Fiction Louis Bayard Mr. Timothy: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060534226

Mr. Timothy: A Novel

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9780060534226: Mr. Timothy: A Novel

It's the Christmas season, and Mr. Timothy Cratchit, not the pious child the world thought he was, has just buried his father. He's also struggling to bury his past as a cripple and shed his financial ties to his benevolent "Uncle" Ebenezer by losing himself in the thick of London's underbelly. He boards at a brothel in exchange for teaching the mistress how to read and spends his nights dredging the Thames for dead bodies and the treasures in their pockets.

Timothy's life takes a sharp turn when he discovers the bodies of two dead girls, each seared with the same cruel brand on the upper arm. The sight of their horror-struck faces compels Timothy to become the protector of another young girl, Philomela, from the fate the others suffered at the hands of a dangerous and powerful man.

A different kind of Christmas story, this breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling brown fog of 1860s London would do Dickens proud for its surprising twists and turns, and its extraordinary heart.

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Review:

Tiny Tim is back! No, not the squeaky-voiced troubadour who tip-toed through tulips in the 1960s, but the original--Timothy Cratchit, the crutch-wielding tyke from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Only now he's a "mostly able-bodied" 23 years old, resides in a London whorehouse in exchange for tutoring the madam, struggles to wean himself from financial dependence on his ancient "Uncle" Ebenezer Scrooge, and, as we learn in Louis Bayard's darkly enchanting historical thriller, Mr. Timothy, is haunted by the spirit of his late father--a man whose optimism and strength the son feels himself incapable of imitating.

When we first encounter Timothy, during the Christmas season of 1860, he's vexed by the discovery of two dead 10-year-old girls, each branded with the letter "G"--one found in an alley, the other fished from the Thames River by Cratchit and a voluble old salt who makes his money by finding (and then robbing, of course) errant corpses. Timothy's concern leads him to protect a third possessively marked waif, the frightened and suspicious Philomela--who, he soon realizes, is being sought by a knife-loving former Scotland Yard inspector and a moneyed, malevolent voluptuary. When, despite precautions, Philomela is kidnapped by her pursuers, Cratchit--assisted by a shrewd warbling urchin known as Colin the Melodious--resolves to fulfill his "great calling" in life by mounting a rescue. However, this mission will force the habitually uncourageous Timothy to not only defend himself against sexual molestation charges, storm a well-guarded mansion, and solve the puzzle of a coffin-filled basement, but also engage in a nightmarish final chase along London's docklands.

Authors employing real-life characters as detectives are often hampered by their adherence to historical fact. Bayard suffers no such limitations in imagining what fates awaited Dickens's now-famous fictional figures. Under his pen, Scrooge--whose rooms are decorated for Christmas year-round--becomes an eccentric collector of fungi and host to an interminable stream of charity solicitors, while Timothy Cratchit strikes out beyond his lonely young man status to become the head of an unconventional clan. Bayard's appreciation for the lurid exoticness of Victorian London rivals that of John MacLachlan Gray (The Fiend in Human), while his lyrical prose subtly suggests 19th-century influences. Mr. Timothy is at once a compelling Christmas crime yarn and an audacious literary endeavor. No humbug there. --J. Kingston Pierce

About the Author:

A writer, book reviewer, and the author of Mr. Timothy and The Pale Blue Eye, Louis Bayard has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Salon.com, among other media outlets. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Perennial ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. It s the Christmas season, and Mr. Timothy Cratchit, not the pious child the world thought he was, has just buried his father. He s also struggling to bury his past as a cripple and shed his financial ties to his benevolent Uncle Ebenezer by losing himself in the thick of London s underbelly. He boards at a brothel in exchange for teaching the mistress how to read and spends his nights dredging the Thames for dead bodies and the treasures in their pockets. Timothy s life takes a sharp turn when he discovers the bodies of two dead girls, each seared with the same cruel brand on the upper arm. The sight of their horror-struck faces compels Timothy to become the protector of another young girl, Philomela, from the fate the others suffered at the hands of a dangerous and powerful man. A different kind of Christmas story, this breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling brown fog of 1860s London would do Dickens proud for its surprising twists and turns, and its extraordinary heart. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060534226

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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Perennial ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. It s the Christmas season, and Mr. Timothy Cratchit, not the pious child the world thought he was, has just buried his father. He s also struggling to bury his past as a cripple and shed his financial ties to his benevolent Uncle Ebenezer by losing himself in the thick of London s underbelly. He boards at a brothel in exchange for teaching the mistress how to read and spends his nights dredging the Thames for dead bodies and the treasures in their pockets. Timothy s life takes a sharp turn when he discovers the bodies of two dead girls, each seared with the same cruel brand on the upper arm. The sight of their horror-struck faces compels Timothy to become the protector of another young girl, Philomela, from the fate the others suffered at the hands of a dangerous and powerful man. A different kind of Christmas story, this breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling brown fog of 1860s London would do Dickens proud for its surprising twists and turns, and its extraordinary heart. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060534226

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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Perennial ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. It s the Christmas season, and Mr. Timothy Cratchit, not the pious child the world thought he was, has just buried his father. He s also struggling to bury his past as a cripple and shed his financial ties to his benevolent Uncle Ebenezer by losing himself in the thick of London s underbelly. He boards at a brothel in exchange for teaching the mistress how to read and spends his nights dredging the Thames for dead bodies and the treasures in their pockets. Timothy s life takes a sharp turn when he discovers the bodies of two dead girls, each seared with the same cruel brand on the upper arm. The sight of their horror-struck faces compels Timothy to become the protector of another young girl, Philomela, from the fate the others suffered at the hands of a dangerous and powerful man. A different kind of Christmas story, this breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling brown fog of 1860s London would do Dickens proud for its surprising twists and turns, and its extraordinary heart. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780060534226

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