Tosher; I was unsure what this word meant at the beginning of Terry Pratchett’s latest offering “Dodger” but after being glued to the book from start to finish, I find that if I had lived in a different time I would love to have had a go myself. Toshing at its essence is a name to describe someone who searches the sewers for lost treasure – enter our main character “Dodger” one of the finest Tosher’s that Victorian London has to offer, who one night whilst pursuing his career down in the underbelly of London hears a young lady being attacked and steps in to protect her.
The Story moves swiftly on from there with Dodger being turned from a street urchin into a somewhat more well-dressed urchin with a set of clothes from Saville Row who hob nobs with many real life historical characters such as Sweeney Todd, Charles Dickens, Robert Peel, Mr Disraeli and Queen Victoria herself to mention but a few all, to protect the girl he rescued that first night in the gutter.
Toward the end of the book, Dodger spends some time in the West Country and as someone who has moved to the area I really found it heartwarming to hear tales of the pub at Star, The Mendips and Axebridge.
Pratchett has done a fantastic job of utilising both fictional and historical characters together in this book and really weaves a fantastic vision of Victorian London in all its loathsome glory, so much so that as you head through the book you will want to head to Google to find out more about these historical characters and the events that take place during the book. – Highly recommended.