February 19, 2013 in Tuesday Tunes
Confession: My husband is a little bit to blame for this week’s Tuesday Tunes. When I told him about the atmosphere and plot of Terry Pratchett’s Dodger, and asked him what music came to mind, he suggested The Darkness. I know so little about this band, it’s embarrassing. But I read the lyrics of the song, and felt like the feel of the music (not the video necessarily) and the lyrics seemed appropriate for Dodger. So, this week’s Tuesday Tunes, in honor of Dodger, is a little bit British Glam Rock for you.
I fell in love with Terry Pratchett’s humor and storytelling prowess when I read his Tiffany Aching series (book 1 is The Wee Free Men). He’s the type of author that has you laughing out loud and scratching your head throughout his books. (Side note: I have to admit I don’t love the Discworld books, however. I scratch my head more often than anything else with those. I guess I have a quirkiness tolerance level that just doesn’t reach that high.)
Dodger is Pratchett’s newest, and is a charming (and educational) addition to his body of work. The story is full of characters that will be familiar to you, both from history and literature (or, for some, from a Tim Burton film), and is told from the perspective of Dodger, a cunning and street-smart lad who works as a tosher in Victoria’s London. Dodger acts on a heroic impulse one night when he jumps to the aide of a woman who is being mercilessly beaten by a pair of roustabouts. The infuriated Dodger manages to land a few well-placed blows before the fellows disappear into the stormy darkness. When two gentlemen arrive mere moments later and offer to see the girl treated and protected, Dodger’s life is changed forever. He’s now on a mission to not only protect this poor girl, but also to avenge her. With the help of the gentlemen–most especially the sir named Charlie Dickens–Dodger sets out to solve the mystery of the girl’s identity and help her in any way he can.
The atmosphere of this book is so thick you feel like you can smell the sewage running down the London streets, and taste the filthy air in the back of your throat. The prose reads like watching a movie. You can see the smog, hear the delicate voices of the Lavender Girls, and feel the social tremors of change as Dodger appears in a new shonky shop suit, and chats with peelers. And by utilizing real-life characters and historical figures, Pratchett makes you feel like, just maybe, Dodger’s story is true. (He also inspires the urge to reread some of the works of Dickens, as you feel you know the fellow better after watching his adventures with your new favorite young tosher.)
I loved this book, and highly recommend it. It wasn’t (at least for me) one of those YA books you can blow through pretty quickly, as it’s full of rich language and detailed prose. It’s a refreshing jaunt into Dickensian England, which is, let’s face it, not an era often explored in YA. I give it a delightful four Yak Smacks.
Also, I’m including the book trailer here, just because it makes me giggle. It’s horribly cheesy–be warned–but is loveable nonetheless.
Tonight, we are headed to an advance screening of Beautiful Creatures!
Things I am most excited about:
1) The soundtrack. The fact that the used Florence + The Machine for one of the previews gives me high hopes for the actual film.
2) The setting. It was one of my favorite things about the book; everything is so southern and sexy and gothic. I really hope this translates to film
3) The cast. Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, and Jeremy FREAKING Irons are incredibly heavy-hitters and bring such depth to this cast. I can’t wait!
4) I’m going to tweet during the film. I have never actually done this. Mostly because I’m terrified of breaking rules or angering people around me. But I’m feeling brave today, so it’s going to happen.
Follow our twitter hashtag #BeautifulCreaturesCO (as in Colorado, yo.) We’ll tweet the experience for you!