Dodger (Terry Pratchett)
The first non-discworld book of Pratchett’s I’ve read since Good Omens. I was interested to see how he’d fare, and the answer is just as well as ever. This, however, is not necessarily a good thing. I enjoyed the book and it was certainly readable, but repetition of expressions which may seem like continuity and tradition when placed in the same universe come across as lazy writing when highlighted by being removed from that place.
Pratchett uses identical language to describe the Thames as he does the River Ankh in Discworld; true that the latter was inspired by the former, but the trend continues with the smell of Onan the Dog of London being described identically to that of Foul Ole Ron of Ankh Morpork. He’s the same writer, and stylistic similarities are to be expected, but the new setting highlights that over the years he has fallen into habits which speak of an indulgent fondness for pet-phrases which, while exciting and witty when new, fondly remembered when seen again, are a little tired when played out and repeated in a new landscape.
Dodger was fun to read, but the only time the plot surprised me was when twists I had expected, surely, to come, were instead forfeited for the sake of going exactly where we had been lead. A bit of a disappointment.