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Dodger by Terry Pratchett []



Dodger is the latest novel by Sir Terry Pratchett, best known for his satirical Discworld series of fantasy novels. Pratchett’s usual wit and love of language shine through in this historical piece set in Victorian London and with a cast of characters that includes Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, Angela Burdett-Coutts, and Queen Victoria.

Dodger takes place above and below London, with the city’s ancient Roman sewers playing a prominent part. Much of the drama comes from the meeting of the upper and lower classes, the rich and poor, and the politics of the street vs. the politics of the state.

Pratchett has, very consciously, taken liberties with the setting and refers to the work as a historical fantasy, not a historical novel. The most obvious example is the inclusion of the almost certainly fictional Sweeney Todd. Less noticeable to most readers will be the the adjustment to the lives of Sir Robert Peel and John Tenniel whose careers did not, in fact, overlap as suggested in the novel. These changes may bother some, but if you take them in stride you will find Dodger to be a very enjoyable adventure story brought to life by its rich setting and colorful language.

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