|Publication date||13 September 2012|
|Main characters||Dodger, Solomon Cohen, Simplicity|
|All data relates to the first UK edition.|
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage, in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's . . . Dodger!
In an alternative London, ruled by the young Queen Victoria, an enterprising lad can find adventure and opportunity - if he is very smart, and very, very lucky. Dodger has the brains, the luck - and the cheek - to scrape by on his own.
Everyone knows Dodger, and everyone likes Dodger. Which is a good thing, because life for a boy on the streets is anything but easy. And it's about to get seriously complicated as a simple haircut turns momentous when Dodger unknowingly puts a stop to the murderous barber Sweeney Todd.
From Dodger's encounters with fictional villains to his meetings with Darwin, Disraeli, and Dickens, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking tale of adventure and mystery, unexpected coming-of-age, and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating world.
- Dodger, a tosher (someone who searches in sewers for valuable items).
- Solomon Cohen
- Joseph Bazalgette
- Angela Burdett-Coutts
- Charles Dickens
- Henry Mayhew
- The Outlander
- Robert Peel
- Benjamin Disraeli
- Queen Victoria
- Sweeney Todd
- Karl Marx (referenced)
- Mister Hunter and Mister Device, warders at Bedlam.
The first edition from the retailer Waterstones included the additional material: 'The Wise Words of Solomon Cohen,' a collection of some of Solomon Cohen's sayings in the book along with some new ones.
The first edition from the retailer WHSmith and the ebook edition of Dodger included the additional material: 'Old Comrades,' an small additional chapter where Dodger visits Sweeney Todd in prison.
The first edition from the retailer Tesco included four postcards illustrated by Paul Kidby.
The first edition from the retailer ASDA included the additional material: 'Map of Dodger's London,' two pages that feature an illustration of a map of Victorian London.
It's worth remarking that the biggest cliché in novel writing - Bulwer-Lytton's opening line "It was a dark and stormy night..." has been spoofed, parodied and sent up so often that no author would dare to use it or anything like it to kick off a novel. Except, perhaps, Terry - who seems to have picked it up here and is gleefully putting a slant on the idea....
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. (Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford, opening line.)
Now look at the way Terry opens Dodger.
Adapted into a play-script by Stephen Briggs and published by Oxford Playscripts, 2014.