Monday, 4 February 2013

A Very Artful Dodger

2013 Book Review #2

dodger terry pratchett

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]


  1. So glad you enjoyed this, I read it last week and loved it, but then I am a BIG TP fan. Perhaps on this recommendation the book club might consider a foray Pratchettwise. This isn't one of his Discworld novels, and I believe it was written as a Young Adult book. You might like to try some of his other YAs, although they are set in Discworld they might be a more welcoming read, I would suggest you start with The Wee Free Men. Will be interested to hear how it goes.

  2. Let's have more of these book reviews from the crutches! El Perro Blanco stalwartly tries to get our reading club to read Pratchett but, to my chagrin, they remain resolute!

  3. I fancied reading Dodger but was unsure. Now I will look out for it. Thanks for the review.


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