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Dodger Mass Market Paperback – International Edition, September 30, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 533 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*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 the Hardcover edition.


"Here, once again, is the mark of a great writer ... we are captivated by ingenious word-building on every page ... As Dodger's triumphant path ultimately brings him honour from the very highest rank of society, we cannot help but cheer not only for his success, but also for the success of this ebullient, funny and delightful novel." Guardian "Wonderful." Daily Mail "Dodger feels fresh, vibrant and full of energy, a triumph that should be celebrated as yet another glorious gift from Narrativia." SFX "[A] superb novel ... full of eccentric characters and carefully detailed London scenes, the tale embodies both Dickens's love for the common man and a fierce desire for social justice." Publishers Weekly "It's a masterwork from a treasure and hero of a writer, and it will delight you." -- Cory Doctorow

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (September 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552563153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552563154
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (533 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William F. Wallace on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
C'mon, everybody, be thankful that Sir Terry is alive, much less producing books. We lost Robert Jordan a couple of years ago and now we must settle for a 'ghost' writer.

'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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Set in the victorian era, Dodger is the story of a seventeen steet urchin, who earns his living by retrieving items in the sewers of London.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to write something pithy;commentary that confirmed to all readers that I have been a committed fan of Mr Pratchett for a very long time now. But I've just done that - albeit sans pith.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Did you ever wonder what Ankh Morpork was based on? Vimes? Vetinari? The answers are all found in Dicken's England, and this book is an enjoyable and creative romp through the original source. Allowing Pratchett to include realistic details that we would scoff at if he put them in a fantasy book.

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.
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By Hypsy on September 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a long time Pratchett fan, I have been left feeling bemused by this book. For many fans, Pratchett's name on the cover leads to a lot of expectations, and in this book he departs in some respects away from those expectations. As the setting is Victorian era London, the carefully constructed Discworld universe is not here. And that's okay, because the great joy of the Discworld books is to highlight some of our 'real' worlds amusing and nonsensical foibles. On the face of it, this new location seems perfectly suited, as though Pratchett is breaking down the wall of Ankh-Morpork and saying, 'Look it was London all along!'

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.
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