You can tell a good book when you’re finding an excuse to squeeze in a few pages here and there. Pratchett has become one of my favourite authors, for consistency if nothing else.
Dodger is a bit of a departure from the usual Discworld series, but Dickensian London is actually very similar to Ankh-Morpork. It is littered with an array of interesting characters, some of them taken out of the history books, who all revolve around the loveable Dodger.
Set against the squalor that was life for many during the Victorian era, it tells an uplifting tale of a quick-thinking, quick-talking rogue with a heart of gold as he finds himself propelled up the social ladder by a series of unlikely incidents.
Okay, so the book isn’t perfect. As I said, Dodger’s rise is in no small part down to luck most lottery winners can only dream of. The story’s very sentimental and rose tinted, even if it does try to show the conditions as they were. It’s a little saccharine even.
That said, I loved it, in no small part because it delivered what most readers want: justice. The good were rewarded and the bad were vanquished.
As I said, I found myself drawn back to it, and was desperate to finish it come the end. Some of that was down to the pacing, which is rapid, with little time to worry about much before it’s on to the next adventure.
If you like Pratchett’s work, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It may not be his best, but that’s more than good enough.
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Paperback copy of the book
Reviewed: 16th November 2014