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Lost in a Good Book (A Thursday Next Novel) Paperback – February 24, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-In an alternate 1980s England, woolly mammoths migrate through the countryside, Tunbridge Wells has been given to Imperial Russia as Crimean War reparation, and the prevailing culture is based on literature. Due to her adventures in The Eyre Affair (Viking, 2002), newly married Thursday Next has become a media darling, but when an unknown work by Shakespeare surfaces, she is happy to be back to work. However, the megacorporation Goliath hasn't finished bedeviling her: Thursday's husband has been "time-slipped" and exists only in her memory. Further complicating matters, her Uncle Mycroft gives her an entroposcope-a jar of lentils and rice-revealing that the chaos in her life is rapidly escalating. So once again, Thursday jumps into a surreal literary world. This time, she has joined the "Jurisfiction" division and is paired with Charles Dickens's Miss Havesham, who has a penchant for leather jackets and driving recklessly. Absurd and amusing scenes take readers through discussions on theoretical physics, geometry, literature, art, and philosophy. Fforde not only tilts at ideological and insipid corporate windmills and human foibles, but can also make the naming of minor characters hilarious, as in the two unfortunate members of the dangerous SO-5 division, Phodder and Kannon. Reading this novel is like being at a fabulous party of phenomenally funny and wickedly profound guests. Teens will delight in the satire and wit.
Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Thursday Next, who literally jumps into books to do her detective work, must locate a surprise enemy in Poe's "The Raven" to save her beloved. The Eyre Affair, Thursday's first outing, was a surprise best seller.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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When I realized that Lost in a Good Book was out, and also a sequel to Eyre Affair, I couldn't wait to read it, but figured also that it would follow the usual "sequel curse" of not being as good as the first. WRONG! It's better! And now I cannot wait to get "Well of Lost Plots"!
Thank goodness for Jasper Fforde! I love writers who think outside the box, take you on a journey with the characters and work your creative mind! They are few and far between these days. And for those of you who are avid readers, especially of the classics, you will love his infusion of those characters into the world of his heroine Thursday Next!
The ladies on the Skyrail are helping each other work crossword puzzles and the answers to the clues come up, Meddlesome, Thursday, Goodbye. That plus the fact the seven women are all named Irma Cohen gives Thursday a pause. Plus her picnic gets rudely interrupted by a vintage Hispano-Suiza falling out of the sky on her blanket a few seconds after she runs from the area! When Thursday tries to explain to Victor at the LiteraTec office that she punched a neanderthal because she thought he had a gun on him, Victor objects that it would be ridiculous for a neanderthal to have gun. Thursday tries to explain that coincidences are mounting and that is also a waste of time.
The world is going to end and nobody will listen to Thursday. The world actually ended at the beginning of Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" because the space was needed for a new freeway and Earth was in the way. But in this novel the entire Earth is being turned into a pink Jello Pudding or some British equivalent called Dream pudding. Thursday duly reports her conclusions about the world ending on some day in December, but Victor will have nothing of it.
[page 69] He dumped my arrest report in his out tray and sat down.
"Thursday," he said quietly, staring at me soberly. "I've been in law enforcement for most of my life and I will tell you right now there is no such offense as `attempted murder by coincidence in an alternative future by person or persons unknown.' "
I sighed and rubbed my face with my hands. He was right, of course.
Thursday does not lead a dull life. For example, note this report of her day to husband Landen. Cardenio is a previously unknown play by Shakespeare.
[page 76] "Did you have a good day?" he asked at last.
"Well," I began, "we found Cardenio, I was shot dead by an SO-14 marksman, became a vanishing hitchhiker, saw Yorrick Kaine, suffered a few too many coincidences and knocked a neanderthal unconscious."
After the Eyre thing, women everywhere started to dress like Thursday who thought the whole chinos and a shirt fad was ridiculous. She asked the wife of a colleague dressed that way:
[page 79] "If Bonzo the Wonder Hound had rescued Jane Eyre, would you all be wearing studded collars and smelling each other's bottoms?"
Thursday's brother Joff was a minister in the Church of the Global Standard Deity and reported to her with some chagrin that the church had split in two for the third time in one week.
[page 81] "No!" I said with as much surprise and concern in my voice as I could muster.
"I'm afraid so. The new Global Standard Clockwise Deity have broken away due to unresolvable differences over the direction in which the collection plate is passed around."
Try reading this novel from the last page back to the front or reading each page forward but upside down. It won't make any difference. Anyway you read this book, it is colorful, imaginative, literary, funny, mind-stretching, and mind-bending. Combine JK Rowling with Douglas Adams and mix in a little Doug Hofstadter, and you've got Jason Fforde. You have a Dickens of a time in store for you. This is a Ffunny Booke! Tie up your pet dodo so you won't be disturbed in the middle of a good laugh and read on . . .
The remainder of my review can be found via DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#06b. Bobby Matherne.
You can't help but say "And now for something completely different!"
Jasper Fford's sci-fi detective novels are completely insane. They are peopled by strangely named characters (fav from this one was Aubrey Jambe) and plotlines are just plain weird. They are littered with literary references and are a fun, rollercoaster of a ride.
This was the second "Thursday Next" novel that I have read (have also read one of the "Nursery Crime" series) and have "Shades of Grey" downloaded on the Kindle.
I had to stop myself from jumping straight from "Lost In A Good Book" to downloading the next "Thursday Next" ... a bit like Chinese takeaway ... really enjoy it but leaves you wanting more shortly afterwards.
Suspend all beliefs and have some fun