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Mr. Timothy: A Novel Paperback – October 26, 2004
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When we first encounter Timothy, during the Christmas season of 1860, he's vexed by the discovery of two dead 10-year-old girls, each branded with the letter "G"--one found in an alley, the other fished from the Thames River by Cratchit and a voluble old salt who makes his money by finding (and then robbing, of course) errant corpses. Timothy's concern leads him to protect a third possessively marked waif, the frightened and suspicious Philomela--who, he soon realizes, is being sought by a knife-loving former Scotland Yard inspector and a moneyed, malevolent voluptuary. When, despite precautions, Philomela is kidnapped by her pursuers, Cratchit--assisted by a shrewd warbling urchin known as Colin the Melodious--resolves to fulfill his "great calling" in life by mounting a rescue. However, this mission will force the habitually uncourageous Timothy to not only defend himself against sexual molestation charges, storm a well-guarded mansion, and solve the puzzle of a coffin-filled basement, but also engage in a nightmarish final chase along London's docklands.
Authors employing real-life characters as detectives are often hampered by their adherence to historical fact. Bayard suffers no such limitations in imagining what fates awaited Dickens's now-famous fictional figures. Under his pen, Scrooge--whose rooms are decorated for Christmas year-round--becomes an eccentric collector of fungi and host to an interminable stream of charity solicitors, while Timothy Cratchit strikes out beyond his lonely young man status to become the head of an unconventional clan. Bayard's appreciation for the lurid exoticness of Victorian London rivals that of John MacLachlan Gray (The Fiend in Human), while his lyrical prose subtly suggests 19th-century influences. Mr. Timothy is at once a compelling Christmas crime yarn and an audacious literary endeavor. No humbug there. --J. Kingston Pierce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As the title suggests, the story focuses on Tiny Tim Cratchit, now grown-up and healthy except for occasional twinges in the leg and a slight limp. Despite the support of the still living and reformed Scrooge, Tim is cast adrift upon the death of his father, Bob, and has thrown his lot in with a group of prostitutes where he earns his room & board by teaching the madam to read and write. While there, he becomes entangled with a young, troubled girl. In the process of trying to save the girl he discovers a ring of slavery and murder.
It's quite a plot!--not original but deftly handled and interesting mainly because of the risks he takes with character. Here are characters we know--the Cratchits, Scrooge--who Bayard has made his own without losing touch with the foundations Dickens has laid. Despite the happy ending we might have imagined at the end of A Christmas Carol, Bayard has not hesitated handing around death, weakness and despair to the Cratchits along with strength and goodness. He is not catering to his readers but challenging them, particularly rabid Dickens fans like myself, and he succeeds. Whatever I ultimately felt about the plot, I totally believed that this is what could have become of the Cratchits. Because of that, I enjoyed this novel immensely.Read more ›
One day he finds the dead bodies of two young girls that have a brand on their upper arm, the same type that he saw on a dead child in a London alleyway. When Philomela, a ten year old girl, comes into his life trying to escape a wealthy and powerful aristocrat, Timothy finds that to keep his own humanity he must rescue her from those who branded her and put them out of business.
This dark Victorian Gothic is a moving and powerful tale of where good and evil resides side by side in London of 1860. Louis Bayard has written an outstanding morality thriller that has Mr. Timothy risking his own life, time and time again to help a poor and helpless orphaned girl who is already hardened by the knocks life has thrown at her. Timothy finds an unexpectedly ally in a street smart urchin who is wise beyond his years and refuses to let the evil that lurks around each corner get a grip on him.
The charm arises out of Bayard permitting us to witness Timothy's personal growth as he sadly comes to a realization that, as a young crippled boy, he was entirely self-centred and self-pitying, unaware of his father's strength, self-sacrifice and intense devotion to his family. In an obvious reference to Mr. Timothy's forerunner, Dickens' Christmas Carol, Bayard uses the device of ghostly sightings of Timothy's father and conversations or letters to his deceased father to reveal Timothy's contemplations on his personality, the realization of the magnitude of his losses, the maturation of his relationship with his surviving family members and his uncle "Neezer" and, ultimately, the release of his father's spirit to its final happy rest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't like it. Too wordy with explanations that got you confused.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I'm a huge fan of Louis Bayard (read "The Pale Blue Eye!") and this book doesn't disappoint. It takes place in foggy 1860's London. and Mr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jay Mulford
Couldn't finish it because it was so bad. Poorly written. What was the purpose of this book?Published 7 months ago by Merrell Lee Porteous
Here's my elevator pitch: Remember Tiny Tim? From A Christmas Carol? Well, he's all grown up and living in a London whorehouse. Read morePublished 8 months ago by terence hawkins
Who would have expected such adventures for Tiny Tim. Rivaling "Game of Thrones" for villians and plot twists. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Myra P. Woods
I was a bit disappointed with this, though well written it is just a standard thriller, Who cares?Published 13 months ago by Nicholas Triggs
The description on the back of the book tells you "Mr Timothy Cratchit, not the pious child the world thought he was..." and we're off. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Marion Stein
A griipping and highly entertaining novel. Marvelously well wriltten. I look forward to reading more by Louis Bayard -- a new discovery for me.Published 17 months ago by Lloyd Chapin