, a city of squalor and poverty with a few enclaves of the well off and priviliged. A city where life is cheap, and death even cheaper. In fact it is often free, if one treads the wrong streets.
Dodger is a tosher; a sewer rat who scavenges the undercroft of the great city. He is a geezer, known everywhere and respected mostly. Everyone knows Dodger, yet ask and they have never seen nor heard of him. A thief, sometimes, but mostly he tidies up and picks up the things that others have 'dropped'.
A storm raging above the sewers, yet through the storm he hears a scream from a young girl and so he goes to her rescue. But this is more than just any girl being attacked by men; that is commonplace in Dodger's London
. This is More! This is Important. And so begins an adventure that will take Dodger from scavenging in sewers to the houses of the great and good. And, in some cases, the not so good.
A chance meeting with Charlie Dickens puts Dodger on a course that will change his life for ever. And if not very careful, with a dead finality. The story will tell you.
Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors; I have a reverence for his men of the City Watch and a deep and abiding love for the witches of the Ramtops, but this book is different to any other of his that I have read. And, I have to say, as good too.
There are flashes of the old master there , in some of the asides and mutterings, but in general it is quite different to his Discworld books, although, having said that, Victorian London
is much like AnkhMorpok in many ways.
The book is funny, thrilling and oddly romantic. I can't say much more, other than to say I loved it and thought it well worth reading.
5 mushroom heads ( although I am biased).