The Printer's Devil

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Overview

The notorious inhabitants of London's criminal underworld are all in a day's work for Mog, the young printer's apprentice, who prints their WANTED posters. But then a real-life meeting with a genuine convict entangles Mog in a secret scheme that has all the crooks of the city at each others' throats.

An ingenious theft, a series of mistaken identities, and a chilling murder all connect to a ship just docked from India, and Mog's own mysterious past... Evoking Philip Pullman, ...

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The Printer's Devil

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Overview

The notorious inhabitants of London's criminal underworld are all in a day's work for Mog, the young printer's apprentice, who prints their WANTED posters. But then a real-life meeting with a genuine convict entangles Mog in a secret scheme that has all the crooks of the city at each others' throats.

An ingenious theft, a series of mistaken identities, and a chilling murder all connect to a ship just docked from India, and Mog's own mysterious past... Evoking Philip Pullman, Caleb Carr, and Charles Dickens, first-time writer Paul Bajoria's original voice and vivid, suspenseful storytelling will enchant young readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Orphaned as an infant, 12-year-old Mog Winter is the devil of the title, apprenticed to a printer in Victorian-era London. "Though readers will likely rejoice at a happy conclusion, they may also feel frustrated about the numerous threads left hanging at the end of this one," PW wrote. Ages 8-12. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Life as an orphan in lower-class Victorian England offers few opportunities. A not-so-nice London is corrupt with smugglers, convicts and murderers. But twelve-year-old Mog Winter feels fortunate to be a printer's devil, the name given to an apprentice doing the dirty work, because he can read, has a room to himself, a fair boss, and a dog named Lash. When a local convict breaks out of jail, Mog is instructed to print the Wanted posters. Little does he know he will soon cross paths with the escapee and become entangled in a shady underworld web of mistaken identity and thievery. Mog is soon hunted by an army of unsavory characters and it is either derail the hunt or perish. Not only does Mog discover what he is made of, he also stumbles into a mystery from his own past. The author paints a believable lower-class setting around London's shipping society and its influential elements. The writing is masterful and the underlying humor will bring chuckles, but after saying this, I do need to caution that some younger readers may find the story a bit sluggish at first and the slow pacing more in line with books written for older readers. 2005, Little Brown and Company, Ages 8 to 12.
—Robyn Gioia
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-A lively Dickensian adventure story in the style of Leon Garfield or Joan Aiken. Twelve-year-old Mog, an orphan, has a steady job as an apprentice printer, also called a printer's devil. After a mysterious ship called the Sun of Calcutta sails into port with an unknown but valuable cargo, he witnesses an act of thievery on the docks. Intrigued by the nature of the theft and the nasty characters involved, he investigates and meets Nick, a boy who looks so much like him that the two are often mistaken for one another. The new friends become enmeshed in an ever-deepening mystery that includes their own pasts. Like a penny dreadful, the book employs stock characters for minor roles while allowing the heroes adequate depth and character. The novel is better suited for those older children who are able to keep up with the ever-shifting loyalties and boundless characters introduced on every other page. Though the tale is enjoyable and always surprising, readers may find themselves disappointed with the scant answers at the end (not to mention the rather significant plot gaps). Large collections will want this title by a new British writer and those libraries needing to upgrade their action/adventure series might want to give it a shot.-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Roving the reeking back streets of Victorian London, a printer's apprentice falls into a bewildering-to readers, at least-tangle of corruption, crime, deceit, betrayal and murder. A case of mistaken identity and an ominous overheard conversation send young Mog into a brutal underworld where thugs war over a shipment of a new, potent drug from India. Carrying a personal secret, anticlimactically revealed partway through, Mog survives repeated brushes with violence, forms an uneasy alliance with a previously unsuspected twin, slips briefly backward in time (or maybe not) and catches tantalizing hints of family tragedy-all on the way to a wild climax that thins the supporting cast considerably, but leaves the waters still thoroughly muddy. Bajoria provides a suitably atmospheric setting, a whiff of the supernatural and plenty of cliffhangers, but leaves so many dots unconnected that the tale needs a sequel to prop it up. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419366239
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

Paul Bajoria is a writer and producer for BBC Radio 4. He was born in 1964 to a British mother and an Indian father, and grew up in the North East of England. He took English degrees at Oxford and Toronto universities, and began working for the BBC as a local radio reporter in 1989. He lives in Northumberland with his partner and their two young children. The Printer's Devil is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2011

    this book kept me on my toes

    this book was very good. THe only thing i didn't like about this book was the part where mog reveals something that completely throws the plot off. The way the author described the setting and people needed some work also, but it was still easyish to picture. The characters were hilarious and the fact that there was a character through the whole boo kthat could be trusted really surprised me in a good way. This book is completely appropriate for kids in every way. There is nothing in this boo kthat is too innapropriate, or that the adults in the kids life couldn't answer. I think kids would learn from this boo kthat you have to choose what is right and what is easy and to not meddle into other peoples buisness. I would reccommend this book to people who want to read their kids this before bed or to have a group read in a classroom. or like me, just for fun

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    A great book if you love adventure

    The Printer's Devil is a great book about an orphan who works in a printing shop and lives with his dog, Lash. While delivering a letter Mog (the name of the orphan) gets involved with many of London's criminals. It is full of mystery, suspense,adventure and surprises and was a great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2008

    Wonderful!!! Keeps you on the edge of your seat.

    A wonderful book by a new author. The book is full of suspense. I read it at bedtime to my 11 year old son, and when he went to sleep I would keep on reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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