A Book Connected to Dickens I Actually Enjoyed

Posted on September 28, 2016 «
Categories: book review «
Join in on the Conversation «
Is this a book review? Jump to the Quick Review

book review dodger prachett

Book Review
Dodger by Terry Pratchett

I’ll admit I was skeptical of Dodger from the point I downloaded it last year via SYNC. It was paired with Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I loathe Great Expectations. I’ve been forced to read it twice; once in high school and once in college. And like a fool, I attempted to listen to it after downloading it via the SYNC program last year thinking that perhaps in my older wiser adulthood I would finally understand why Great Expectations was a classic.

Dodger was a delightful listen. I will admit that I did struggle with Stephen Briggs’ narration as it was a bit too British for me at times and I had to re-listen to sections of the book to understand what was going on. I do believe that would not have occurred if a) I could listen to books while NOT doing something else and b) I was reading a physical copy of the book.

Dodger is full of twists and turns. And in the fashion of any good historical fiction novel, the reader encounters a variety of known historical characters. I had always imagined Dickens to be this curmudgeonly old man, but Prachett brings him to life as a curious reporter with keen observation skills and a sense of humor. Whether Dickens was truly like this in real life, I don’t know, but this caricature of him endeared him to me.

The story shines through the main character, Dodger, who has all the skills of a street rat and the ambition to match. There’s a curious mystery that is threaded through the story that develops into a shy romance. I enjoyed how Dodger made the use of the world he knew to solve the mystery, improve his conditions and make the best of what he had.

If Dickens’ stories of Victorian London are a bit heavy for you, I would definitely recommend giving Dodger a shot. As it takes the best aspects of Oliver and Great Expectations puts a bit of shine on them with a twist of humor and mystery and presents them in a new light.


The Quick Book Review

A Book Connected to Dickens I Actually Enjoyed


Author: Terry Pratchett
Narrator: Stephen Briggs
Published on: September 13, 2012
Pages: 360
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Series: Dodger #1
Genres: historical fiction, fantasy, young adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

About Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987, he turned to writing full time.

There are over 40 books in the Discworld series, of which four are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal.

A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback - Harper Torch, 2006 - and trade paperback - Harper Paperbacks, 2006).

In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry published Snuff in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received honorary doctorates from University of Warwick in 1999, the University of Portsmouth in 2001, the University of Bath in 2003, the University of Bristol in 2004, Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, the University of Dublin in 2008, Bradford University in 2009, University of Winchester in 2009, and The Open University in 2013 for his contribution to Public Service.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away on 12th March 2015.

(from GoodReads)