Monday, October 29, 2012


Dodger, by Terry Pratchett

Pterry's new book is not a Discworld book; I'm probably the last person to know this, but I don't like to know too much ahead of time about the books or movies I'm going to enjoy, so I always avoid as much information as I can.  As you might guess from the title, it's a story of early Victorian London (Pratchett calls it a historical fantasy, since he's doing a lot of world-building but moving some bits and pieces around).

Dodger is a boy of the slums--a tosher who searches the sewers for whatever bits and pieces get washed down (though I doubt that any real tosher ever found quite so many pieces of jewelry down there).  It's dangerous work, but Dodger is the best.  When he saves a girl from being beaten to death, he falls into an adventure that takes him to the top and the bottom of London society, and that introduces him to quite a few Victorian stars from Charles Dickens to Disraeli.  Pratchett drops several hints about Dodger as an inspiration to Dickens.

I always enjoy Pterry's style, and this is a typical specimen, funny, incisive, and tragic all at once.  I do think he got a little meandery this time and a bit repetitive with the 'oh yes'es, but he clearly had a wonderful time describing Victorian London and it was a very good read.

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