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Thursday Next: First Among Sequels Hardcover – July 24, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Full of bizarre subplots, many of which don't go anywhere, bestseller Fforde's fifth novel to feature intrepid literary detective Thursday Next (after 2004's Something Rotten) blends elements of mystery, campy science fiction and screwball fantasy à la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. With the Stupidity Surplus reaching dangerously high levels all over England, Acme Carpets employee and undercover SpecOps investigator Next has her hands full trying to persuade her 16-year-old slacker son, Friday, to join the ChronoGuard, which deals with temporal stability; if Friday continues to sleep away his future, the end is near—for everyone. To complicate matters, a malicious apprentice begins making classic works of literature into reality book shows (Pride and Prejudice becomes The Bennets), a ruthless corporation tries to turn the Bookworld into a tourist trap, and the Cheese Enforcement Agency tries to bust Next for smuggling killer curd. The fate of the world may lie in a Longfellow poem. Fans of satiric literary humor are in for a treat. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Set in a world where books are more fun than television, more serious than the CIA, and more important than proper diet and exercise, the Thursday Next novels continue to grow in popularity-which is a good sign. In the fifth novel of the series (after Something Rotten, ***1/2 Nov/Dec 2004), Jasper Fforde again shows off his delicious British wit (and occasionally heavy-handed use of puns) in another zany romp. If you're already a fan, First Among Sequels is sure to thrill. If you're new to the series, you might as well dive right in. Either way, you'll soon have a new appreciation of Henry Longfellow.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670038717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670038718
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,363 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This series is one of those unfortunate ones that is so, SO good that I want to pass them along to everyone I meet (I buy every used copy of the first one I can find, to give them away!), but when you try and tell people what the books are all about, you get blank stares - it all just sounds too odd.

This latest in the series is no exception - clever, laugh out loud funny, and so fantastic that explaining it just doesn't do it justice. The literary humor is still hilarious (and explained well enough that those who haven't read the classics that the jokes come from can still get the jokes!) and Thursday's personal life and literary adventures are both well-written and enjoyable.

I had found the last Thursday book, Something Rotten, a bit duller than the first three, and so was delighted to begin reading and see how good this one is. Fforde is back on form!

Thursday's grumpy teenage son Friday, who speaks in teenage grunts, is destined sometime in the future to save humanity from extinction some 700 times, but right now is causing his parents to tear their hair out over his stereotypical teen behavior - sleeping late, listening to loud music, and being monumentally lazy.

Thursday has a new apprentice, Thursday Five, who comes from one of Thursday's poorer selling books in which the author substituted her usual crime-solving and bacon-sandwich eating demeanor for one of a yoga-doing, lentil-eating peacenik who tries to set unruly and murderous literature-dwellers down for a nice cup of tea to talk things over.

What will become of the lowered reading rates, and the government's dangerous surplus of stupidity, which must, somehow, be discharged? Will the Goliath Corporation, up to its old tricks, succeed in killing Thursday? Read this latest and find out.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The brilliant Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next--First Among Sequels" is the latest zany installment in a highly original and imaginative series. Fforde's intrepid fifty-two year old heroine is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. She is still madly in love with her writer husband, Landen Parke-Laine (who, fortunately, is fully restored after his two-year eradication by the fearsome Goliath Corporation) and their three children, one of whom may not really exist. The oldest, Friday, is sixteen, and he has turned out to be something of a slug who grunts, plays in a heavy metal band, and sleeps well into the day. Although Thursday pretends that she spends her time peddling and installing floor coverings for Acme Carpets, she is actually still very much involved in the Special Operations Network, working unofficially and under cover. She has never broken her strong ties to Jurisfiction, the policing agency within books, a job which earns her no money and is dangerous to boot. However, Thursday loves stories and she cannot resist using her considerable skills to help "maintain the continuity of the narrative within the pages of all the books ever written." Using her trusty Travelbook, she jumps into and out of the world of the printed word to hunt down malefactors.

Strange things have been happening lately. Thursday has a surreal conversation with her Uncle Mycroft, a brilliant inventor who has been dead for six years. He has no idea why he has reappeared as a ghost, but Thursday suspects that he has some unfinished business that involves her.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a darned good thing that Thursday Next isn't showing any signs of wanting to slow down, because her life seems to get more and more complicated with each eagerly awaited installment of this brilliant series.

First of all, the Special Operations Network has been disbanded, but that minor detail hasn't stopped Thursday and her colleagues from doing what they do best. Under the cover of a flourishing carpeting company, business continues as usual, except now it's strictly hush-hush. Thursday is also secretly working at Jurisfiction, and a large portion of this book deals with her exploits in the BookWorld.

In the real world, Thursday hasn't yet told her husband that she does more than sell carpets. Her son Friday is a typical rebellious teenager, who flat out refuses to join the ChronoGuard, plays rock guitar and never, ever appears before lunchtime, his sister Tuesday is a math genius, and the other sibling Jenny promises to be the most normal of the lot.

Between training un-trainable apprentices, wheeling and dealing with the Cheese mafia, sorting out the Moral Dilemma, finding the missing comedy from the Thomas Hardy novels and vanquishing demons, time is running out for Thursday to figure out how to save the world, with or without the help of lazy Friday. Add the Minotaur, Aornis Hades, Goliath's latest project, and ghostly visitations from her Uncle Mycroft, and you get an idea of the roller coaster ride that is "First Among Sequels".

The unkindest cut of all however, is the plan to remake classic works into interactive novels, similar in principle to the dreaded Reality TV. It's all up to Thursday Next, and if she fails, you'll soon be glued to your television watching a Bennet sister getting voted out of Pride and Prejudice.
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