WongKaiWen, December 22, 2012 (view all comments by WongKaiWen)
The language of the book is a surprise to me. To be completely honest (and I'm really embarrassed to admit this.) when I started reading the book, I thought that Terry's Alzheimer's had finally progressed to such a degree that it had *really* damaged his ability to write at the sentence-level.
About two pages in, I realized he was actually mimicking Victorian prose, which is a lot different than his usual breezy style of writing. Once I realized that, it only took about three pages to get used to the new style and enjoy it. After that I didn't find the language clunky at all.
In brief, all Pratchett's usual wit, cleverness, and humor is here. There's also the added benefit of seeing Victorian London through Dodger's eyes, and while Pratchett romanticizes it somewhat, he obviously knows the time period well.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"This superb novel from Pratchett is relatively subdued in its humor and contains virtually no fantasy, beyond a flavoring of early Victorian alternate history. It's not only a fine Dickensian novel — Dickens himself figures prominently. It follows a sewer-scouring 'tosher' and thief named Dodger, 'a skinny young man who moved with the speed of a snake,' who, like a knight in soiled armor, leaps out of a drain one night to protect a young woman who is being severely beaten. Two of London's most famous figures, Charles Dickens and social reformer Henry Mayhew, appear on the scene a moment later. A complex plot gradually unravels involving the identity of the mystery girl, known only as Simplicity, and the reasons someone powerful wants her dead. Making guest appearances are such luminaries as Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria, and Angela Burdett-Coutts, the richest woman in the world at the time. Full of eccentric characters and carefully detailed London scenes, the tale embodies both Dickens's love for the common man and a fierce desire for social justice. Ages 13 – up. Agent: Colin Smythe. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Masterful. Unexpected, drily funny and full of the pathos and wonder of life: Don't miss it."
by Washington Post,
"Exuberant and irresistible."
by Chicago Tribune,
"Fun and fantastic and thoughtful."
by Kirkus Reviews (starred review),
"Passionately wise, spectacularly hilarious, and surpassingly humane."
by Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review),
"Thrilling, humorous, moving, and most wise."
by Booklist (starred review),
"Lovingly crafted and completely enjoyable. The temptation to quote sentences, whole paragraphs, and possibly entire chapters is almost irresistible."
by Horn Book (starred review),
"It's a glittering conjuring act, but there's real heart here, too."
by Daily Mail (London),
by SFX (UK),
"Fresh, vibrant and full of energy, a triumph."
by Sunday Times (London),
"Masterly and entertaining."
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