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Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062009494
Characteristics: 360 p. ; 24 cm.


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IndyPL_SteveB Dec 20, 2018

Another terrific book by Sir Terry Pratchett (not related to his Discworld series.) A teenage main character but challenging vocabulary and ideas. *Dodger* is an historical fantasy about 1840’s London, with real characters artificially connected: Charles Dickens, Robert Peele, Henry Mayhew, Sweeney Todd, and Angela Burdett-Counts prominent among them.

Dodger is a clever but uneducated young man, making a living as a “tosher” – one who goes through the sewers looking for lost coins, rings, etc. While down in the sewer one night, Dodger hears a commotion and, popping up to see what was happening, he witnesses two mean beating a young woman. Dodger fights them off and rescues the young woman. His rescue is witnessed by Dickens and Mayhew who provide a place for the young woman to hide while various mysteries and political intrigues are played out.

The best things about Pratchett’s writing are his wry and satiric observations on life and language. Pratchett hears the English language as well as anyone. “The man gave Dodger a cursory glance that had quite a lot of curse in it.” “Dear Mr. Dodger, the truth, rather than being a simple thing, is constructed, you need to know, rather like Heaven itself. We journalists, as mere wielders of the pen, have to distill out of it such truths that mankind, not being godlike, can understand.”

Nov 22, 2016

very nice read, entertaining funny and visceral....I look forward to more from
this author....

sabbathbloodysabbath Jun 16, 2016

I listen to dark fantasy such as joe abercrombies 1 st law series & bukowski, mc court, Bernard Cornwell as well as others but for an author that writes kids books &I or y/a books, this is a very good book. The narrator does an excellent job of bringing the story to life somewhat like Pacey does for the Abercrombie books. I can't say this for any others by pratchett but I hope there are more, it's very entertaining.

Dec 23, 2014

I love the sensory details Pratchett puts in.

JCLLeslieG Jun 03, 2013

Quirky, adventurous, and wonderfully fun, Dodger, is a great book for anyone who enjoys historical reads. Readers get to follow Dodger into the sewers of London, and watch his quest for revenge, knowledge, and quite possibly- love.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

The thing I find particularly hard about reviewing Terry Pratchett is trying to come up with anything I might say that would capture the deft, clever, articulate writing that characterizes his books. Nothing seems to do it justice and I end up feeling he's best left representing himself. He simply has a magical way with words.
This story he calls a "historical fantasy," although the only fantastical elements are the way he's slightly fictionalized some of the characters and their interactions in early Victorian London. The protagonist is a young man named Dodger who has encounters with a journalist named Charlie Dickens, a barber named Sweeney Todd, politicians Robert Peel and Benjamin Disraeli, and many others names familiar from history. It's a nice blending of fact and story that captures the atmosphere of a time and era.
I'm waffling between four and five stars on this one. It's not as overtly humorous as much of Pratchett's other fare, with a little more emphasis on the adventure and suspense and a little less commentary on the foibles of the human creature. But I tipped the scales up because I sense he wrote this with a bit of a mission in mind; when I read this and similar stories set in that era (even the recent movie adaptation of Les Miserables), I see ominous similarities to some current political trends, and I think he meant this book as a beneficial reminder and lesson. That earns a bonus from me.

JCLBrownM Mar 12, 2013

This book is a great historical novel for teens, although Terry Pratchett calls it historical fantasy. Set in Dickens' London, it has all the humor we've come to expect from Pratchett, wonderful characterization and the fllth and poverty that was Victorian England. Dickens is actually a character in the novel along with Sweeney Todd, Disraeli, Queen Victoria and many others. This book is my favorite of the 2013 Printz honorees.

JCLJaredH Feb 13, 2013

A good example that Terry Pratchett does not need Discworld to tell an exciting and humorous book. Also a Michael L. Printz 2013 Honor Book. If you like this, you might also want to try the classic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Bloody Jack.

ChristchurchLib Jan 02, 2013

"Late one rainy night in Victorian-era London, 17-year-old Dodger (a street urchin who makes his living scavenging in the city's sewers) witnesses a young lady being held against her will. A noble sort, Dodger rescues the girl - and from there, his story takes many unexpected turns, including some that involve famous historical figures and fictional characters from the period (such as Charles Dickens and Sweeney Todd). A ripping good tale filled with dry humour, unusual characters, and great descriptions of Victorian London, Dodger is a bit different from Terry Pratchett's other novels but no less enjoyable - especially for readers who enjoy a clever turn of phrase." Teen Scene January 2013 Newsletter

Oct 16, 2012

Ankh Morpork meets Victorian London - but without the wizards of Unseen U. I rousing good time with Pratchett's usual quirky (and outstanding) sense of humor.


Add Age Suitability
Sep 02, 2014

Stormtrooper55 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Elizabeth Spencer
Jun 15, 2014

Elizabeth Spencer thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

LibraryITGuy Nov 01, 2012

LibraryITGuy thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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May 14, 2013

"As the bells tolled five o'clock, Mrs. Sharples woke up, making a noise that could best be expressed as blort!"

DavidHScott May 07, 2013

"Well, dear Mrs Mayhew, I can promise you that there will not be any hanky-panky, because I do not know what panky is and I've never had a hanky. Only a wipe."

DavidHScott May 07, 2013

Just as Charlie had surmised, Dodger hadn't had a day's proper schooling. Instead, his life had mostly been spent learning things, which is surprisingly rather different.


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