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5.0 out of 5 starsOh Mr Timothy, my how you have grown...
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2019
I loved this book and found the premise fascinating. We now see Tiny Tim grown at the age of three and twenty and what a story he has to tell us. The prose is wonderful, the tale exciting and the imagination of Mr Bayard had me weeping, laughing out loud and wishing this was just the beginning of Mr Timothy's life adventures. There were other characters in the book I would love to follow as they travel life's highway and truly hated to finish the book. Bravo Mr Bayard, you did a most fantastic job and I look forward to reading more of your work.
5.0 out of 5 starsNot a sequel or parody or mash up but a work of fiction that stands on its own.
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2015
The description on the back of the book tells you "Mr Timothy Cratchit, not the pious child the world thought he was..." and we're off. Bayard appropriates Dickens' classic tale to create his own. It's not a deconstruction or telling of a familiar story from a different point of view like Wide Sargasso Sea. Nor is it a mash up, though it does have added genre elements and works as a literary thriller. Instead it takes the story we know and riffs on it, incorporating a few familiar characters now grown up, and a different point of view on events in the past to spin off a new and very different tale, set years later in a world that is beginning to change, but is still one where poverty is rampant, usually inescapable, and often a death sentence.
5.0 out of 5 starsTakes you back to turn of the last century London
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2018
Mr. Timothy is a well written thriller set Dicken's London. The grown up Tiny Tim has grown up bitter and dark. The loss of his mother and father is something that he can barely come to grips with and it has left him miserable. He stumbles into a human trafficking crime ring set in the nasty, gritty setting of London at the turn of the century. The one thing that bothered me about this story was the occasional long-winded prose, but it doesn't take too much from the overall story. Definitely a page turner and recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars") and this book doesn't disappoint. It takes place in foggy 1860's London
Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2016
I'm a huge fan of Louis Bayard (read "The Pale Blue Eye!") and this book doesn't disappoint. It takes place in foggy 1860's London. and Mr. Timothy Cratchit, hasn't turned out quite as chipper as when he was a boy with Uncle Scrooge. Murder, mystery and mayhem cloak this wonderfully dark novel. One of the best winter books to cozy up to, in a shadowy alleyway, or better by the fire, with goblet of mead.
Just kidding...i don't think louis bayard is a thief for taking the characters from 'a christmas carol' and creating a sequel. Afterall, scrooge is a minor character here and tiny tim's 'not so tiny any more, that's a fact.' Bayard expands from the point of what became of timothy cratchit after scrooge's conversion. He was as good as his word and looked after his clerk's children, especially timothy, who got all the best doctors, private teachers, and a regular allowance, even in his adulthood. The stipend does not allow luxury, but gives Timothy a rather leisurely life. so what does become of tiny tim? he still has a limp, lives in a brothel, and has become the protector of a reluctant young girl, who apparently has come to the attention of a pedophile ring. for allies, timothy has colin the melodious (ok, maybe bayard did steal the artful dodger and renamed him) and a one-handed sailor named gully. his father has recently died, but timothy still sees his ghost (or at least thinks he does). Timothy is a torn character: he knows he is fortunate to have scrooge as his benefactor, but at the same time abhors his reliance on him; he misses his father, but also remembers his faults. Bayard pulls you in thinking everything must have turned out rosy, but it's not so. I was thoroughly engrossed with this book. I think he captured 1860's london wonderfully. His characters, each and everyone, is fully depicted and engaging. And the book is full of mystery and thrills besides. A masterful work...i hope timothy's adventures continue.
5.0 out of 5 starsNot A Christmas Carol. . .but Excellent
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2003
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.
Well....here's Tiny Tim as you could never have imagined! The crutches have gone and he's spending his time dredging the Thames for dead bodies, and the loot in their pockets. Uncle Ebenezer is still there keeping an eye on him, but he only plays a small part in this Dickensian atmospheric mystery. I did have my doubts early on in this book, as the story was taking it's time to gel, and Tim's chit chat with his dead father was a little weird. But I must say that I was finally brought back on course by the likeability of the characters, which are nicely drawn, and the dingy, foggy atmosphere gradually seeps into your bloodstream. Yeah...worth a crack!