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(Dodger #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  25,167 ratings  ·  3,031 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 whe
Hardcover, First Edition, 360 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers
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George Ah. Right. Cataloged as "Teen" at the city library, now that I look at the spine.

That would explain the footnotes that give you all the information yo…more
Ah. Right. Cataloged as "Teen" at the city library, now that I look at the spine.

That would explain the footnotes that give you all the information you need to find on the Net what your theoretical parents theoretically wouldn't like to see in your books.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  25,167 ratings  ·  3,031 reviews

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Sep 12, 2012 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
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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.


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
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.
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
While I mostly enjoyed Dodger, I don't think I'll be reaching for more Terry Pratchett books. His narrative style, if Dodger is indicative at all of the rest of his work, is a bit too... extra for my taste. The wit, the cleverness, the puns - it gets tiresome. Also, this kind of writing I find more fitting for children's books, and this one wasn't exactly that, although Dodger feels more like a 12-year old boy most of the book, that is until he makes it clear he is ready to get married.

IMO, in
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.
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
Daniel 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.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the Prachett novels I've read ha ing been set in his famous Discworld series, where as Dodger is firmly based in the early Victorian era of London.

While this had all the hallmarks of a Prachett novel with plenty of turn of wonderful phrases, it felt more educational than humorous.
Obviously that's not a bad thing, but I did miss the numerous footnotes that you associate with his novels.

Our main protagonist Dodger is a Tosher (a scavenger in the sewers) who comes to the aid of a battered y
Peter Tillman
This was an unexpected pleasure from browsing the library of our neighboring small city of Paso Robles, which has a much better collection of SF/F than my hometown library (which has close to nothing). Plus, actually browsing the library! (masked and boosted, of course). And -- finding a new-to-me Pratchett right there on the shelves! Which turns out to be a first-rate book. Just barely fantastic (and that mostly because Pterry says so in his afterword.) Alright, I'm not going to do a full revie ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
This was my initiation to Mr. Pratchett's work - and I liked it. Didn't love it, but liked it. I enjoyed the riff off Dickens, and adding in contemporaries. But I really liked the descriptions of Dodger's thought process, his cleverness and how knitted Prachett's Dodger was to Dicken's . . . it was believable to me that this was the same character.

Where the blip was, for me, was when marriage was considered and executed . . . .all along I felt this character was much younger somewhere from 14 -
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
“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
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
Huw Evans
Sep 17, 2012 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
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Apr 21, 2021 rated it liked it
2.7 stars rounded up. Set in a fantasy based Victorian London. Dodger is a 17 year old guy who is a sewer scavenger and his life changes one day when he rescued a young girl from a beating. In his adventures he meets people like sweeny tod and Charles Dickens. I've been wanting to give Terry Pratchett another go for quite some time now but don't know where to start. But I decided to pick Up Dodger as it sounded interesting enough. It wasn't terrible but definitely didn't make me feel any magic a ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Paul Brogan
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: airport
Not Pratchett's best. The plot was thin, the characters didn't come to life, 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 that the man is a legen
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Arun Divakar
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Althea Ann
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 el
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 03, 2013 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
Sep 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can't bring myself to keep reading this. All the characters monologue at Dodger. It does not read like a novel or a story, but like a series of exercises in slipping into different voices. Unfortunately, none of the voices are interesting.

Worse, the book has no internal reality / logic. Dodger is a fierce and fast little fighter when he deals with hoodlums, who invariably flee under his assaults, yet a posh writer lifts him up by the scruff of the neck and lectures him at length. What is Dodger,
It took me a while to get through this novel, because at times it was rather boring. Once in a while it was slightly humorous, and then a little interesting in the historical parts, and then it got a little bit ridiculous again. Too much suspension of belief for me, sorry.
I was disappointed because Pratchett is one of my favorite authors.
Stephen Briggs is the narrator, and he was pretty good. All those accents from England, especially from long ago, must have been difficult to do.
Here is a mu
Aug 20, 2021 rated it it was ok
Well, that was a disappointment. I liked the time and setting of grubby auld England, and that's about it. Dodger's sudden transformation was hard to swallow, as well as all the famous folk he met. I really had to push to get through it. Pratchett let me down with this one. ...more
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You'll love this ...: February 2016 -Dodger 63 40 Mar 07, 2016 08:52PM  

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Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, i

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