having the time of his life. - Chapter 16
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"In an alternative version of Victorian London, a seventeen-year-old Dodger, a cunning and cheeky street urchin, unexpectedly rises in life when he saves a mysterious girl, meets Charles Dickens, and unintentionally puts a stop to the murders of Sweeny Todd"--… (more)

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