Ragged Dick

ragged dickRagged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger, Jr., 2/5

Surprisingly, being a paedophile is not the fault that most disqualifies Alger from being an author of children’s books; he is also a terrible writer.  The story is unbearably preachy and contrived.  Its only merits are historical – documenting old time speech patterns and providing a interesting glimpse of a young New York City.  I wanted to give it 1/5, but decided to be more generous since some of its failings are simply common characteristics of 19th century literature and it was written for children, after all.

[Why I read it: the rest of my family read it and I had never come across anything by the author, though I recognised his name.]

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