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Mr. Timothy

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Book Overview

From the author of Courting Mr. Lincoln comes a different kind of Christmas story featuring a grown up Tiny Tim, this breathless flight through the teeming markets, shadowy passageways, and rolling... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Entertaining follow-up to an old story (with a twist) (and, please don't read the Editorial Reviews,

Hopefully, you have not yet read the editorial reviews for this book. If you haven't, please don't do so. They share too much of the story, and are almost a spoiler. As you might know, the title of this book comes from Timothy Cratchit, the Little Timmy from Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Timothy is now a 22 year orphan and lives independently. He is not the cheery little kid from years ago, but kind of a bitter young man. Ebenezer Scrooge (known now as Uncle N), transformed by the Christmas incident of years ago, is a kind and caring old man, looking after Timothy and his siblings. With this background, Mr Bayard develops a mystery thriller. By random reasons, Timothy finds the bodies of two dead girls. Led by the suspicion that both deaths are related, and trying to protect a mysterious third girl he mets, he sets himself to find out what's going on. Who is killing the girls? Why? How to stop him or her? In summary, this is what this work is about. What I liked about this book? - It's a nice thriller. Not full of surprises but, in my opinion, solidly built. After a while you will not want to drop the book, you will want to get to the end and find out all about the crimes. - It's a creative work that takes well-known characters from Dickens and builds a new layer of personality above them (or, putting it in another way, uncovers to the reader some aspects of the characters' personality that were not explored by Dickens) - Mr Bayard has written it reflecting the language of the times. It creates an special ambiance for the book. What is it that I did not enjoy? - The first 80 pages required some extra effort on my part. It takes a while to get used to the language Mr Bayard used (which becomes a plus as the book builds the story). He also takes some time to set it up. As a result, it has a cumbersome and almost boring beginning. Get past through it, and the book becomes quite enjoyable. I recommend this book to anyone that: - Read A Christmas Carol and is open for a follow-up in which the characters have grown, gotten older and changed - Wants to read a fine thriller I only suggest you not to read it if you don't have the patience for the first 80 pages, or if you are not willing to see changes in the personalities of the old novel's characters. Good read!

A Dickensian treasure - charms and thrills at the same time!

Timothy Cratchitt, now fully grown with his crippling childhood infirmity reduced to a limp and a chronic ache in bad weather, is sadly mindful of his financial dependence on his uncle. Somewhat disappointed in himself for that, he lives in Mrs. Sharpe's brothel, earning his room and board by teaching the madam of the house how to read. He and his dear friend, Captain Gully, scrape together spending money by trolling the Thames for lost treasures and even by recovering the corpses of the odd suicide or murder victim. With the help of a brash, resourceful young street urchin, Colin the Melodious (who also happens to be an exceedingly talented boy treble), Timothy rescues Philomela, a terrified young Italian orphan girl, on the run from an unscrupulous aristocrat who runs a brutal child sex/slavery ring. Using Timothy's powerful and eloquent first person narration, Bayard pulls us relentlessly through a deeply atmospheric Victorian crime story that, oddly enough, will charm readers at the same time as it thrills and horrifies them. The charm arises out of Bayard permitting us to witness Timothy's personal growth as he sadly comes to a realization that, as a young crippled boy, he was entirely self-centred and self-pitying, unaware of his father's strength, self-sacrifice and intense devotion to his family. In an obvious reference to Mr. Timothy's forerunner, Dickens' Christmas Carol, Bayard uses the device of ghostly sightings of Timothy's father and conversations or letters to his deceased father to reveal Timothy's contemplations on his personality, the realization of the magnitude of his losses, the maturation of his relationship with his surviving family members and his uncle "Neezer" and, ultimately, the release of his father's spirit to its final happy rest. The thrills arise out of hair's breadth escapes, high speed chase scenes (believe it or not!), and Timothy's relentless pursuit of Philomela's abductors to the heart of a crime ring whose perversions will run chills up and down the spines of even the most-hardened readers! The story is driven by extraordinarily well-developed characters, realistic dialogue and quintessential 1860 Victorian London atmosphere and settings. As with any novel that purports to be fundamentally Dickensian in character, there are some positively hilarious comedic moments as well that, rather than distracting from the overall story, simply add to the astounding development of its characters. This novel is a treasure! Paul Weiss

Not A Christmas Carol. . .but Excellent

It is a risky and difficult task to take on a famous piece of literature. Everyone who falls in love with a book likes to imagine how the story continues after the author decides to leave it. A writer who challenges a reader's imagination does so at his own risk. Failures are legion. But that is just what Louis Bayard has decided to do with Mr. Timothy, a novel based on characters from Dickens' A Christmas Carol.As the title suggests, the story focuses on Tiny Tim Cratchit, now grown-up and healthy except for occasional twinges in the leg and a slight limp. Despite the support of the still living and reformed Scrooge, Tim is cast adrift upon the death of his father, Bob, and has thrown his lot in with a group of prostitutes where he earns his room & board by teaching the madam to read and write. While there, he becomes entangled with a young, troubled girl. In the process of trying to save the girl he discovers a ring of slavery and murder.It's quite a plot!--not original but deftly handled and interesting mainly because of the risks he takes with character. Here are characters we know--the Cratchits, Scrooge--who Bayard has made his own without losing touch with the foundations Dickens has laid. Despite the happy ending we might have imagined at the end of A Christmas Carol, Bayard has not hesitated handing around death, weakness and despair to the Cratchits along with strength and goodness. He is not catering to his readers but challenging them, particularly rabid Dickens fans like myself, and he succeeds. Whatever I ultimately felt about the plot, I totally believed that this is what could have become of the Cratchits. Because of that, I enjoyed this novel immensely.And Bayard has added a cast of new characters almost Dickensian in scope and many--Gully, Colin, Philomela, and a host of others--just as memorable. Intertwining these characters and their stories with reminiscences of how the Cratchits got from Dickens to now, Bayard has created a powerful piece of fiction. Having no knowledge of Bayard's other work, I had no idea what to expect from him but I am very pleased with the result and I think any reader, Dickens fan or not, will find a good read here.

dark Victorian Gothic

Tiny Tim is tiny no longer. He is a twenty-three year old man who no longer needs a crutch to walk. The only sign of his childhood malady is a pronounced limp that hurts at certain times of the years. Haunted by his father's death, he has distanced himself from the rest of the Cratchits and even his uncle Ebenezer Scrooge. He lives in a brothel teaching the madam how to read and when his money runs out, he looks for treasures to be found in the Thames River at low tide.One day he finds the dead bodies of two young girls that have a brand on their upper arm, the same type that he saw on a dead child in a London alleyway. When Philomela, a ten year old girl, comes into his life trying to escape a wealthy and powerful aristocrat, Timothy finds that to keep his own humanity he must rescue her from those who branded her and put them out of business.This dark Victorian Gothic is a moving and powerful tale of where good and evil resides side by side in London of 1860. Louis Bayard has written an outstanding morality thriller that has Mr. Timothy risking his own life, time and time again to help a poor and helpless orphaned girl who is already hardened by the knocks life has thrown at her. Timothy finds an unexpectedly ally in a street smart urchin who is wise beyond his years and refuses to let the evil that lurks around each corner get a grip on him.Harriet Klausner

One Dickens of a Tale!

As readers or, like myself, avowed non-readers of the various novels that purport to be sequels to the great novels (think "Scarlett") can attest, it is usually a fool's errand to attempt such a thing. But, once in a great while, o.k., probably never before, someone pulls off the trick. That someone is Louis Bayard. Mr. Timothy is, as we realize early on, none other than Tiny Tim Cratchitt, all grown up under the, probably less than we expected, tutelage of his "Uncle" N (for "neezer). He is, at 23 trying to find himself after a life less than splendid, by taking up living quarters in a brothel in the seedier section of London (No, don't bother re-reading that. You read it correctly the first time.) Into his life comes, among other things, a child thief not unlike a certain "dodger", a frightened (and with good reason) 10 year old Italian girl, several corrupt policemen, a one-handed body retriever, a "Columbo"-lik detective, and some of the most horrendous villains ever written. All of this is recounted in almost magical prose, with a period feel that few other modern authors even approach. "Mr. Timothy" may not be anyone's original idea of how "A Christmas Carol" might continue, but it is absolutely true to the realities of the time and place in which it occured. Indeed, its portrait of London and its people are nothing short of Dickensian. Read this, savor it, and then... readit again!
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