Terry Pratchett, best known for his zany and satirical Discworld series, is back with ‘Dodger’, a wise and laugh-out-loud story about a 17 year old orphan thief in Victorian London. Dodger is the King of the Toshers: a treasure-hunter who earns his pay check finding lost treasures that have slipped through the cracks and drains of the streets and into the depths of the sewers of London.
Emerging from the sewers one dark and stormy night, Dodger sees a girl leaping from a moving carriage to escape capture, and on a whim rescues Simplicity, a rich girl who has fallen foul of her powerful husband.
Keeping Simplicity safe from harm means that Dodger has to learn to survive in a different world, one where he hob-nobs with high society and becomes involved in a web of international politics. At times, the plot is predictable, but Dodger’s comical encounters with Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, make this a fun read for anyone who loves the history of Victorian London or Terry Pratchett.
Dodger is told with all of his usual wit and charm, although Pratchett does take a few historical liberties, which are explained in the afterword, for anyone who is curious to know more about the history behind the book’s plot. Highly recommended for die-hard fans and newcomers of Terry Pratchett, Dodger was one of the best new releases of 2012.
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (September 25, 2012)