Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger is a tosher, a street urchin who lives by finding 'treasure' in the sewers of Victorian England. However, his life begins to change the night he rescues a girl who leaps from a moving carriage. As he tries to protect the girl he calls Miss Simplicity, Dodger comes in contact with historical figures such as Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and Sir Robert Peel. Dodger's position in society shifts as he gains responsibility and struggles to keep Miss Simplicity safe from her abusive, but high born and powerful European husband.

As usual, Terry Pratchett manages to be humorous and profound while weaving an interesting story. His characters, Dodger especially, are filled with personality and quirky depth. The book is well written, but I enjoyed this more than most, because Pratchett gave a fictional personality to one of my favorite authors. I loved reading about 'Charlie Dickens' interacting with the young man he will later use as a pattern for his character Dodger in Oliver Twist. The literary and historical references are fantastic, but it is a fun read even for those who might miss the allusions.

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