Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger by Terry Pratchett is not a novel about the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, but it is a novel about a boy named Dodger, who happens to meet Charles Dickens and perhaps inspires more than one beloved Dickens character.

Dodger is a tosher, thief, and ragamuffin from London's East End. One stormy night he goes to the rescue of a woman he hears crying for help, and that is how his adventures begin. Over the course of the story, Dodger meets an array of historical and pseudo-historical figures: Dickens, of course, but also Disraeli, Angela Burdett-Coutts, Sir Robert Peel, Sweeney Todd, and even Queen Victoria, among others. (I was reminded of the Bloody Jack series, which is similarly littered with unlikely meetings with historical figures.) So, don't expect a gritty and realistic historical novel; Pratchett readily admits that he has romanticized Dodger's London quite a bit. But if you're in the mood for something fun and fast-paced with a plucky hero and a damsel in distress, this book is for you.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)


  1. Didn't you love the idea of Dodger meeting Dickens? I think Pratchett pulled it off quite well, or maybe I'm just partial to my favourite writer!

  2. Yes, it was a lot of fun. Dickens also appears as a character in The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy.