I’m having a problem with Terry Pratchett’s Dodger. And I say this as a huge fan of his.
Does Dodger HAVE to run into EVERY famous person ever?
#2: he does NOT run into Jack the Ripper
#1: Charles Dickens, Sweeney Todd, Disraeli…. it takes me right out of the story. It would be more believable if the names were made-up. Let’s just name-drop Babbage and Lovelace while we’re at it, no reason at all, they don’t even have lines, we’ll just put them in this scene because Look How Much I Know!
#1: (wow, I didn’t know that) is there ever anyone who DOESN’T run into charles dickens?
#2: I’m just proud of him for not running into Jack the Ripper
#1: did Dickens seriously know every single person in London? It’s just…. it’s cheap. Were Dickens and Disraeli really friends? I mean, really? It’s cheap.
it’s like it’s saying, ha ha, in the book.
The things Disraeli does… the whole thing would be more believable if it were someone made-up. And Dickens is always stopping to make a note of some turn of phrase that is the title of one of his books…. STUPID!
#2: Yes, he could have had thinly disguised nods to famous people like he does in his Discworld series; however, I thought of Dodger more as a YA fiction, and those often have famous people in them. Pretend the book is for 12 year olds.
#1: I thought about that, but then there’s [SPOILER ALERT] domestic violence and miscarriage and baby-killing….
#2: but not graphic or overt
it’s even discussed in a YA sort of fashion
#1: but does a 12-year-old know who Disraeli is? Like, there’s no REASON to have him in there. If you’re old enough to know who he is, you’re old enough to think it’s disingenuous to have him in there.
#2: The 12 year old learns about Disraeli from books like that.
#1: I dunno. I’m just not… I don’t feel very forgiving about this book. I feel like he’s written much better things.
#2: He has. It’s called Discworld.
#1: he could do Dodger in Discworld though, and it would be better, with all the same themes. I mean, Good Omens was fantastic.
#2: Oh, yes.
#2: he’s not as good at children’s fiction, except when he’s not aiming it at children (see: Tiffany Aching). Diggers is terrible, and Johnny and the bomb is totally mediocre.
#1: Dodger is just… cheap. It’s like he’s saying, look how clever.
Nudge, nudge, wink wink, can you tell that Karl Marx is in here, nudge nudge.
I don’t want to be nudged. Just make up some damn characters! You’re a writer!
and I know: he is not my bitch. But yet…
Readers, what makes you mad?