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JasperFforde
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎08-24-2007
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A Few Words about Thursday

If you are unfamiliar with the Thursday Next series it might help you to know that she is a literary detective living in a parallel world which is a lot like ours, only more so. As well as dealing with problems in her own world, she also works for 'Jurisfiction', the policing agency that exists within fiction to make sure that all the novels in the literary world stay as the author intended. I suggest that every book is a small universe unto itself, and when we are not reading them, the actors are free to do whatever they wish, and frequently do. Sound strange? Well, yes it does, even to me and I wrote them. Fear not, it all makes complete sense - the only thing I ask of my readers is that they suspend disbelief for a while..

I must say that when I first started writing about Thursday back in 1994, I never thought she would be published, let alone feature in a fifth book. Although the first four in the series seemed to end quite neatly with 'Something Rotten', Thursday aficionados will have noticed that there are all sorts of unanswered questions hanging over from the previous books, and some (but not all) I have tried to address in the latest novel.

With every Thursday book I always want to try out new ideas, but also base the stories in the world that I have built up over the past seven years, so although much will be new and fresh, there will also be much that is familiar. Series writing is great fun because you don't have to worry too much about explaining why the various characters do what they do - a lot of it is already set in stone and we can concentrate on the story.
As 'First Among Sequels' begins, it is fourteen years since we last met Thursday. This was mainly so I could use her son Friday as a grunty teenager who has to save the world by doing nothing at all - and it that's not pandering to the grunty teenager market, I don't know what is. In all honesty, my method of working seems to revolve around thinking up odd plot ideas and then, utilizing a series of narrative contortions, attempt to slot them all together. In this way I can connect teenage inactivity with Mycroft as a ghost, reality TV, the 'Short Now' and the demise of the Chronoguard. It doesn't generally start out so clear-cut, but as I quietly hone the plot threads, they all begin to weave together.

In the book, Thursday splits her time between the real world and the Bookworld, areas in which we run across varying degrees of satire. Whether it be a stupidity surplus in the real world caused by too much good governance, or neighboring genres in the Bookworld fighting over ideologies and border disputes, I try and keep the series topical. Add domestic drama to the mix, a few moral dilemmas and the chilling prospect of making 'Pride and Prejudice' into a Reality Book Show and the possibilities are endless!

If you enjoy books about stories or stories about books, and want a mix of thriller, fantasy, romance, horror and crime, then the TN series and 'First Among Sequels' might well be the thing for you. Enjoy!
Inspired Contributor
katknit
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Just want to tell you how much I've enjoyed Thursday and her adventures. The sense of humor in your books is priceless. The thinking reader's mystery-adventure series. Not only did I read them in print, I also listened on CD. Two fantastic kinds of experiences. Thank you for sharing your wit and imagination.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
Topics: 516
Kudos: 966
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Solutions: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Thanks very much to Jasper for dreaming up Thursday and her world. The books operate on so many levels (slapstick comedy, satire, science-fiction, political commentary, drama) that one reading just isn't enough. Many readings are in order - espcially as I snarf down each new book in one night. I can't help it because they read so well :smileyhappy: When I give book recommendations at the store, The Eyre Affair is usually the book I steer the customer toward (okay, I do push hard).

I think TN5 is great and it has such a great ending leaving room for plenty more Thursday Next in the future.

PS - Do you think you could talk your literary people at Penguin into having your next book tour visit Iowa City again? :smileyvery-happy:
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Frequent Contributor
songgirl7
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎03-22-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

[ Edited ]
I'm so thrilled to have you here, Mr. Fforde, and very much looking forward to the discussion! I'm a big fan of the books (and the Nursery Crimes as well).

What do you think about the new "Choose Your Own Austen" books? When I saw them at my local B&N I immediately thought of The Bennets.

Message Edited by songgirl7 on 08-30-2007 09:49 PM
See what I'm reading now: Goodreads.com


"I can't stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop the standing, and the walking and the putting-words-into-sentences doing."
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rastewar
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

I second Melissa's request that you return to Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City!
Reader 4
SanvenFW
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-31-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Good Day!

Just wanted to let you know that there are those of use like myself, disseminating the good word of the Thursday Next series, and its sister series, The Nursery Crimes Division – some day to the point of obnoxiousness, but nothing that you’d frown on, I promise. (looks around to make sure that one woman isn't on these boards - whistles innocently.)

When I first found the series, all the way back at the Eyre Affair, I was smitten from page one. What other author combines a love of books with a story line that keeps you laughing and hooked to the very last page?! Honestly, I only have two complaints: 1) the books are too short (of course even if they were 10,000 pages, I’d still say this… and 2) waiting a year, sometimes two, between books can be downright painful!

Mr. Fforde you are, and will always be, in my top three authors.

As a side note, if you haven’t found these books yet, stop reading this and run to B&N and pick up everything by this man, trust me! Go.. go right now!!!
New User
fyreline
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-31-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

When I picked up the first Thursday Next novel and read the slipcover notes, it sounded like a fun and offbeat summer read. For those of us with a literary bent, any "book about books" has a certain charm, and the premise was intriguing to say the least. As it turns out, I am now a fervent Thursday fan. Just finished First Among Sequels, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I can imagine it must be daunting to keep all the plot threads and subplots straight, and still always come to a plausible (well, nearly) conclusion. Well done, or as Pickwick would undoubtedly say, "Plock".
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ppine7
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-31-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Having enjoyed Jasper Fforde's writing myself tremendously, I was always wondering if it would ever be possible to translate his books into other languages... How, for example, would you manage to translate the most effective defense against grammasites? Irregular verbs confuse them, and not just any irregular verbs but those that cannot be interpreted differently by means of other synonyms!

You'd have to be a Master of your language, just like Jasper Fforde is of English.
Thank you, Jasper!
Frequent Contributor
suetu
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎08-10-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Having recently discovered the B&N book clubs, I was absolutely delighted to see Jasper on the lineup this month. I, too, have been a fan since The Eyre Affair. I grabbed a copy of TN5 as soon as it was published. And I have to thank you, Jasper, not just for another completely wonderful read, but also helping me get past my mourning over the end of the Harry Potter series. :smileyhappy: It was a timely reminder that there still are more wonderful books to look forward to and beloved series that will continue.

I'm looking forward to the discussion!
Susan
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Sgt_Steve
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-01-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Look, it's SueTu! She's everywhere and knows everyone; I'm so jealous. :-)

Mr. Fforde, thank you for the comments above. I was wondering - you mention honing the plot points. When you sit down to write a TN story, how much plot detail have you worked out in advance? Do you ever find youself sacrificing an intended plot point for a good joke or vice-versa?
Just 12 scenic miles from Hell.
New User
Friday13
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-02-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Thank you, Jasper, for a series I love, although I often have a hard time explaining the books to others. I love the idea that characters in books live their own lives when they are not being read. I read a children's book with my daughter several years ago with a similar premise called "The Great Good Thing" by Roderick Townley. The Inkheart series by Cordelia Funke also has a similar idea regarding fictional character.

Thursday's distaste for books 1-4 had me questioning my memory of those books! Very clever ploy to increase readership of the earlier works, I must say. Now that I've finished #5, I will be rereading the others to refresh my memory (and enjoy them all over again). I"m looking forward to the further adventures of Thursday and her family, friends and enemies.
hlm
New User
hlm
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-03-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your books. My biggest problem with the TN and Nursery Crime series is that I get through the books too quickly because they're so much fun I can't put them down! I look forward to the next installments and hope that both series will continue for many years to come!

Thank you for your books!
Heather Miller
High School Teacher, New Hampshire
Contributor
jenniferK
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-31-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Thank you for the Thursday Next books Mr. Fforde, I too have a hard time puting the book down once I start reading the adventures of Thursday Next. They are a delight to read and I think any book person can enjoy these stories.
Contributor
ronincats
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Sigh! What I really need is an annotated version of the books. For every reference I catch and appreciate, I KNOW there are 3 I am missing. Now that I have read the books several times over for the sheer fun of it, I'm ready to dig! I found this Thursday Next book a little slower to get into than the others, but it definitely picked up steam midway and I loved the finish! Which resolved the question of whether I was recalling the first four books accurately or not.
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fmkovac
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

Hi, Jasper! Loved FAS...I second what others have said about missed references, and I'm hoping you'll point out one or two of the more obscure, or maybe just the overwhelmingly British ones. But I'd really like your help with that which another poster mentioned...how would you like us to describe your books to the uninitiated? I usually just end up giving them a copy of TEA, and let them have at it. [BTW, I'll offer a bribe if you'll return to Dayton on your next (Next?) book tour...a rebinding of Lost in a Good Book, maybe?]

Fran
Frequent Contributor
Kourt
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

hi Mr. Fforde, I love Thursday and her family. Your books are really quick reads for me. Please release them closer together. When is the next Nursey Crimes books coming out? I am a truely devoted fan who preorders your books the same day rhe release day is annouced.
Frequent Contributor
marlohill
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Mr. Fforde, we do enjoy your books:

Dear Mr. Fforde,
I have just gotten "Thursday Next First Among Sequels" and am here ready to start it. We have all the other books in the series and the Nursery Crimes series. My Mom and I (I am 40 and she is 75,smile:smileyhappy: read aloud together the last Nursery Crime story, "The Fourth Bear" and it got very exciting when Jack had to figure out if the gingerbreadman was a cake or a cookie! I loved the humorous parts about the bears.
Nursery rhymes never looked so interesting before...
Marlo Hill
New User
bookfoodiesc
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-12-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

I have read all of the TN and NC books and have enjoyed each one. I have given TEA to my mother to read and The Big Over Easy to a coworker. Anytime anyone asks me for a good book to read, I recommend any of these books. I anxiously await the release of a book from either of the series, Mr. Fforde if that is your real name!

The plots and creativity in all of your books are what fascinate me. I admire any writer who can create new worlds using human beings and relatively modern times. I always laugh out loud when reading your books, but they also make me think in different ways about the ideas(usually satire) that you present. I am an avid reader who would love to be writer someday, but realizes that's best left to the
"professionals". By the way, I read Jane Eyre only after reading TEA and finding out how much you love it!
New User
acelini
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

I read the Eyre Affair a few years back, picking up from a sale rack (shame on you Barnes), and enjoyed it. I have passed it on to friends who have passed it on as well, and I have heard only good things. But, I never knew there was a sequel, much less a series. My local library had the series, sans "First Among Sequels," and I read them all in a week (maybe). I bought FAS and polished that in two days. I am entranced. Your wit, your cleverness, and your willingness to "go anywhere" with your books is so delightful and refreshing.

I have since started to buy the series, hoping to complete a hardcover series on my bookshelf (I was thinking of calling it the "Ffordetorium." Whaddya think?), but the hardcovers seems to have disappeared...(is this a Jurisfiction matter)

If I may also "plug" the Nursery Crime Division books here: Love them! In a weird sort of parallel way, I discovered the Fables graphic novels by Bill Willingham this summer, and was reading those in between the NCD books. I love the differing perspectives on how to revitalize these characters from antiquity and keep them alive today. I tried to tell my 11th grade students about this, but they didn't get it (but I wish they would)...

Thank you Mr. Fforde, and please, keep the series going
New User
kalanikaloni
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-08-2007
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Re: A Few Words about Thursday

I first found Thursday in a bag of books that my aunt had given to my mother. My mother was just about to start her own book club and wanted some ideas to start with. My aunt, a book club veteran, gave her some old ones that she felt my mother would like. I was in need of a book one evening, and in search of something new I dug around in the bag until the cover of The Eyre Affair caught my eye. I took it out and began to read it, and didn't stop until I had finished the whole thing. I now count all of Jasper's books among my favorites, and recommend him to everyone I meet. Okay, not everyone, but people who ask me about books. I even gave the name and title to my English teacher from last year, and she now loves him and is actually jealous I got to meet him.
I too would like to request an annotated version, and perhaps a larger role for Bowden Cable next time! :smileyhappy:
-katamari damacy-
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