📖 Dodger by Terry Pratchett (2012) â­â­

Dodger #1Hello my fellow bookworms, today I am bringing you my thoughts on the YA historical-fantasy, Dodger by the beloved and bestselling Terry Pratchett, which was published in 2012. If you read this blog regularly, you will know that Pratchett is one of my favourite authors, who is best known for his fantastical Discworld series, so I was very interested to try this stand-alone, Dickens-inspired novel from him.

The story opens on the teeming streets of a Dickensian London, where we are introduced to a loveable seventeen-year-old rapscallion nicknamed Dodger, who (mostly and some what legally) earns a living as a Tosher: a subterranean scavenger that goes hunting for lost coins and jewels washed down drains into the labyrinthine sewers below the city.

His life is to be turned upside down though, when one stormy night, Dodger hears an almighty kafuffle on the rain-lashed streets above him. Sensing trouble Dodger, quick as lightning, pops out of a man-hole in time to rescue a young woman, who has desperately leapt from a carriage to escape her violent captors. Dodger doesn’t know this woman, where she has come, or why these thugs were keeping her captive, but he hates to see anyone suffer, so he makes it his mission to protect her.

Dodger #2

What follows is a rather madcap, mystery romp where Dodger sets out to find clues, hunt down the wrong-doers and save the damsel in distress. Along the way he has the help of his friends: the Jewish tinker, Solomon; a smelly dog named Onan; and a collection of colourful street characters. As well as some famous faces too, including: Charles Dickens, Henry Mayhew and Benjamin Disraeli. Okay, okay you have to turn off your implausibility meter for this one somewhat, but to be honest I was having so much fun I didn’t really care.

Furthermore, I must warn you, if you are looking for the zany magic or snarky humour of the Discworld series, I’m afraid you won’t find it here. There is no magic here, except for maybe the Toshers’ belief in the ‘Lady’ of the sewers, however there is still plenty of lighter, silly humour – I laughed out loud several times! There are also still some difficult issues, such as: poverty, exploitation, suicide and rigid social structure, discussed here in Pratchett’s trademark fun, clever, unpreachy way.

Overall, I thought Dodger was an amusing adventure, mystery and unexpected coming-of-age tale of a remarkable young man’s struggles and triumphs, in a crazy, complex and nostalgic Dickensian world. All in all a lot of fun had and a solid… Good read. ⭐⭐

Historical-Fiction-2022

(I am also counting this book towards my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2022)

Have you read this? Or have you read anything else by the brilliant Terry Pratchett? Please let me know in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “📖 Dodger by Terry Pratchett (2012) â­â­

  1. Good review! I enjoyed Dodger for many of the same reasons, when I read it back in 2012. I should try some of the Discworld novels again; I made the mistake of starting with The Colour of Magic, which didn’t really appeal to me, but many of the later books sound much more “up my alley.”

    If you’re interested, my review of Dodger is here, though you won’t be able to leave a comment. (I’ve had to close comments for older posts; they attract too many spam bots.)

    1. Lark, so pleased to hear you enjoyed this book, for many of the same reasons and that you liked/agreed with my review so much! I hope you will be able to try more of Pratchett’s Discworld books soon – It doesn’t matter too much where you start and I know many people struggled with the earlier novels. Thank you for also sharing your own review. 😊

  2. I think I did read this a long time ago but I don’t remember much. Might be fun for a reread. I can nearly always rely on Pratchett to deliver an entertaining story that also respects my brain.

    1. Lory, I couldn’t agree more, you certainly can rely on Pratchett to deliver an entertaining story that also respects your brain. Happy re-reading if you decide to soon! 😊

  3. I’ve had this one on my wishlist for a long time. I haven’t read a Discworld story since I finished the Tiffany Aching books. Perhaps it’s time I choose one from the several I have tagged at the library!

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