Thursday, October 17, 2013

DODGER by Terry Pratchett

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl--not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger's encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high comedy with deep wisdom in this tale of an unexpected coming-of-age and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating world.

Hardcover, First Edition, 360 pages

Published September 13th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers 
First line:
"The rain poured down on London so hard that it seemed that it was dancing spray, every raindrop contending with its fellows for supremacy in the air and waiting to splash down."

Three things I loved about DODGER:
1. Dodger
2. Literary characters
3. Words, words, words

We all know the Artful Dodger, friend of Oliver Twist. That sly, cunning boy who can steal anything and can slip through any hole or fingers. In this book we get to read about his life, history and reasoning. Plus, Dodger is a hero! Well, mostly by accident but still.
On a cold and rainy night, a young woman gets pushed into the gutter, where Dodger rescues her. Throughout the book, he tries to solve the mystery of why anyone would kill her. And he gets help from the likes of Charles (of Charlie) Dickens.

Dodger knows many individuals who run the gutter side of London, like toshers (those who scavenge in the sewers). As the story progresses, we meet them too and how this underworld links together. One such being is old Soft Mary who goes to the cemetries at night, collect floral wreaths and carefully unravel them to make nosegays to sell the next day. Dodger thinks it's not very nice of her but this way of life is keeping Soft Mary alive and the dead won't get to smell those flowers anyway.
Dodger also meets Sweeny Todd, the Barber of Seville, who sees the ghosts of soldiers. Dodger actually feels bad for the barber:
"He wasn't a demon, mister, although I reckon he may have seen Hell, and I ain't a hero, sir, I really ain't. He wasn't bad, he was mad, and sad, and lost in his 'ead. That's all of it sir, the up and the down of it, sir."

And the chapter headings were great. Here is Chapter One:
"In which we meet our hero and the hero meets an orphan of the storm and comes face to face with Mister Charlie, a gentleman known as a bit of a scribbler."
Clever, right?

BEFORE you start this book, you need to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the literary ride.
That being said, I recommend this book but be warned! Be careful if you listen to this book because you might have random outbursts of laughter while say, on a treadmill or stationary bike. Not that I would know...

Rating: PG
V: Some fighting,
L: No
S: No

Chapter headings



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