Review of Dodger, by Terry Pratchett

Dodger

by Terry Pratchett
read by Stephen Briggs

Dreamscape Media, 2012. 9 compact discs, 10 hours, 32 minutes.
2013 Printz Honor Book
Starred Review

I had planned for quite some time to read this book, but this is one where the audio should not be missed. Dodger is set in Victorian London, and yes, this is the Dodger from Dickens’ books and “Charlie” Dickens is a prominent character. So all the British accents, from the street people to the “nobs” add so much to the book.

Dodger is a “tosher” — someone who goes through the sewers looking for lost treasures like coins or jewelry. Only recently have nobs started dumping their waste in the sewers — originally they were built by the Romans to manage rainwater. And Dodger is good at his job, a veritable king of the toshers.

But one day during a storm, he comes up out of the sewers to see a young lady being beaten and forced back into a carriage. He rescues her, and both their lives will never be the same. That’s also when Dodger meets Charlie, who with his friend gets the girl to safety.

But it turns out that this girl’s fate is tied to international politics. There are powerful people who want her dead, and when Dodger gets on their wrong side, they’d also like Dodger dead. Along the way, Dodger has other notable adventures, such as encountering a villainous barber (Or is he villainous?) named Sweeney Todd.

This audiobook had me mesmerized from the start. In the first place, Terry Pratchett knows how to turn a phrase. (That’s the one problem with audiobooks. I can’t quote choice bits for you.) But as well as that, we’ve got the exotic but completely historical location — the sewers and streets of Victorian London. We’ve got international intrigue. We’ve got assassins after our hero. And we’ve got clever plots and counterplots. And we’ve got a clever, plucky hero who makes good.

Wonderful storytelling! Gripping adventure! Fascinating history! And my favorite: Great British accents! You can’t go wrong with this book.

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Teens/dodger.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.