First Among Sequels

First Among Sequels I was really scared to read this one because so many readers seem to dislike it, even those people who enjoyed the first four books in the series, and I didn t want to feel disappointed I m not sure why so many readers don t like this one I was into it right from the start So what if this book isn t plot heavy but there is a story plot I love hanging out in this alternative world with Thursday and the other characters I especially enjoyed the parts about the kids.Fforde is unbelievably witty, smart, imaginative, subversive, astute, perspicacious I could go on and on and on.Just about every page had something that tickled my funny bone.I got a huge kick out of what he says about the roles readers play I just loved it I loved all the digs about modern life and trends and pop culture The material about reality shows reduction in reading rates were so spot on And, The Sound of Music movie reference I found amusing because it is my favorite movie And, for probably the first time I was glad that I d read Cold Comfort Farm The Pride and Prejudice stuff was great as well.There were a couple of ingenious twists that made me go back and reread sections which I decided to do while I was still reading the book, and I m glad that I did.Fforde makes great use of the previous books in the series as a part of this book.As usual, I think it s imperative to read series books in order so I would definitely recommend reading the first four before this one I m really looking forward to book six.I m also really looking forward to his upcoming book Shades of Grey but I m not that compelled to start the nursery crime series, but I might give those books a try too. It S Been Fourteen Years Since Thursday Pegged Out At TheSuperHoop, And Friday Is Now A Difficult Sixteen Year Old However, Thursday S Got Bigger Problems Sherlock Holmes Is Killed At The Reichenbach Falls And His Series Is Stopped In Its Tracks And Before This Can Be Corrected, Miss Marple Dies Suddenly In A Car Accident, Bringing Her Series To A Close As Well When Thursday Receives A Death Threat Clearly Intended For Her Written Self, She Realizes What S Going On There Is A Serial Killer On The Loose In The Bookworld And That S Not All The Goliath Corporation Is Trying To Deregulate Book Travel Naturally, Thursday Must Travel To The Outer Limits Of Acceptable Narrative Possibilities To Triumph Against Increasing Odds Actually,like 1.5 stars somewhere between didn t like it and OK I certainly didn t hate it, but I didn t derive much pleasure from reading it, either.While I enjoyed the prior four books in this series, this one fell short Much of the cleverness that made Fforde s other books so delightful has been sucked out of this book.The that that that that bit in Well of Lost Plots was a bit of brilliance This book s brilliance, unfortunately, has been reduced to something comparable to an old, buzzing, fluorescent tube it s just kind of dreary.If you were to pick up this book without having read the prior ones in the series, you d be really lost If you are a Fforde junkie, and have read all his prior Thursday Next books and need a fix, well, go ahead and read it The joy of connecting with your favorite characters may be enough to carry you through But really, that s where the joy is in this book derived from the prior ones in the series This is certainly not a stand alone book And from the number of loose ends left hanging at the end, I m supposing there arecoming. Probably my least favorite of the Thursday Next series so far It seemed less coherent andbogged down with explanation than the rest While there were a few exciting parts near the end, I did not enjoy it as much as The Eyre Affair and others in the series. I have to say, I still enjoy these I don t know that they are as shiny and new as when Jasper Fforde was a discovery, but I do enjoy them I felt like the one before this was a bit muddy, if I remember correctly it was a while ago , but First Among Sequels is a thoroughly fun addition to the Thursday Next series I really never get tired of Fforde s voice That s what it comes down to, in the end.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook If I have ever read araucous and joyful ode to reading than Jasper Fforde s Thursday Next series, then I have long forgotten it Set in a fantastical alternate Britain, the series heroine is the titular Next who is a member of the Literary Detectives, a government organization that combats book crime, such as, say, the unlawful editing of books How can such events occur Well as it happens, what is written in books exists in it own dimension and if you were to enter that dimension, you could say, leech all the comedy out of the Thomas Hardy books and make them terrible tragedies, as some nasty did in these books.Did that last bit make you chuckle or leave you confused If it is the former, these books are for you In addition to being entirely about books and reading, these stories are marked by an unrelenting tide of jokes I can think of few books that I want to read that I can also call madcap, but this is certainly one One scene features a Beatrix Potter character conversing with a Ming the Merciless clone, over tea It is a mark of Fforde s skill as a writer in that he can be so incredibly silly, while also sucking you into the often nonsensical story.His latest book in the series, Thursday Next, First Among Sequels, may be his most enjoyable yet Flinging from one crisis to another, Next deals with as usual threats to the BookWorld, the universe, declining read rates, her family and to her pet Dodo genetically re engineered, wouldn t you know The pacing is among the most relentless in this volume, so that if one joke or encounter leaves you a bit dry, you will soon find another.While I won t stoop to spoiling, I will say that this is a series that can read out of order if you so chose Yes, certain personages fates will be known to you, but like as not, they have changed in bizarre ways, so that you will be surprised nonetheless The fun here is in Fforde s seemingly bottomless invention and literary referencing If you are an inveterate reader, then you need to try these books. Thursday Next is now in her 40s, has a slacker son named Friday who sleeps until noon is and is suppose to save the world in the future Plus she is tasked to train Thursday 5 and Thursday 1 4, literary versions of herself all the while working for Acme Carpet Company, now a cover for Spec Ops Jasper Fforde once again invents a wild tale of the literary world. 2.5Incredibly enough, reality TV has just got worse Is that possible I asked Wasn t Celebrity Trainee Pathologist the pits I thought for a moment Actually, Whose Life Support Do We Switch Off was worse Or maybe Sell Your Granny Wow, the choice these days makes it all so tricky to decide Bowden laughed I ll agree that Granny lowered the bar for distasteful programme makers everywhere, but RTA TV, never one to shirk from a challenge, have devised Samaritan Kidney Swap Ten renal failure patients take it in turns to convince a tissue typed donor and the voting viewers which one should have his spare kidney I groaned Reality TV was to me the worst form of entertainment the modern equivalent of paying sixpence to watch lunatics howling at the walls down at the local madhouse I shook my head sadly What s wrong with a good book I asked.Indeed What is wrong with a good book This question goes to the heart of the plot of First Among Sequels A plot, I should add, that doesn t actually become clear until well into the second third of the book, which for an impatient and plot loving reader like me, made for rather frustrating reading of most of the book.Multiple storylines were hinted at throughout the book, but only a few, were actually followed through with in this installment of the Thursday Next series, and one that grabbed my interest in particular was revealed to be addressed only in the next book That is, maybe If the author can be bothered to remember.It s the same situation again as with one of the main twists the one relating to Pickwick in Lost in a Good Book book 2 in the series , which is not actually addressed again until Something Rotten book 4 I understand that this structuring of the story is supposed to keep the series alive, but it makes for a rather unsatisfying reading experience, especially so when most of the book just feels like a filler until the next installment.What adds to my disappointment with the book is that Fforde changed some of the characters, and it is not clear if this was by design so it fits with the amended backstory view spoiler where Thursday is now the author of books 1 through 4 , hide spoiler Thursday s back, in the first installment of her second four book series how I d missed her.Familiar ground is less familiar than I might have expected It s 14 years later, SpecOps has been disbanded, and Thursday is working at a carpet company while England s love of reading so prominent and charming in the world of the first series has plummeted so far that bookstores no longer sell books and reality TV has resorted to titles like Samaritan Kidney Swap It takes a couple of chapters for one to get a footing.All the old characters make an appearance, though, albeit usually brief ones, and the new characters in particular, Thursday s kids are engaging Probably the ones with the most page time are still Thursday but the fictional Thursdays from the books written based on her experiences This, you might imagine, gets evenmeta than usual, as Thursday in the Bookworld mucks about with the first four books we ve already read and one we haven t.As usual, the plot threads are myriad The main plot involves a drastic plan to raise Outlander reading rates by turning the classics into interactive reality TV, but there are also bits about Felix8 s return, Aornis s imprisonment, the evaluation and training of potential new Jurisfiction agents, and a really dangerous cheese.Still, it s not my favorite Thursday book by a long shot For one thing, it feels rushed as it probably should, since it was written in seven months , which might explain why the Hodder first edition is missing all footnotes in another book, that might not necessarily be a real problem, narrative wise, but when Next communicates with Bookworld inhabititants via footnoterphone, we re literally missing half the conversation For another, the dangling plot points feeldangly than in previous books, probably because Fforde knows he has threebooks in which to tie them to something, but it does hurt the novel s feel as a finished work unto itself.Overall, I enjoyed it, but it s clearly not Fforde s best And now that he s apparently committed to Thursday for his next three novels, I find myself craving another Nursery Crime book.

Thursday Next

[Reading] ➶ First Among Sequels  By Jasper Fforde –
  • Hardcover
  • 363 pages
  • First Among Sequels
  • Jasper Fforde
  • English
  • 11 May 2019
  • 9780670038718

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