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Oh Pterry, this is more like it. After the slight disappointment with his collaboration with, Stephen Baxter. Sir Terry is most definitely back on form with this one. Even though I hit a month-long reading slump just as I started it (it and about 6 other books in an attempt to break the slump) I finally got back on track about a week ago and spent an enjoyable few days, running around Victorian sewers with Dodger and his friends.
A young lad called Dodger and an elderly Jewish gentleman to guide him, may make you think you know what this story is all about, but it isn’t that Dodger and it isn’t that story. Even if a kindly journalist called Charlie takes an interest in young Dodger’s adventures. No Mr Dickens is just the kind of person who is interested in everything and everybody, and is rarely without a notebook, to write interesting notes and phrases down in. (Much to Dodger’s consternation at times!)
There are a number of fun cameos form various Victorian characters, with whom Sir Terry clearly has a lot fun, with just a slight tweak or hint, of their real life counterparts. Spotting them and the other literary references is half the fun of reading the book.
Terry Pratchett’s humour is as nicely done and used as always, and unusually for me (as it normally just makes me smile, or snort occasionally,) I laughed out loud in a number of places.
Dodger’s romance with Simplicity is sweetly done as well, spending time with a girl, has probably never been a problem for Dodger, spending time with a girl he likes is a different matter altogether.
Once I managed to kick my reading slump in to touch, Dodger was a joy to read from start to finish, as I always thought it would be.
My copy was the Waterstones exclusive edition, with added free content at the back of the book, this consisted of some nicely presented quotes and words of wisdom from Solomon Cohen, Dodger’s friend and landlord. Most of which are pulled from the book with some new ones. whilst it made for a pleasant diversion. I’m not sure it could be called ‘exclusive content’. A minor quibble though and not really related to my enjoyment of the book, I do really like the slightly tweaked cover for it though. (If you remove the slip cover, you get the normal cover with no text.
Dodger is a tosher – a sewer scavenger living in the squalor of Dickensian London.
Everyone who is nobody knows Dodger.
Anyone who is anybody doesn’t.
But when he rescues a young girl from a beating, suddenly everybody wants to know him.