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The Woman Who Died A Lot: A Thursday Next Novel (Thursday Next Novels (Viking)) Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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“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
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
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Top Customer Reviews
No one in modern fiction has built a more intriguing, fully realized, and humorous world than the alternate Earth of Jasper Fforde found in his Thursday Next series. What's amazing about his accomplishment is that he has technically built more than one world in the series; his Bookworld adds yet another layer to Thursday's quirky reality. Now, in his latest release, _The Woman Who Died a Lot_, Fforde has added the world of Dark Reading Matter, which the end notes of this book state will be the focus of the next Next novel.
Yet in reading _The Woman Who Died a Lot_ a major issue with the direction of the Next series becomes clear. As good as Fforde's worldbuilding is, it is overwhelming his narrative. At some point, all the goofy "Nextian physics" and time travel and alt history and parallel realities and parallel subrealities and alt religion start to crowd out something critical to good books: a decent story.
What made the Thursday Next series so much fun was not just the odd world author Fforde thrust his heroine into, but the fact he built that world around good plots. But as the last few books have proven, wrapping a paper-thin plotline around a world doesn't work as well. And sadly, _The Woman Who Died a Lot_ doesn't have much of a story.
Most fans of the series may not miss the fact that it takes a third of the book before a plot begins to emerge. They will love all the goofiness, puns, knowing references, and so on that are the hallmark of this series. That's all well and good, but without a solid story, who cares?Read more ›
So, if you know Fforde and the Next series, why are you here? Certainly, not to get the plot spoiled. I won't spoil it. Perhaps, it's because, like me, you found the previous novel "One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing" to be a bit of a let down. I also didn't enjoy "Shades of Grey" much (because I couldn't develop sympathy for any of the characters). But, I enjoyed the other Next novels so much that I spent almost as much on postage as the book itself to have it shipped from the UK.
So, the question is, "Has Fford lost it?" I'm delighted to report that, if he did, he's found it again!
Maybe if OOOTIM wasn't such a letdown I'd likely have given TWWDAL four stars ("Something Rotten" is still my favorite), but having Fforde back in fine form is by itself worth the five stars.
It is tempting to talk about a subplot or some other detail, but you're already a fan. All you want to know is whether the book might be a disappointment. It isn't!
Here's something of no consequence other than to show that TWWDAL is classic Fforde. Describing a temporal gradient...
"...I [Thursday] walked back up the gradient. I turned back to Friday and asked if he was okay.
"He said he was but I could see that his mouth wasn't moving when he spoke. I was talking to him as he was now, but [i]seeing[/i] him as he would be in about thirty seconds. Conversely, he was hearing what I said now, but seeing me as I had been half a minute ago."
The last book featured the fictional version of Thursday from Book World, but here we are back with the original Thursday. When the book opens, Thursday is still struggling with the mind worm planted by one of her enemies which makes her believe she has a daughter who doesn't exist. Tuesday and Friday, her actual daughter and son, are moving towards adulthood. Tuesday alternates between high school high jinx and cutting edge invention--she's trying to create a giant shield capable of warding off pillars of fire the newly invigorated and angry universal deity is bent on smiting Earth with. Friday is at loose ends. He had been destined to become the most renowned leader of the ChronoGuard, a sort of time traveling police force, and he'd even met his time traveling older self in earlier books, but when it was discovered that time travel hadn't actually been invented in the future the ChronoGuard was disbanded.
Thursday herself is in a career slump, or thinks she is. She is hoping to be put in charge of the re-formed SpecOps Literary Detective Division, but that job is given to a younger woman and Thursday is forced to accept a head librarian job.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wish Mr. Fforde would write more of this series. I love them so much. I've read this at least half a dozen times and probably will read it again. Great book, great series. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Marilyn Armstrong
Loved the chapter footnotes at the start of each chapter, some very funny, reminds me of Pratchett at his bestPublished 3 months ago by Jvtuns
In a hearty bout of binge reading, I read all the Thursday Next novels. I greatly enjoyed the first several, but the last two seemed simply tedious. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Pandamom
I love the Thursday Next series. So quirky. Every couple of books seems to start a new tangent. This one has some greater emphasis on the kids. Read morePublished 3 months ago by inastrol
I am a big fan of Jasper Fforde. He is brilliant. I'd love to have a conversation with him. His mind does not appear to work like a normal human mind. Read morePublished 4 months ago by barbara silkstone
I have thoroughly enjoyed almost every book Jasper Fforde has written, from the Thursday Next series to the Nursery Crimes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ditch
Thursday Next, my favourite cloned literary heroine. Filled with sly puns, clever references and outrageous connections to books you know and love. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoy these books and if I were rating on enjoyment rather than on merit I could easily give this five out of five stars. Read morePublished 5 months ago by GaryE