WIJFR: Dodger

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Seventeen-year-old Dodger is content as a sewer scavenger. But he enters a new world when he rescues a young girl from a beating, and her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd, to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

After starting the Audible version of Terry Pratchet’s “Dodger” late last year during a Thanksgiving car trip, we (the family) finally finished listening to it on a weekend roadtrip this past holiday weekend.

The novel is historical fiction, taking place in early Victorian London, and as indicated in the blurb above, you’ll probably be familiar with some of the characters: the titular Dodger (presumably from Fagin’s gang in “Oliver Twist“), Charlie Dickens himself, Sir Robert Peel, Sweeney Todd (my personal favorite), and many others.

Dodger is a tosher and spends his days in the London sewers searching for valuables. After saving a young girl from an apparent kidnapping, he finds himself tangled up in a world of international espionage, foreign assassins, young love, and, of course, the aforementioned Charles Dickens.

The audiobook is wonderfully read by Stephen Briggs and was a lot of fun to listen to during several family car trips over the past two months.

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