Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Dodger Paperback – September 24, 2013
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
*Starred Review* On a stormy night in early Victorian London, an able young man named Dodger rises from the sewers in response to a scream, fights off two thugs, and rescues a damsel in distress. Dodger continues to rise throughout the novel, as his love for the mysterious lady motivates this tosher (scavenger for lost coins and other treasures in London’s sewers) to elevate himself and leads him to a closer acquaintance with a string of historical figures, including Dickens, Disraeli, and ultimately, the queen and her consort. While most writers would be well advised not to include such characters in their books, Pratchett manages to humanize them without diminishing them or throwing the story off-kilter. However lowly Dodger’s origins, he remains the most memorable character in the book. Living by his wits and unencumbered by conventional morality, this trickster hero expertly navigates the underbelly of his city as he carries out a bizarre scheme resulting in justice and mercy. The temptation to quote sentences, whole paragraphs, and possibly entire chapters is almost irresistible, because the pleasure of reading the novel is in the language as much as in the characters and well-researched period setting. Often amusing, this Victorian romp of a novel is lovingly crafted and completely enjoyable. Grades 8-12. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Superb.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“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.
Despite what the title might suggest, there’s no direct connection between Dodger and the works of Charles Dickens; even if there were a book that happened to feature a character with a similar name, that’s more because Pratchett’s imaginary tosher (a slang term for those who root for treasures among the drainage and sewers of England) could be an inspiration for Dickens’ imagination. But Dodger is undeniably a purely Pratchett creation: a streetwise, playful, cynical (yet soft-hearted) rogue who makes a living for himself, feels a bit larger than life, and who can’t help but want to improve the world as he sees it, even if he’d deny that. More than that, he’s a richly and undeniably researches character, one whose dialogue is full of 18th century slang, who feels like a genuinely street-educated child rather than an author playing dumb, and whose actions feel of a piece with his complicated morality.
That goes doubly for the rich, marvelous world that Pratchett creates, thanks (according to the author himself) in no small part to the research of Henry Mayhew, a contemporary of Dickens who researched conditions among the working poor in London at the time. In Pratchett’s hands, Dodger brings to life a city defined by a massive social and economic divide, to say nothing of the intrigue of the upper classes, the scars of a recent war, and more. It’s a vivid, wondrous tapestry that Pratchett has created, and he populates it with characters both non-fictional (Dickens and Mayhew both make appearances, as does Robert Peel, and other various figures) and fictional, including an infamous “demon” barber of the time that Pratchett uses as the centerpiece for one of his most effective, quietly powerful points. And not content to only use the creations of others, Pratchett does his usual magnificent character building work, with my favorite being Dodger’s Jewish protector, teacher, and friend Solomon Cohen.
The only weakness of Dodger – well, maybe it’s more of a flaw, because there’s really nothing bad about the book, just an aspect that’s not as strong as the rest – is the plot, which is serviceable, but really just functions as a way to string together the various incidents of the novel. That’s Pratchett’s style, of course – it’s what makes the Discworld books so incredible and joyous – but Dodger feels a little more focused by virtue of its single main character, and the wandering story sometimes feels a little sloppy. There’s some fascinating aspects, mind you, and the central hook – in which Dodger saves a young woman from a beating, only to discover that it’s involved him in some massive intrigue on a governmental level – is a good one. But the final showdown feels a bit silly, involving an ultra-capable government assassin character who feels out of step with the rest of the novel.
And yet, that’s a flaw of the book, but it’s a minor one, and one that certainly doesn’t take away from the joy of the book. As always, Pratchett is a master of commenting on the world around him through the medium of his writing and fiction, and Dodger is no exception, using 18th-century England as a way of commenting on how little things may have changed over the years. More than that, Dodger is another reminder of Pratchett’s wonderful, magical prose, which brings characters to life through little more than their remarkable, distinct voices. And adding that to the rich world creation he’s doing here…well, it all makes for a great read, even with that flaw. But do you really expect anything else from Pratchett?