Written by: Terry Pratchett
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
“-When you rise up high, remember those as lives lowly”
I’d give anything for a chance to see inside the amazing imagination of Terry Pratchett, just for a wee bit.
A departure from the Discworld, Dodger is set in Victorian London, with the protagonist, the awesomely named Dodger, saving a girl from a savage beating by two evil gits. Dodger’s Morality is never in question. From the outset we know exactly what kind of person he is. He’s never lived within the law, but he’s not what you’d call a bad person. Think Robin Hood, if you need a comparison.
The image of Victorian London created here is amazing, from the fancy dining rooms, described in perfect detail, to the grimy streets in Dodger’s own patch. Charlie is bloody good; presenting what can only be seen as a fair and simple representation of the press. He wants to do well, to do well. Above all though, he wants to write a story that does well, and sells a hit load of papers.
It’s clear that Terry has done more research into Victorian London than any sensible individual would. After reading Dodger, I’m so bloody glad he did. Everything feels so goddamned Victorian. Thankfully it’s not so much of the soppy Victorian stuff, more of the industrial darkness with a little bit of hope thrown in. The introduction of Toshing is fascinating, and shows the depths to which TP delves in his research. It’s also central to Dodger’s character. His life is built around things discarded or forgotten by others, which shows in his treatment of others. His treatment of those discarded too.