Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

I find Terry Pratchett to be a little hit or miss.  I really liked Good Omens and Nation.  Some others not so much.  In general, I don't pick up books just because he's written them and I've never gotten into Diskworld.  However, I decided to give Dodger a read because it's one of the 9th-12th grade Oregon Battle of the Books books this year.  If you don't know, Oregon Battle of the Books is a reading and comprehension program for elementary through high school students.  Teams of kids read books and then answer questions about them in a competitive quiz.  There are champions and everything.  Anyway, they often pick good, engaging books and, if I haven't already, I'll often read what's on the list.  Thus, Dodger.

I listened to Dodger as an audiobook.  I'm not really sure if that was a good idea or not to be honest.  I enjoy audiobooks generally, but the narrator can make or break a book and I have mixed feelings about this narrator.  His voice was fine (not grating as I find some), but maybe the accents were a little strong/forced?  Also, I'm not totally sure if I'd have found it a better read if I'd been choosing what was accented myself.  Anyway, for better or worse, I listened to it.

I considered several times not finishing.  It wasn't bad per say, but I wasn't super engaged.  It probably took me longer than usual to get through that length of an audiobook because I found myself listening to music at times I might normally have listened to a book because it just didn't call to me.  That said, it was decent enough that I did finish it.

The story is about Dodger, a street kid (well, young adult) in London during early Victorian times.  He saves a girl from a beating and starts down a path that changes his life in significant ways.  Along the way, we met Charlie Dickens, Sweeney Todd and a cast of colorful characters.

Really, I don't have much more to say about it.  It's fine.  It's not great.  I didn't get really into it.  I didn't feel too attached to any of the characters.  There were a few clever things that happened.  I was interested in some aspects of the story, like what life was like for a tosher (read it to find out!), but I could take or leave this book overall.

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