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The Month Ahead: Books

Having put a fresh twist on the Artful Dodger in last year’s novel Dodger, British fantasist Terry Pratchett has revived the character for a children’s title called Dodger’s Guide to London. Here, some select lines from the new book.

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The Dodger on Crime
“Venturing into the alleys and courts of the East End, any stranger might expect to discover himself a possible victim of pickpockets, plus any number of tea leaves (thieves) who would be ready to nick a turnip off a stall, the laces out of your boots—or a shiny coin unwise enough to be looking for an adventure beyond its owner’s pocketbook.”

The Dodger on Cuisine

“For me and my chums, as we grew up, a belly full of food was always the reward for a good day’s begging, stealing or—if all else failed—earning. And did it really matter if the meat in the pie had a bit of what you might call a dubious origin? Though … I did tend to draw the line at eating anything that I’d have to nail down to stop it from actually running away.”

The Dodger on Haute Couture
“Like most everyone else I knew, I grew up thinking of clobber just as something necessary, to keep me dry—warm too, if possible. If I wanted to look really flash, well, there was always the shonky shops, but Solomon then introduced me to a world of nobby schmutter and it was like a new world. A tailor might always be just a tailor, and the rest just shine, but it’s a shine that is very shiny.” NOV. 21

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book“Summer heat poured into my body and rose from my face like a damp fever, turning the dust on my face into tears of mud. Then rain came once again and diluted the tears, softened the roads and deepened the ruts, until, once again, we were stuck.”
—From The Valley of Amazement, the new novel by Amy Tan NOV. 5

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