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Dodger (Dodger #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,941 Ratings  ·  2,299 Reviews
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's . . . Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel
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ebook, 368 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published 2012)
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Michelle Middle grade and up for sure. 12+. Nothing too explicit or graphic.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Andrea
Nov 16, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-requests
It is impossible for me to read a new Terry Pratchett independently of the memory of the last 30 years of reading each eagerly awaited book, one by one, with utmost delight.
It is impossible for me to read a new Terry Pratchett without my vivid recollection of him, eyes twinkling from under the brim of his hat, as he signed my precious books, and answered my breathless "Mr (it was ages ago) Pratchett, thank you so much for all the hours of reading pleasure" with "Madam, thank you so much for all
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Patrick
Nov 10, 2012 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A couple weeks ago, I was having a real pisser of a day. Then I remembered there was a new Terry Pratchett book out and things didn't seem so bad anymore.

When I first started to read it, I got two surprises. The first was that it wasn't a Discworld book. Which I'm fine with, given how much I loved Nation.

The other surprise was the language of the book. To be completely honest (and I'm really embarrassed to admit this.) when I started reading the book, I thought that Terry's Alzheimer's had fin
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Starswirl the Bearded
First, a disclaimer: As virtually a life-long Pratchett fan, I would probably buy anything he publishes. If he were to release a book titled World of Poo, I would probably...oh. Nevermind.

description

The point I'm making is that I can't be objective when it comes to this author - the Discworld books are too much a part of my life; I cried while watching TP's deeply personal euthanasia documentary; I know certain Discworld characters better than I know members of my extended family.

But this is a review of Do
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Charlene
Dodger by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs
I listened to this on audio, and I dug the narrator. I dug him a lot!

This book was funny and fun. A lot of the humor was laugh out loud funny and a lot of the fun was in spotting the real folk amidst all the fictional characters.

I had a blast listening to this and if I could afford it, I would listen to the entire Discworld series narrated by Mr. Briggs. Alas, I cannot, so I guess I still have to read them.

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Tfitoby
Without wanting to get in to yet another debate with 30 something adults about the legitimacy of said adults reading novels meant for tweens is there another author working in the YA field who treats said YA's with as much respect and intelligence as Terry Pratchett? I seriously doubt it. If there were I wouldn't hold the publisher manufactured genre in such contempt.

Dodger is most assuredly a YA novel, a softening of Pratchett's usual intelligent discussion of humanity and witty banter but not
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Shovelmonkey1
Jun 12, 2013 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: old skool pratchett fans
Terry Pratchett saved me just as I was blundering into my teenage years and wondering how to make the leap from books designed for little kiddiewinks to the adult side of the library where all the books were hefty and hardback and full of secret promise. I am so old that the whole concept of the tweenager did not yet exist and so you were faced with the stark choice Enid Blyton or Jackie Collins when you wandered into a library. Of course there was Judy Blume but her books take about five minute ...more
Elevetha
1.5 stars.


So it wasn't horrid. But I didn't really care for it either.

First off, this must be said, it didn't feel like a Terry Pratchett book. At all. No zany magic that makes no sense (which was fine). None of his trademark humor (which was not). No likable characters. Just a mystery novel that didn't even feel like a mystery. Boo.

The cover: IT LIED. It promised a cute and fun mystery with an adorable small boy main character. Not a bit.


Dodger was okay. His character was really rather boring.
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Martitara
Sep 10, 2015 Martitara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
The most unexpectedly fun read of the year is Terry Pratchett's Dodger. With an unmatched skill, Pratchett shows himself to be a writer akin to to Mark Twain and as adept in the historical world of 19th century London as he is in the imaginary world of Ankh-Morpork.

A month ago or so, Britt came home with a book on CD for a road trip.

"It's called Dodger," she said as we set off down the road. "By some guy called Terry Pratchett."

"Discworld?" I asked from the driver's seat.

"Disc-what?" she said.
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Huw Evans
Sep 17, 2012 Huw Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
This is an excellent book, if a rather perplexing one. The story is set in Victorian London and thereby lies some of my confusion. Firstly, it very bravely sucks real figures of the time into the storyline (e.g. Dickens, Mayhew, Burdett-Coutts, Peel) which is potentially dangerous. Secondly, everybody knows that Pterry writes about Discworld so I found myself constantly expecting to encounter the denizens of Ankh-Morpork at every turn. There are so many parallels between Victorian London and A-M ...more
Ben
Oct 10, 2012 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's some pleasure to be had in Terry Pratchett writing about actual *London*, instead of Ankh-Morpork, but this is weak stuff.

There are also some points for Terry's basic humanity and his fondness for reformers like Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew. But every character who isn't an historical person falls utterly flat: the cheeky Cockney rascal, the canny Jewish elder, the smelly dog, there's even a reference to a whore with a heart of gold, I think.

A rare, unexpected moment that works makes
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Carly
Jun 24, 2015 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“People are what they do, and what they leave behind.”
If you’re ever in the mood for a cute, light, fluffy, heartwarming story, then you should really think about picking up Dodger.

The book’s eponymous protagonist is an orphaned street urchin who lives in Victorian London and works as a “tosher”--that is, someone who goes into the sewers to find treasures in the trash. When he pops out of a sewer to be ”the knight in soaking armor” to a lady in distress, he suddenly finds that one small act of k
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Julia
May 17, 2013 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Holy smokes, this book was adorable.

This isn't my first Pratchett book, but I don't remember much of the one Discworld book I read back when I was thirteen or so. I do remember it being humorous - I just didn't remember how absolutely hilarious Pratchett is. I'm serious. This guy has a penchant for making people laugh and sometimes I found myself laughing so hard that I had to shut the book and put it down for a bit to recover. My flatmate found this endlessly amusing.

The characters in this book
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Meikoyim
Jan 27, 2013 Meikoyim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, favourites
My first ever Terry Pratchett.

I know, I know, I'm behind in the game, what with Discworld taking up half (well, quite a sizeable proportion at least) of my to-read list.

Dodger is the story of a nobody with a gallant heart, and with wits about him as people living on the streets in the days of Victorian London would have to have in order to survive. It is about his past as well as his future, about the change that befell him one stormy night.

I must say I enjoyed the read rather more than I would
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Kirsty
Sep 06, 2012 Kirsty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge Pratchett fan, I thoroughly enjoyed Dodger - a non-Discworld tale of an heroic tosher working in the squalor of Dickensian London who saves a mysterious girl from a savage beating one stormy night.
And so begins a quite fantastical tale involving Sweeney Todd, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli and other historical figures as our hero seeks to save a damsel in distress and prevent an international incident and an improbable war.

The author's style has changed noticeably during the course
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Arun Divakar
The Darwinian maxim of survival of the fittest is almost chanted like a mantra by a lot of people I know. In the world in front of our eyes, no other principle is put to use with such effortless ease as this one. An erstwhile boss of mine used to call such a skill in the corporate world as 'streetsmart' which at an early stage of my career I found to be a rather plain usage. But as time went by, I understood the need for such a survival skill and just why is it that he called it so. Dodger is th ...more
Erastes
Sep 24, 2012 Erastes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't sure what to expect, to be honest - I thought it was a Discworld novel, with Dickensian overtones with an Ankh-Morpork Dodger character so it was a pleasant surprise to find it set in actual Victorian London(although, as Pratchett himself says, a London with a bit of a shine on it.)

I was seriously impressed by the writing and to me it seemed as though Pratchett has been leading up to this book via the YA books, particularly Maurice, and the Watch novels. There are undertones of much of No
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Will Ransohoff
Jun 16, 2015 Will Ransohoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dodger is an ode to Dickensian London through and through, right down to the slightly too saccharine to believe ending. That optimism is part of the charm, though. And like Dickens' novels, it takes a beneficent view of 19th century London's poor. The book practically shouts that the only important difference between the poor and the rich is that the rich have money, as evidenced by Dodger's rise from the gutter to Saville Row in just a few days.

But that message is sort of hamstrung by the chara
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Kaethe
I love clever stories about clever young people forming convoluted plots and tricking people. When an author manages to give me that, Charles Dickens as a newspaperman, Sweeney Todd, the drains of London, Jews escaped from the pogroms of Russia (including Karl), a noisome dog named Onan, and more, well, I'm pretty much beside myself with glee through the whole thing. A big old sack of awesome. And now, I've got to get a hold of Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, Vol. 3.

Still need convin
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Nathan
I hate to say it, but maybe it is time Pratchett leaves Diskworld behind(much as I hope for one more trip with the witches of Lancre). If he keeps writing quality entertainment like this I will forgive him completely.

Hard to put in a category, but as the author calls it Historical Fantasy in the afterword, that is good enough for me. Follows the title character who early on rescues a women from a bad situation, then does his best to keep her safe. As is the norm for this type of book, meets lot
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Paul Brogan
Oct 11, 2012 Paul Brogan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: airport
Not Pratchett's best, I have to say. The plot was thin, the characters didn't come to life for me, and even some of the grammar was poor, especially for Charles Dickens, who really ought to have known the difference between 'who' and 'whom'.

What saved the book, however, apart from the sensitive treatment of Sweeney Todd and the wonderful imagery of London's sewers, was, I think, Pratchett himself. One never knows whether this book or the next will be his last, and I buy every one of them aware t
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Kim
Whilst this isn't the next Discworld book we've all been waiting for the latest Pratchett book is still worth reading. Set in Victorian London, Dodger is a mixture of alternate history as well as a mystery novel.

Dodger is the archetypical young ragamuffin, brought up on the streets but with a heart of gold and intelligence not generally found amongst his peers, who finds himself in a position to change his life and rub shoulders with the top of society. For those who've read Raymond Feist's boo
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Dorian
Dec 03, 2013 Dorian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I found this an odd, and slightly awkward book. It has a lot of what Pratchett likes to do, and does well: a big, busy city full of things and people that most people don't notice; customs, superstitions, and language that have intrigued him; a convoluted storyline with humour and drama and a happy ending.

The trouble is, none of it seems to quite gel. The characters are less well-rounded than I would expect. The writing doesn't flow with Pratchett's usual smoothness. The dialogue is jerky, the c
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Julie Davis
I began listening to this with a bit of trepidation. Was Terry Pratchett going to trash my beloved Dickens? I'm midway through Barnaby Rudge which speaks to how much I love Dickens' novels — I read the ones nobody's heard of.

I began to relax as I listened to the wonderful opening sentences mimic Dickens' own typical introductions in all their Victorian glory.

Then Charlie appeared, a canny, knowing one who seems an admirable fellow altogether, capable of flummoxing the Dodger from the get-go. I i
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Matt
Mar 25, 2013 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tried, honestly. But ultimately this book falls prey to a plot that you never really get invested or interested in. Lots of potential, but untapped.
Emma Flanagan
Apr 25, 2015 Emma Flanagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off lets be clear, while this is by Terry Pratchett this is not a fantasy book. Discworld fans hoping for something in that vein will be disappointed. To be honest I'm not entirely sure what I'd class it as. Spin-off of a classic? Historical fiction? In reality its probably both. The titular character if not actually the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, is certainly based on him and a man by the names of Charlie Dickens who runs a newspaper and is concerned with the well being of the poor ...more
Lightreads
Plucky orphan is lifted out of the literal sewers of poverty in early Victorian London by accident and bravery and Charlie Dickens.

Fun but forgettable. I was honestly confused why this wasn’t a Discworld book. It’s not like that’s ever stopped him from introducing historical personages or anything, and this felt like Sam Vimes was just around any given corner. He kind of was, actually, only he was called Sir Robert Peel.

Then we got to the end, and there was an afterword about how Pratchett wante
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Chris
This is not a Discworld novel. But that is made clear from the get go.

Pratchett sets his story in Victorian London, and he peoples it as it was. That is with historic personages, including Charles Dickens, who gets, in Pratchett at least, the idea of the Artful Dodger from a young man who is named Dodger and who is artful. Pratchett's Dodger does seem to owe something to the Baker Street Irregulars as well as Dickens' creation. The plot of the novel also seems to owe much to Wilkie Collins.

In ma
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John
Aug 04, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sir Terry tries his hand at channeling Charles Dickens, gets it all right and, as usual, dishes up a deliciously funny, romantic and philosophically profound tale. He dubs it a historical fantasy because he's played a little jiggery pokery with dates, but the only magic is in the storytelling, so I'd call it a straight historical novel. Set in Victorian London, it's about an unusually capable streets-raised lad who rises in the world after rescuing a damsel in distress (who, to be sure, takes a ...more
Kate Forsyth
I have a confession to make. This is my first every Terry Pratchett book. I enjoyed it enormously - he actually reminded me of Leon Garfield a great deal - and so I can confidently say this won't be my last.
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
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“Young man, the games we play are lessons we learn. The assumptions we make, things we ignore, and things we change make us what we become.” 25 likes
“Money makes people rich; it is a fallacy to think it makes them better, or even that it makes them worse. People are what they do, and what they leave behind.” 19 likes
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