The first of many Ffordes

Status: Bookseller Picks

Introducing Thursday Next, Jasper Fforde's no-nonsense, smart, funny, and loving heroine of his first series.  We meet Thursday in an alternate mid-1980s Great Britain - one still fighting in the Crimea with Russia - and she is hot on the trail of forgers, Shakespeare impersonators, and book thieves.  Everyone is mad for literature including Acheron Hades, the most wanted man in Britain, and it is Thursday's job to catch him once Jane Eyre is kidnapped from her book leaving the remaining pages of the beloved novel blank.  Fforde's first novel is laugh-out-loud funny, including obscure literary in-jokes that even the most well-read bibliophile might miss, with a drop or two of sci-fi tech, and also quite terrifying when Thursday fights for her life atop the blazing Thornfield Hall.  Fforde uses Thursday's world to comment on certain aspects of our own society including government interference by large corporations (signified by the hulking Goliath Corporation), over-commercialization, and the decline in literacy.  Fforde's books suck you in, which is great because you'll want to follow Thursday through the rest of her books: Lost in a Good BookThe Well of Lost PlotsSomething RottenThursday Next, and one more Thursday novel due sometime in 2010 (or so Jasper says); Thursday learns about the Bookworld and Jurisfiction, apprentices with Miss Havisham, fights grammasites in the Well, tracks the Minotaur, takes the indecisive Dane of Denmark under her wing, and saves Pride and Prejudice from the degredation of reality TV (now I've really got you wondering...I guess you'll have to read all the books now :smileyvery-happy: ) - it's all very accessibly, absurd, and fun to read.  Once you've finished Thursday's published books, and need a tide-over until the next one, you can start on Fforde's Nursery Crime series (Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear), following DCI Jack Spratt and his partner, Mary Mary, as they solve hard-boiled nursery rhyme crime in Reading, and his new series, Paint by Numbers, will debut in December 2008.  

Comments
by Moderator Melissa_W on ‎04-09-2009 09:37 PM
Hmmm, I've tried editing it and I can't figure out why the laughing smiley is still half a line down; FYI it should come before the " ) " after "I guess you'll have to read all the books now".  Little hiccups are always the strange ones.
by kamikyo on ‎04-21-2009 05:14 PM

I love these books! A friend lent the first two and I was hooked - defintely a must for any literary buff and lover of language!

 

Here's my favorite excerpt from the fourth book, The Well of Lost Plots:

 

"'Good. Item seven. The had had and that that problem. Lady Cavendish, weren't you working on this?'

Lady Cavendish stood up and gathered her thoughts. . . . 'It's mostly an unlicensed usage problem. At the last count David Copperfield alone had had had had sixty-three times, all but ten unapproved. Pilgrim's Progress may also be a problem owing to its had had / that that ratio.'

'So what's the problem in Progress?'

'That that had that that ten times but had had had had only thrice. Increased had had usage had had to be overlooked but not if the number exceeds that that that usage.'

'Hmm,' said the Bellman. 'I thought had had had had TGC's approval for use in Dickens? What's the problem?'

'Take the first had had and that that in the book by way of example,' explained Lady Cavendish. 'You would have thought that that first had had had had good occasion to be seen as had, had you not? Had had had approval but had had had not; equally it is true to say that that that that had had approval but that that other that that had not.'

'So the problem with that other that that was that--?

'That that other--other that that had had approval.'

'Okay,' said the Bellman, whose head was in danger of falling apart like a chocolate orange, 'let me get this straight: David Copperfield, unlike Pilgrim's Progress, which had had had, had had had had. Had had had had TGC's approval?'

There was a very long pause.

'Right,' said the Bellman with a sigh."

 

 

by Moderator Melissa_W on ‎04-21-2009 05:24 PM
That is an excellent passage, kamikyo!
by B&N Bookseller Sarah_R on ‎04-27-2009 09:29 PM
Great book to review! I read the first one but got distracted by others and haven't kept on going yet. I liked the play with classic literature that Fforde uses. This is definitely one of those books I suggest at the store when someone's looking for something a little more intellectually stimulating but not not-light.
by GlitzAngie on ‎12-04-2009 10:10 PM

LOVE LOVE LOVE this author!  My favorite book ever is Jane Eyre and this  makes a great leap into it.  Hysterical giggling ensued over Jack Schitt and the mutliple Manderly's adventures in trying to thwart Thursday.  Even if you think you hate literature, this one will make you change your mind:smileywink:

by Moderator Melissa_W ‎03-09-2011 01:56 PM - edited ‎03-09-2011 01:57 PM

Since I wrote the above recommendation for The Eyre Affair, Thursday has a new book in her series (instead of summer 2010 it was published March 2011, but TN fans can be patient...most of the time):

 

One of Our Thursdays is Missing:  Thursday5 has been quietly running the revamped TN series, salvaged from the awful mess left by Thursday1-4's erasure (since the series was an awful mess to start with, there was probably no appreciable difference).  She is summoned to an accident site (she has joined the accident investigation team since failing as a Jurisfiction cadet) but on the way she is accosted by an odd red-haired man....who hints that something has happened to the real Thursday Next.  As Thursday5 goes about her accident investigation, she realizes this was no accident and she, as the written Thursday, is in as much danger as the real Thursday.  Fans of Jasper Fforde will love Thursday5's impetuous journey through a revamped BookWorld in the company of a robot butler, chased by the Men in Plaid, and all under the darkening clouds of an all-out Genre War with Racy Novel.  If you have yet to find your way to a Fforde novel, start with The Eyre Affair - it sets the stage for all Thursday's future stories - and enter the BookWorld proper in Lost in a Good Book.

 

Happy Reading!

by ReadingPatti on ‎03-12-2011 07:57 AM

I love this series. I think it is a really good series. I would love to see more of Thursday Next.

 

Keep them coming.

 

ReadingPatti

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