2013 Book Review #2
Bob really enjoys Terry Pratchett – we have a whole shelf of his books, all the Discworld stuff, and the DVDs [Hogfather etc] but I just cannot get into it. I have tried, and fallen asleep frequently in the effort. I enjoyed watching the DVDs over the Christmas period, so I tried again [You really must have a go at Dodger, it’s full of historical allusions you will understand, said my beloved] So I placed my crutches carefully beside the sofa and began reading…
I loved it! It is not part of his other series, so prior knowledge of the Pratchett oeuvre is unnecessary . This is the story of Dodger, who is a Victorian ‘tosher’ – he makes his living scavenging for valuables which have washed down into the London sewers. He lives with an old Jewish Watchmaker, Solomon, and his stinking dog Onan [same name as Dorothy Parker’s pet bird. From the character in Genesis] In the story, he encounters loads of characters – Mr Charlie [Dickens] Ben [Disraeli] Todd the barber [Sweeney] young Joe Bazalgette, and the glorious Angela Burdett Coutts*. His adventures happen above – and below – the busy 19th Century London thoroughfares
Pratchett’s wordplay is brilliant and his clever interweaving of real and fictional characters is great. I laughed out loud, a lot – but fortunately did not fall off the sofa. I shall have to make another foray into the Discworld books – maybe this time I will appreciate them better.
Dodger by Terry Pratchett scores *****
[*ABC is another of my heroines – check her out here]