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Dodger Hardcover – September 25, 2012
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“Compulsively readable.” (Washington Post)
“Lovingly crafted and completely enjoyable. The temptation to quote sentences, whole paragraphs, and possibly entire chapters is almost irresistible.” (Booklist (starred review))
“It’s a glittering conjuring act, but there’s real heart here, too.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“Pratchett does a bang-up job of re-creating Old London, complete with pathos, humor, and danger, all narrated in Dodger’s unique voice.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Masterful. Unexpected, drily funny and full of the pathos and wonder of life: Don’t miss it.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Pratchett weaves fact and fiction seamlessly....Genius.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“A masterwork from a treasure and hero of a writer, and it will delight you.” (Cory Doctorow, New York Times Bestselling author)
“Ebullient, funny and delightful.” (The Guardian)
“Wonderful.” (Daily Mail (London))
“Fresh, vibrant and full of energy, a triumph.” (SFX (UK))
“Masterly and entertaining.” (Children’s Book of the Week) (Sunday Times (London))
PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF TERRY PRATCHETT:“Exuberant and irresistible.” (Washington Post)
“Fun and fantastic and thoughtful.” (Chicago Tribune)
“Passionately wise, spectacularly hilarious, and surpassingly humane.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Moving and highly satisfactory.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Pratchett combines gut-busting humor and genuine poignancy.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Thrilling, humorous, moving, and most wise.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))
Top Customer Reviews
'Not disappointed' a reviewer wrote. So sad. 'Damned by faint praise' to quote somebody. It's a feel-good book and no mistake. Just sit back and enjoy Dodger et al. If you are expecting the kind of genius level creativity he exhibited in his earlier books, well, who of that age is capable of that? Twain wasn't.
I have all of his books, most them read more than twice and I will come back to this one someday, though I am 70 and it may have to be soon. I go to libraries, pick up a few books and read maybe 50 pages before sighing and getting some more. At the very least, Pratchett is reliable, funny, satiric, full of puck and good humor and understands people as well as any writer since.......well, nearly all of them.
If I die while reading or re-reading one of his, I'll die happy. My favorite author of all time.
I am a huge fan of the Discworld books, and everytime Terry Pratchett releases a non-Discworld book I get nervous. Some of his non-Discworld books I love, while others I feel are ordinary.
For the most part I loved Dodger. Dodger himself is awesome. He's the little guy that you can't help rooting for. Especially as he is determined to save the girl and win her heart. There are some great characters (both real and fictional) including Sweeney Todd, Robert Peel and Charlie Dickens.
I listened to the audio, as read by Stephen Briggs, and the audio was excellent. The voices as read by Briggs were spot on, and I found myself clinging to every word.
My only negative is I felt like the end dragged a bit. While the ending could've been a bit better, there were plenty of zany, awesome moments in the story and I will likely listen to this one again.
So I'll just call it as I found it:
Its a 'nice' read. Not so much a 'whodunnit' as a 'come along for the ride and let's see what happens in this new world of Mr Pratchett's devising.' Not laugh out loud funny, but certainly worthy of the occasional smile. The historical liberties taken are both gentle and generally useful. I've read many of Mr Pratchett's books time and time again. Would I re-read this one? Most likely not... but I'm happy enough to have read it the once.
Did you not understand the previous paragraph at all? Then maybe you shouldn't read this book.
As a stand alone book it is somewhat forced. It is a Historical Romance, with the emphasis on Romance. I don't mean there are lots of kissing scenes, I mean that this happens in a fantasy world based on Dicken's England. The things that happen to the hero are not credible, at least as far as my understanding of history goes. Pratchett has to take an extrodinary character and then force him through a bunch of incredible adventures until at the end he catches the Queen's eye. How often did that happen to street urchins in Dicken's England? Never? That would be my guess.
I believe that the main character is supposed to be the inspiration for the artful Dodger from Oliver Twist. And he is except that all the evil has been sucked out of him. Leaving him a colorful and unabashedly admirable character. Exciting and interesting to follow, but really not believable.
And if you're wondering at my guesses for where Ankh Morpork, Vimes, and Vetinari came from they are (respectfully) Dicken's England, Robert Peel, and Disraeli. But those are just guesses.
And whether that was important or irrelevant, or even un-noticed, without that teeming world this book is a bit...dry. The characters are all the familiar Pratchett archetypes, the loveable rouge, the shadowy gentry, pulling strings and so on. But it never picks up speed. I was constantly feeling like I'd read this one before, and then the references to London, Spain and so on would somehow remind me that this was a story set in our world. It is a testament to Pratchett's skills that a series of books with wizards, trolls, werewolves and the like can utterly suspend my disbelief. And it's worrying that a book filled with real places, real life figures (In the form of Dickens) and context that is familiar to me can leave me not immersed, but slightly bored.
I had the feeling this book was mugging for the cameras, name dropping, trying to be playful, but ending up coming across like a species of fan-fiction, written by the kind of author who finds fantasy scenarios a bit silly, and unworthy of 'real' aueters.
That sounds a bit cruel, and I should say that this is a solid book, and a must for Pratchett obsessives, but the vital spark is missing. If you're new to Pratchett, this might not be the place to start though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terry Pratchett does a wonderful job breathing life into early Victorian England and this hero of this novel, Dodger. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Shawn Stewart
Sometimes I find myself completely flummoxed by Terry Pratchett. What kind of a brain comes up with Discworld, then glides easily into a "historical fantasy" like "Dodger? Read morePublished 29 days ago by Theresa A. Loeffler
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you probably already know how I feel about Terry Pratchett. The man was hilarious and created such wonderful worlds in his writing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alyssa Marie
Great Fun! It's a light hearted read with some suspense and great characterization and setting.Published 1 month ago by Phillip
I really enjoyed this book. It was a great fantasy telling of Victorian era times and characters. I quickly got invested in the main character Dodger and his pursuit of justice. Read morePublished 2 months ago by VictoriaH
This was the first Terry Prachett book I've read. I definitely recommend it. It was a fun, fast read and a great example of historical fantasy.Published 2 months ago by Madeline T. Struttmann