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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With the real Thursday Next missing, the "written" Thursday Next leaves her book to undertake an assignment for the Jurisfiction Accident Investigation Department, in Fforde's wild and wacky sixth BookWorld novel (after Thursday Next: First Among Sequels). As written Thursday Next finds herself playing roles intended for her real counterpart, BookWorld's elite try to deal with a border dispute between Racy Novel and Women's Fiction. It's not always possible to know where one is in BookWorld, which has been drastically remade, or in Fforde's book, which shares the madcap makeup of Alice in Wonderland, even borrowing Alice's dodo. Outrageous puns (e.g., a restaurant called Inn Uendo) and clever observations relating to the real book world (e.g., the inhabitants of "Vanity" island now prefer Self-Published or Collaborative) abound. Fforde's diabolical meshing of insight and humor makes a "mimefield" both frightening and funny, while the reader must traverse a volume that's a minefield of unexpected and amusing twists. 10-city author tour. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for One of Our Thursdays is Missing

One of Our Thursdays is Missing, like other Fforde novels, is jam packed with spot-on parody, puns and wry observations about words and genres that will delight literary-minded fans of the series.” - Los Angeles Times

 

“There is no denying Fforde’s supersized imagination, linguistic agility and love of books, Books, BOOKS.” - Chicago Sun-Times

 

“Fforde’s diabolical meshing of insight and humor makes a ‘mimefield’ both frightening and funny, while the reader must traverse a volume that’s minefield of unexpected turns and amusing twists.” - Publishers Weekly

 

One of Our Thursdays is Missing is filled with passages [in] which geeky humor jostles with genuine insight about the current state of fiction.… [T]ake a joy ride with the passionate reader who wrote this novel.” - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“[With a] furiously agile imagination…Fforde has shaken up genres—fantasy, comedy, crime, sci-fi, parody, literary criticism—and come up with a superb mishmash with lots of affectionate in-jokes for any book lover.” - Miami Herald

 

“Fforde is a breath of fresh air.” -Kirkus

“Fforde’s books are more than just an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and are tautly plotted. They have empathetic heroes and heroines who nearly make terrible mistakes and suitably dastardly villains who do. They also have more twists and turns than Christie, and are embellished with the rich details of Dickens or Pratchett.” -Independent

“A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb.” - Daily Mail

“Fans of the late Douglas Adams, or, even, Monty Python, will feel at home with Fforde.” Herald 

 Praise for The Woman Who Died A Lot, the next installment in the Thursday Next series

“Fforde continues to show that his forte is absurdist humor in his seventh crime thriller starring Thursday Next, a member of the Literary Detectives division of Special Operations in an alternate-universe Britain.  [An] endearingly-bizarre fantasy world limited only by Fforde’s impressive imagination.” –Publishers Weekly

“As always, Fforde makes this wacky world perfectly plausible, elucidating Ffordian physics with just the right ratio of pseudoscientific jargon to punch lines. It’s a dazzling, heady brew of high concept and low humor, absurd antics with a tea-and-toast sensibility that will appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse alike. Fforde is ffantastic!”

Booklist (starred review)

“Strap in and hang on tight.... Another winner for fans and lovers of sf, time travel, puns, allusions, and all sorts of literary hijinks.”

Library Journal (Starred review)

“Jasper Fforde fans, rejoice! The Woman Who Died a Lot, the seventh installment in his Thursday Next series, delivers all the imagination, complexity and laughs we've come to expect from Fforde and his book-hopping, butt-kicking heroine.The Woman Who Died a Lot brings together the charming lunacy and intricate plotting that have enthralled Fforde's readers over the years.” –Shelf Awareness

 

“In Misery, Stephen King compares the euphoric feeling writers experience in creative bursts to ‘falling into a hole filled with bright light.’ Avid readers also know that feeling: A good story temporarily erases the world. British novelist Jasper Fforde has expanded on King’s simile in a wonderful seven-book series of novels featuring Thursday Next. Enormously knowledgeable about literary history, Fforde scatters nuggets for nerdy readers like me. By the end, all of Fforde’s myriad particles of plot, accelerated by his immense skill and narrative sense, collide, producing pyrotechnics and a passel of new particles to propel his next tale. I love the Thursday Next books, and when a new one appears, I don’t fall but leap into this bibliophile’s Wonderland.” –The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This is the proverbial madcap lighthearted romp, full of hijinks, parody, and puns. Jasper Fforde does it well. It’s safe to say that if you enjoy that particularly British, Douglas Adams-style absurd delivery of wry observations, you’ll get a kick out of this one.” New York Journal of Books

“The Welsh writer Jasper Fforde's wildly inventive books defy easy description — more accurately, they mercilessly mock the concept of easy description. Are they mysteries? Outrageous parodies of literary classics? Science fiction? Absurdist humor? Gleeful mashups of all the above?” [The Woman Who Died A Lot is] still big, big fun, with enough in-jokes to keep anyone snickering for a long time — especially English Lit geeks.” The Seattle Times

“Quirky and surprising and funny. Thursday fans will welcome her return.”

The Free Lance–Star

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Product Details

  • Series: A Thursday Next Novel
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143120514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143120513
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling Thursday Next series. He is also the author of the Nursery Crime series.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Taylor Anderson on March 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely LOVE the Thursday Next series, and was super excited to receive this latest installation in the mail last week. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, as I have been with most of Jasper's recent books. First of all, the book isn't about the <real> Thursday, it's about the <written> Thursday, who, as you will recall from First Among Sequels, is a total wet blanket. Second, the story is filled with so much background information about the BookWorld that, for readers who have already read the first five Thursday Next books, is less than exciting. Lastly, and this is the main reason why I am only giving three stars to the book--the plot does not pick up until over 200 pages into the novel.
As always with Fforde, the writing is fun, the BookWorld is amusing, and the randomness of the characters always keeps you on your toes. But as an avid Thursday fan who wanted more THURSDAY, I was let down.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Way back in 2001, buzz rippled through the American publishing industry for a British debut novel, The Eyre Affair. It was this country's introduction to two unlikely-named characters: Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next. We've had a decade to get to know them now, and they haven't worn out their welcome yet. On the contrary, Fforde ffanatics long for Thursday's return, as she has not made an appearance since 2007's First Among Sequels.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing is Fforde's sixth novel in the series. There is always danger of a continuing series growing stale, but Fforde manages to keep things fresh in a variety of ways. First, he rotates the Next novels with those in two other series. Also, there was a bit of a paradigm shift in the last book, as Fforde moved the action of the story ahead by 14 years. Our heroine was suddenly in a very different place in her life.

Now, she's just in a different place period, and nobody seems to know where she is. Per the title, one of our Thursdays is missing. However, that leaves one remaining. The fictional Thursday has noted her counterpart's absence, even if no one will own up to it. She's on the case--which is just as well. Things are getting somewhat contentious in her book.

This volume, for the first time, delves into the real nitty-gritty of what it is to be read day in and day out. We get a lot of new information about the BookWorld, in part because there's new info to be had. Fforde recreates his creation in the opening chapter. It's fiction; he can do that. Also new is Sprockett. As literary characters go, this mechanical manservant falls somewhere in the intersection of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves, Matt Ruff's electric negroes, and Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Girl.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By cfm on March 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, yet another spin on the Nextian universe, refreshing different from the last couple of books. Jasper Fforde amazes me with his constant changes and point-of-views.
Felt a little lighter in plot that others in the series, but this was offset by the wonderfully witty and reinvented BookWorld. Almost like a series reboot!
I am constantly amazed at the wordplays and use of language. A bonus on reading this on my Kindle was being able to use the built-in dictionary to look up all the new (real) words sprinkled through the story!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Lackner on May 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jasper Fforde may be the best user of the English language writing today. He is witty, articulate, and knowledgeable. He mines metaphors and establishes characters as well as anyone. He may be the best satirist and social commentator since Swift, and that's a long time. But not even Swift could hit it for six every time, and with One of Our Thursday's is Missing Fforde is out for a duck, bowled lbw. (For Americans, that's "home run" and "out on three consecutive called strikes.")

I usually read a Thursday Next novel in a couple of evenings; when I took The Big Over Easy (the Nursery Crime series) on a trip to San Francisco a few years ago, I almost asked the pilot to go around a few more times, so I could finish the book; I read Shades of Grey cover to cover in a day. I'm sorry to report that it took me a week to read One of Our Thursdays is Missing, the latest offering in the Thursday Next series; I could put it down.

The plot of One of Our Thursdays is convoluted, even by Fforde's standards. I get the Book World, I even get why the written Thursday had to visit the Outland (Real World). But to gratuitiously reintroduce Mycroft without giving one of his greatest supporting characters so much as a line of dialogue seems unfair. Do you know who the Bellman is? Don't expect any help figuring him out here; you'll have to go back to Lost in a Good Book. Don't remember the greatest villain ever, Jack Schitt? (The Hades siblings have redeeming virtues, like senses of humor; Schitt is just 200 proof evil.) You won't be told that Thursday marooned him in The Raven, but that accounts for the animosity between them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gen of North Coast Gardening TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a rabid Fforde ffan, so obviously I couldn't wait to read the next in the Thursday series. But this isn't the Thursday we know and love, nor is it the Bookworld we are used to. Bookworld's had a massive reboot and overhaul (Bookworld 2.0) and so the reading experience of it was dramatically different - more lively and easy to imagine.

We follow the written Thursday Next, not the proper real world Thursday Next, as she tries to solve the disappearance of the real world's Thursday, without letting anyone know the real Thursday is missing. The written Thursday visits Landon, who she has a crazy crush on (well, he was meant for her, right? Or, um, meant for the real Thursday, who she is meant to be just like.), and starts becoming confused about whether or not she may have suffered a mental breakdown and may actually be the real Thursday.

Through it all we have mimefields (terrifyingly scary), the written Thursday's new robotic manservant (love his way with a Tahiti Tingle - whatever manner of cocktail that is), and the usual problems with Pickwick the dodo and Thursday's malapropist house assistant.

If you're a fan, then you know you need to read it. If you're not, then for god's sake don't start reading here. Start with the Eyre Affair and go from there, in order, or you'll be hopelessly lost and think the series is a crazy load of tosh. Which it is, except - well, it's a cleverly-written, addictive, charming load of tosh that carries many rereads' worth of puns and word trickery. Seriously, you'll love it. Go get it now.
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