Laurel Bradshaw's Reviews > Mr. Timothy

Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard
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's review
Feb 05, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 19th-century, historical-fiction, mystery-thriller, great-britain, literary-characters, christmas, audiobook
Read in December, 2013

1860s London, 10-year-old street urchins, and every bit as atmospheric as Dickens himself. Add a grown-up "Tiny Tim" in his early 20s, trying to find a meaningful life for himself, and a cruel prostitution racket preying on young, foreign girls. Bawdy humor, gripping action, a few ghosts, and coming-of-age introspection. Mr. Bayard has not been sentimental in imagining the lives of the Cratchits post Dickens. Timothy is somewhat lost and floundering following the death of his father. The tale is sometimes charming, sometimes very dark and brooding. Fast-paced action at times, and threatens to bog down at other times, so a bit uneven. The narrator of the audiobook was marvelous. This is one I will probably reread.

Book Description:
Welcome to the world of a grown-up Timothy Cratchit, as created by the astonishing imagination of author Louis Bayard. Mr. Timothy Cratchit has just buried his father. He's also struggling to bury his past as a cripple and shed his financial ties to his benevolent "Uncle" Ebenezer by losing himself in the thick of London's underbelly. He boards at a brothel in exchange for teaching the mistress how to read and spends his nights dredging the Thames for dead bodies and the treasures in their pockets. Timothy's life takes a sharp turn when he discovers the bodies of two dead girls, each seared with the same cruel brand on the upper arm. The sight of their horror-struck faces compels Timothy to become the protector of another young girl, the enigmatic Philomela. Spurred on by the unwavering enthusiasm of a street-smart, fast-talking homeless boy who calls himself Colin the Melodious, Timothy soon finds that he's on the trail of something far worse -- and far more dangerous -- than an ordinary killer. This breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling brown fog of 1860s London is wrought with remarkable depth and intelligence, complete with surprising twists and extraordinary heart.
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Reading Progress

08/14/2013 marked as: to-read
12/28/2013 marked as: read

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