I could say this is a return to form for Fforde because I haven t enjoyed a book of his this much since Something Rotten I disliked First Amongst Sequels and felt lukewarm about the two books in the Nursery Crime series but this book is a lot different than the other books in the Thursday Next series It may be the most metafictional commercial fiction book ever written The other books in the series seemed like they were written for those who were big readers, but this one also feels like a writer s book Thursday Next isn t actually the protagonist in this one Instead, the protagonist is a woman who plays her in the books in the series I mentioned that it was very meta Also, this book explores BookWorld in much detail than any of the books that have come before it.Although I enjoyed the book immensely, my quibbles were its convoluted plot and massive cast of characters It was often difficult to keep track of who was who Maybe it would have been easier if I had read the other books in the series recently considering the book seems to feature nearly all of the characters from the other books, along with many new ones. rubs handies together haha there is a map of Fiction Island at the front This book has been bundled with SPECIAL FEATURES including The Making of wordamentary, deleted scenes, alternative endings and much.So this is how it startsThe BookWorld RemadeEveryone remembers where they were when the BookWorld was remade I was at home resting between readings , which is a polite euphemism for almost remaindered.and this is how it ends Humans, said Sprockett, are the most gloriously bizarre creatures Yes, I said with a smile, they certainly are This year s Fforde Ffiesta in Swindon is 28 29 May 2011. The Newest Tour De Force From The New York Times Bestselling Author Of Thursday Next And Shades Of Grey Jasper Fforde S Exuberant Return To The Fantastical BookWorld Opens During A Time Of Great Unrest All Out Genre War Is Rumbling, And The BookWorld Desperately Needs A Heroine Like Thursday Next But With The Real Thursday Apparently Retired To The Realworld, The Council Of Genres Turns To The Written Thursday The Council Wants Her To Pretend To Be The Real Thursday And Travel As A Peacekeeping Emissary To The Warring Factions A Trip Up The Mighty Metaphoric River Beckons A Trip That Will Reveal A Fiendish Plot That Threatens The Very Fabric Of The BookWorld Itself Once Again New York Times Bestselling Author Jasper Fforde Has A Field Day Gleefully Blending Satire, Romance, And Thriller With Literary Allusions Galore In A Fantastic Adventure Through The Landscape Of A Frisky And Fertile Imagination Fans Will Rejoice That Their Favorite Character In The Fforde Universe Is Back Watch A Video I really enjoy Jasper Fforde s romps through BookWorld Call me a book nerd, but I just really enjoy it The Thursday Next series is awesome, and this book is no exception It s set from the point of view of the Written Thursday Next, who is trying to find the RealWorld Thursday Next Some quotes that entertain my dorky, readerly sense of humor p 4 I opened the door to find three Dostogerskivites staring at me from within a dense cloud of moral relativism p 7 Not many people traveled to the RealWorld, and those who did generally noted two things one, that it was hysterically funny and hideously tragic in almost equal measure, and two, that there were far domestic cats than baobobs, when it should probably be the other way around p 13 About ten degrees upslope of Fiction, I could see our nearest neighbor Artistic Criticism It was an exceptionally beautiful island, yet deeply troubled, confused and suffused with a blanketing layer of almost impenetrable bullshit But the brightest and biggest archipelago I could see upon the closed sea was the scattered group of genres that made up Nonfiction On one side of the island the Cliffs of Irrationality were slowly being eroded away, while on the opposite shore the Sands of Science were slowly reclaiming salt marsh from the sea p 52 What s it like living in Vanity We tend not to use the term Vanity any It sounds derogatory We refer to it as Self Published or Collaborative, and you d be surprised just how much good prose is interspersed with that of an uneven nature This was true Beatrix Potter, Keats and George Eliot had all been self published, as was the first issue of Alice in Wonderland I looked across to where the island of Vanity lay just off the coast beyond the Cliff of Notes p 69 She wasn t the only one to be physically morphed by reader expectation Miss Havisham was now elderly whether she liked it or not, and Sherlock Holmes wore a deerstalker and smoked a ridiculously large pipe The problem wasn t just confined to the classics Harry Potter was seriously pissed off that he d have to spend the rest of his life looking like Daniel Radcliffe p 133 The less people who know, the better Fewer The fewer people who know, the better That s what I meant That s what who meant Wait who s speaking now I don t know You must know Damn It must be me you wouldn t say Damn, would you I might We both stood there for an empty moment, waiting for either a speech marker or a descriptive line It was one of those things that happened every now and again in BookWorld akin to an empty, pregnant silence in the middle of an Outland dinner party The cabbie made some inquiries and found that a truckload of their had collided with a trailer containing there going in the opposite direction and had spread there contents across the road Their will be a few hiccups after that, said the cabbie, and I agreed Homophone mishaps often seeped out into the real world and infected the Outlanders, causing theire to be all manner of confusion p 188 There is much unexplained in the world It behooves one to be wary at all times Just when you think you ve got the hang of it, along comes string theory, collateralized debt obligations or Bjork s new album, and bam You re as confused as you were when you first started. How often does a popular series switch out the protagonist in Book 6 I can t think of another example Jasper Fforde is a very clever, imaginative, witty and playful writer Books 1 3 in this Thursday Next series are brilliant Book 4 was very good, but not quite as sparkling Book 5, the last in the series before this, was the weakest by a considerable margin It felt flatter than what had gone before Has he lost it I worried Does this mark the beginning of the end I fretted.Then came his marvellous Shades of Grey not part of this series unfortunately released just prior to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, making it the most retrospectively the worst titled book in years sorry, Jasper Regardless of the title, that book is a peach very different to his usual style, but a real gem.But still I found myself nervous returning to the Thursday Next series I ordered this one in and my wife started reading it, but she couldn t get into it and dropped out after 100 pages or so but she is pregnant again and has the attention span of a gnat with ADHD So at Chapter 1, I was sceptical.Then I realised that he d switched out the protagonist which made me sceptical, it seemed a bit of a gamble, an admission that he d run out of ideas with Thursday and needed to do something big to freshen it up.I mean can you imagine Rowling focusing a book on a random character like Luna s POV Or Butcher doing a Dresden file about Sanya What allows Fforde to get away with it is the specifics of the trade, his layered conceptual world building, and a certain amount of sheer ballsiness.The Thursday Next books are all about book hopping Being able to jump into the world of a book, and the world of the Great Library that links them all together In OoOTIM which doesn t exactly flow as an acronym , Fforde reboots the book world into a whole globe of genre islands, rather than a symbolic library And then he takes the idea that someone has written books about the adventures of Thursday Next, which means there is now a Real Thursday, and the Fictional Thursday who acts her in the book The main plot of this book is the idea that the Real Thursday has gone missing, and Fictional Thursday is drawn into her world, trying to track her down, and as nobody can tell them apart impersonating Real Thursday to try save the day.There s a fair amount of identity crisis played I am a really Fictional Thursday, or am I Real Thursday who thinks she s Fictional Thursday But there s also a rather wonderful meta text spin thing going on It s clear at the beginning that the books about Real Thursday which have been written within the universe, which Fictional Thursday acts in, are not the same books which we, the readers, have read up to this point So we ve got multiple layers of Thursday s Story but Fictional Thursday is, by various means, making changes to the story she acts, to make them closer to the truth of the versions we ve read If that sounds like a head spinner, when I got the gist of where he was going with it the Toast Marketing Board it put a delighted smile on my face.I m not sure how well I ve conveyed the cleverness but the overall tone and style is playful and witty near death experience via mime, pompous dodo, clockwork butler sidekick, the real name of Jack Schitt there s a lot of good scenes to carry the clever ideas.So yeah If you ve never read any Thursday Next books don t start here but if you dropped the series after Book 5 like me please take this as a hearty reassurance that the man has got his mojo back.After this I read The Long Goodbye Oh, I just loved this book From beginning to its very wonderful end.I m in love with Jasper Fforde He s got a brilliant imagination and he s hilarious, so wickedly funny At first I was puzzled and missed the real Thursday and the real Pickwick, but I quickly got on board with this romp I ended up loving the written Thursday and I loved Sprockett, her butler I got reminded of the previous books as I read, especially in the little blurbs that start each chapter.A fun and clever book A great comfort read and a perfect escape book For me, a major mood booster too.I love the book world and I adore maps And at the beginning of the book there is a map of fiction island and it s incredibly entertaining I referred to it frequently, as much as I do maps of actual places when I read non fiction and historical fiction books I appreciated that clowns were placed in the horror genre and the sub islands are a particular delight In addition to the map, there are also several other drawings by Fforde.In this book, Fforde manages to poke fun at everything from teenagers to Rubik s Cubes, including books, genres, self publishing, fan fiction, movies, television, technology, and so much else about life, including the whole world and all people, and in this book an awful lot about e books, and his own previous Thursday Next books too, and all of it so amusing It s a blast to read I smiled or chucked on nearly every page, and there were so very many quotes I wanted to quote in my review, so much of the book for instance pages 291 to 294 almost in their entirety, but had I started quoting a huge part of the book would have made it into my review, so I decided to completely restrain myself, and leave the pleasure for others to read the book for themselves This sixth Thursday Next book is a winner I hope there are books in the series, but if not, this one works well enough as a final book For me a complete joy. The thing I like best about this one, apart from the witty references to current concepts like FanFic and Harry Potter, is that we get to start at the beginning and watch our dear Thursday find herself all over again The written Thursday lives in the shadow of the real Thursday, a woman of worldwide fame in both real and book worlds She starts off rather timid and by the end has learned to trust herself Sprockett the clockwork Jeeves is a wonderful character And the mimefield is absolutely terrifying. I m torn as to how to review this latest Jasper Fforde entry I ve enjoyed all of the Thursday Next series, from The Eyre Affair onward, mostly because they ve made me laugh and they ve rewarded me for having a nimble mind and a knowledge of history and culture After the last book, which seemed to neatly tie everything up, I was wondering what Fforde had in mind to keep the story fresh Well, he has a nice twist, but it almost feels like a different series Instead of focusing on Thursday and the gang, the protagonist of this book is the written Thursday In other words, this heroine is not our Thursday, but A Thursdaythe protagonist of the fictional Thursday Next series We got to see of BookWorld, but less of Jurisfiction, of how BookWorld works, but less of the characters of a rich world of literature.The written Thursday isn t very interesting, which is a problem for a first person narrator, but the addition of her butler was a master stroke The page comes alive when he s there sadly, the written Thursday doesn t have any snappy banter with anyone else, so when Sprocket isn t in a scene, the story lags a bit.Thus, while this was my least favorite of the Thursday Next books, it s still better than 95% of what s out there Good, but not great Cozy, but a little snoozy. Dear Jasper Fforde Please stop being awesome It s hard to have a favorite author who when people ask you What s the book about you have to go into a 10 minute explination of how this is book 6 of a series and there s people that travel between books, and there s The Bookworld and there s Spec Ops and on and on and then they look at you oddly and then leave If your books weren t so awesome I wouldn t be so awkward, but I feel I have to share, because they re awesome I am seriously, literally awed by them The fact that there s not only an obscure Python joke Fang but also what seems to be a reference to Serenity Gatsby you ll see what I mean eventually make this book great, but what also makes the book great is the fact that it s amazing and fantastic and there s a lot about story in it and I have no idea how she crossed the bridge Don t tell me, I want to figure it out No, Seriously, Don t tell me.So, Jasper Please stop being awesome Or at least write things that when I describe them to people as 1984 but written by Wodehouse they ll understand what I mean Oooh, I know Please re write reality so that people are aware of things I like Thank you.Also Please write an episode of Doctor Who, that would be the greatest geekiest thing in the world to me. It s been a while since I started the Thursday Next series, and the other books in the series weren t that fresh in my mind, so I was a little overwhelmed by references to ideas and events introduced in previous books Plus, this work was a little slow to get established for me because I wasn t ready for our main character to be, perhaps, a different character than the other Thursday novels My final minor gripe with this book, which I nevertheless enjoyed, is what seems to be an overwhelming amount of detail trying to explain how things work in Book World rather than just stating the implausible as fact and letting our imaginations fill in the gaps In the Book World this would be called the reader feedback loop Still the book is fun overall, and some of the new characters are quite likeable After all, everybody needs a butler, especially one with a penchant for creative cocktail combinations If life weren t so short it would be fun in an OCD ish sort of way to go through this work and highlight the references to other works of literature, and then if life were even longer to be able to read the works that Fforde is referring to.
- 362 pages
- One of Our Thursdays is Missing
- Jasper Fforde
- 11 March 2017 Jasper Fforde