Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)'s Reviews > Dodger

Dodger by Terry Pratchett
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Jul 20, 15

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, adventure, historical-fiction, fantasy, young-adult, 5-star, library, to-buy-in-hard-copy
Read from November 29 to December 01, 2012, read count: 1

Plot summary: Early in Queen Victoria's reign, a young man named Dodger saves a girl from a fierce beating. Little does he know that this act will see him climb the social ladder and raise him from obscurity to fame. Pursued by unknown parties and with support from a wealth of colourful historical characters, Dodger must find a way to help the girl, or risk death.

Thoughts: I loved this. It's not particularly surprising - I'm a sucker for almost anything Victorian. It was very different from Discworld, so if you go into it expecting something similar, I imagine you'll come out very disappointed. Instead, you'll find a world filled with a fantastic mix of fiction and reality, with a young Charles Dickens featuring prominently. I particularly loved the little moments when Pratchett included the titles of Dickens' future works in the story - Bleak House, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend - and gave the character of Dickens a little "Oooh, I must write that down" moment each time.

Other real life people/well known characters who make appearances/are mentioned:
- Sweeney Todd
- Henry Mayhew
- Benjamin Disraeli
- Angela Burdett-Coutts
- Joseph Bazalgette
- Karl Marx
- Ada Lovelace
- Robert Peel
- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Dodger is a fantastic character - a brilliant mix of Dicken's Artful Dodger and Pratchett's own creation. The inclusion of toshing adds a nice "worst jobs in history" touch that many readers would have had no prior knowledge of.

It's that typical Pratchett mixture of serious issues told in a humourous way, and I loved every second of it.
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