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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thursday is here at last!
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...
Published on March 8, 2011 by Susan Tunis

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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hoped for more from Fforde's latest book
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...
Published on March 13, 2011 by Ashley Taylor Anderson


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hoped for more from Fforde's latest book, March 13, 2011
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This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (Hardcover)
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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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thursday is here at last!, March 8, 2011
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This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (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. He's a welcome addition to the series.

While Fforde has added several new elements this time around, other familiar aspects are absent. This novel takes place almost entirely in the BookWorld. I quite missed the cast of RealWorld (or Outland) characters, but as I became more engaged in the story being told, I missed what was left out less. The Next books are beloved for their unique and affectionate brand of literary satire. That's very much in evidence here. In addition to lampooning the classics, there are plenty of playful references to Fforde's contemporary peers. But on top of that, it's not a half-bad mystery plot that Mr. Fforde has penned.

The one thing we can count on from any Fforde offering is the author's trademark wit and humor. His idiosyncratic cleverness is abundantly on display, so I'll leave the last words to him:

"Budgetary overruns almost buried the remaking before the planning stage, until relief came from an unexpected quarter. A spate of dodgy accounting practices in the Outland necessitated a new genre in Fiction: Creative Accountancy. Shunned by many as `not a proper genre at all,' the members' skills at turning thin air into billion-dollar profits were suddenly of huge use, and the remaking went ahead as planned. Enron may have been a pit of vipers in the Outland, but they quite literally saved the BookWorld.
Bradshaw's BookWorld Companion (16th edition)"
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thursday, but not as we know it/her, March 3, 2011
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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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good book lost, May 28, 2011
This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (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. As well as minor characters from previous books who have become major characters here and major characters from previous books who have become minor characters here is also a full cast of new major and minor players are so many minor characters in One of Our Thursdays, so many that you need a map to keep track of them. When I read The Eyre Affair I hadn't read Jane Eyre in over forty years, yet I could make sense out of it. In One of Our Thursdays there are repeated references to previous books, but if you haven't read those you have no chance of understanding; I had to dredge up a plot summary of First Among Sequels just to figure out what was going on in this book, the next in the series. But even then it was confusing. The ongoing in joke, is the written Thursday the real Thursday or not, wears very thin by the end, and even then we just leave Thursday (real, not written) dropped off at Grey's Anatomy (how did we get there? That certainly isn't in the fiction genre).

In fact, the ending is very unsatisfactory. Nothing is pulled together, there are too many lose ends and ambiguous characters left. Sure, that's happened in other novels in the series: Jack Schitt, Aenais Hades, to say nothing of the whole supporting caste. But this is different: Red Herring is unaccounted for, is Senator Jobsworth a good guy or a bad guy, does the written Thursday get her role back and if she doesn't what happens to her, does Sprocket go to Jobsworth or back to Vanity or stay with the written Thursday ...? And, speaking of Sprocky, he reminds me a little too much of C3PO.

All in all, I found One of Our Thursdays is Missing to be dissatisfying. I'm still a Fforde fan, and I'm looking forward to the next colo(u)r novel. But if you haven't bought One of Our Thursdays, wait for the paperback.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookworld Reboot, May 18, 2011
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This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (Hardcover)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Addition, but nothing more, March 18, 2011
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This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (Hardcover)
A major subplot within this book deals with the "remaking" of Bookworld, into something geographical. Sadly, I can't help but feel that the reason for this is that Fforde's imagination has run up against the limits of Bookworld as he originally envisioned it. Or rather, that Bookworld as originally envisioned has run up against the limits of Fforde's imagination. Which is sad, because the bookjumping and footnoterphoning were some of the most creative and enjoyable aspects of the series, and each novel seemed to find some new way of answering seemingly ordinary questions with extraordinary (but logical) solutions. To replace them with taxis that attach themselves to books moving locations, for instance, is...uninspiring.

As, sadly, is most of this book. The plot's twists and turns aren't terribly twisty, and while one subplot does certainly keep us wondering, its resolution is a bit flat. There is still good humor here, and certainly some charm. But it is muted. Not only have we been here before, but so has Fforde, and it was a more exuberant and energetic place last time. Both Bookworld and the Outland have become more mundane. (And that is the sort of pun that is the best found in the latest edition of the series, where once it would have been middle of the pack.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I read it. But I think next time I'll wait for the library to get a copy, rather than preordering it on Amazon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Thursday Books, October 16, 2012
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series has been for me a very uneven read. Certain installments rank among my favorite books, while others I had to force myself to get through. In fact, I almost gave up on the series after book three, until my parents, who I started on the series, insisted that book four, Something Rotten, was amazing and that I just had to read it. Thus was I sucked back in. Last week, I read book five, which I found quite slow, but with One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, Fforde has once again made me glad I did not give up on the series.

What I will always love this series for, even the books that I would never try to reread, is its utter originality. Of course, that's a term that gets thrown around a lot in the book-reviewing world, but, if asked to name a book or series I thought truly original, I would probably have to go with this one. I simply have never encountered anything else like Fforde's work. It's utterly irreverent, absurd, self-referential, off-the-wall, confusing, pop culture-tastic, humorous, silly, and, occasionally, quite deep.

In One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, we have a new heroine. In place of Thursday Next, we have Thursday Next. Confused yet? Welcome to Jasper Fforde. THIS Thursday Next is the written Thursday, rather than the Outlander Thursday. Told in the first person, the reader follows Thursday Next (from this point the Outlander Thursday shall be called just that for clarity), the tree-hugging one from the Thursday Next novels.

As established in the last book, Thursday Next has been trying to change the series a bit to fit better with Outlander Thursday's actual image and personality, the original written Thursday Next in books 1-4 having been more like a paranormal romance heroine. Her changes to the series have not gone over particularly well, the whole series now dangerously close to being unread, which displeases her costars greatly.

When she gets an offer to go investigate a mysterious book-crash in Conspiracy, she jumps on the chance, a bit bored with the irascibility of her fellow characters. On the way, a Man in Plaid (think men in black, only...you know...plaid) tells her that a Thursday is missing and disappears. These two elements combine into one big mystery that Thursday Next feels a compulsion to solve. What happened to Outlander Thursday? Will she be back in time to negotiate peace between Racy Novel and the rest of the BookWorld? Why did that book crash?

I thought the first person perspective and change to the basic formula of the previous books brought new life into the book that was missing from the last. I really like Thursday Next, even if she's not quite as bright or capable as Outlander Thursday. She is perhaps a bit more approachable. Also, her narration allowed for a clever 'will the real Thursday Next please stand up' kind of confusion.

Also, there was some really hilarious commentary on published vs. self-published books in here, done in the standard ridiculous Jasper Fforde way. A fact I'd forgotten until I read this is that self-published books used to be known as vanity titles. This still amuses me. In light of all of the recent changes in publishing, I found these themes and his attitudes very interesting, particularly that on fan fiction, though I do wonder if that would be different now that so much fan fiction is getting published.

I apologize to those of you who are probably rubbing your heads in mystified confusion. Jasper Fforde's books are rather complex, particularly since there are so many of the same (though very different in personality) character running around. However, if you have the patience to disentangle his books, they are a book nerd's delight, full of puns and jokes poking fun at literary tropes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I despise rating stars, October 9, 2012
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Edgewood Smith "*" (Duluth, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
So, here is the caveat: The rating star system gives me headaches. So, my 3 star rating should only be considered a rating in relative to other Thursday next books, and not a rating relative to other books.

Do you like Jasper Fforde and/or the Thursday Next books? Buy this and read it. I found it the weak sister in the series to date (including the just released Woman Who Dies A Lot). To me, the story was not as tight as others in the series and I had a hard time being sympathetic to the main character.

However, this IS a very Jasper Fforde book, and despite the above, I did like it and have no qualms about purchasing it. He continues with his wildly inventive story telling and enjoyable world building.

relative to other, in general, books I would rate it about a 75%, but there is no option for such fine gradient here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingeniously funny of course, but also surprisingly moving, April 15, 2011
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Jaylia3 (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (Hardcover)
As in the rest of the series, the latest volume in the Thursday Next oeuvre is fast moving, hysterically funny, and amazingly clever, but this time it's also surprisingly moving. The fictional Thursday Next from the previous sequel is the lead, and in her struggles to save the intrepid real world Thursday Next by trying to figure out what her real world self would do, the fictional Thursday Next is oddly more sympathetic than her living, breathing counterpart.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing is set almost completely in Book World--the place where all the books we read are acted out, where Jane Eyre can cavort with Harry Potter or Hamlet or geologist Charles Lyell, where Rubik's Cubes cannot be scrambled, where fan fiction versions of popular characters walk around as thin as paper, and where Mediocre Gatsby, Rupert Bond, and Tracy Capulet resent their more famous siblings. It's a ridiculously fun alternate reality for book lovers.

All of the Thursday Next books are real treats, and so densely ingenious that I never want to read more than a chapter at a time. That means they spend a long time on my night stand, and now that this one is finished I feel bereft. The Thursday Next series is my favorite of Fforde's books. Shades of Grey with its thoroughly imagined culture based on color perception was enticing enough to keep me reading, and the Nursery Crimes series is almost as clever and funny as Thursday Next, but in both cases I missed the literary illusions and of course the quick-witted, resourceful character of the fictional and real world Thursday Next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thursday Isn't the Only Thing Missing..., December 4, 2011
By 
Chance Lee (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel (Hardcover)
I had the pleasure of seeing Jasper Fforde read from this book when it came out. I was enthralled in the beginning, Book World getting re-written--wow!

Unfortunately, the more I read about it, the less sense it made. Admittedly, everything in these books is zany and off the wall, but they had their own kind of internal logic. Book World becoming a weird series of islands with territories and stuff... alright, I'll roll with it. But why are each book's settings flying around? I don't understand. It doesn't make a lick of sense. Being confuzzled for a good part of the book just isn't fun.

The new strangeness isn't a deal breaker. However, I don't enjoy the "new" Thursday Next novels (TN5 & TN6) as much as the original four. They're looser in plot, and heavy in empty cleverness. Of course, I could do much worse: they could be heavy with empty boring crap. But I miss when all the brilliant grammatical jokes and literary allusions actually had relevance to the plot.

This one wraps up no loose ends from First Among Sequels. Still, it has some great one liners, gags, and riddles. Many of the new characters don't quite stick, and they take valuable page time away from series mainstays. (Dear Mr. Fforde, I insist on more Melanie Bradshaw in future books. Thanks!) Only Zhark gets a significant cameo, but he'll never live up to his brilliant madcap entrance in "Something Rotten." I'd rather see more Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. A giant hedgehog who does laundry never gets old.

Despite all this, "One of Our Thursdays is Missing" is still a must-read for Thursday Next fans, and I look forward to seeing where the series goes next.
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One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel by Jasper Fforde (Hardcover - March 8, 2011)
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