First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)
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First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  15,024 ratings  ·  1,183 reviews
Literary sleuth Thursday Next is out to save literature in the fifth installment of Jasper Fforde's wildly popular series

Beloved for his prodigious imagination, his satirical gifts, his literate humor, and sheer silliness, Jasper Fforde has delighted book lovers since Thursday Next first appeared in The Eyre Affair, a genre send-up hailed as an instant classic. Since the...more
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Viking Adult (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jack
Thursday's back, in the first installment of her second four-book series; how I'd missed her.

Familiar ground is less familiar than I might have expected. It's 14 years later, SpecOps has been disbanded, and Thursday is working at a carpet company while England's love of reading (so prominent and charming in the world of the first series) has plummeted so far that bookstores no longer sell books and reality TV has resorted to titles like Samaritan Kidney Swap. It takes a couple of chapters for on...more
Esther
Feb 25, 2009 Esther rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Jasper Fforde junkies
Actually, more like 1.5 stars -- somewhere between "didn't like it" and "OK". I certainly didn't hate it, but I didn't derive much pleasure from reading it, either.

While I enjoyed the prior four books in this series, this one fell short. Much of the cleverness that made Fforde's other books so delightful has been sucked out of this book.

The "that that that that" bit in Well of Lost Plots was a bit of brilliance. This book's brilliance, unfortunately, has been reduced to something comparable to a...more
Megan Baxter
I have to say, I still enjoy these. I don't know that they are as shiny and new as when Jasper Fforde was a discovery, but I do enjoy them. I felt like the one before this was a bit muddy, if I remember correctly (it was a while ago), but First Among Sequels is a thoroughly fun addition to the Thursday Next series. I really never get tired of Fforde's voice. That's what it comes down to, in the end.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enfor...more
Kerrin
Probably my least favorite of the Thursday Next series so far. It seemed less coherent and more bogged down with explanation than the rest. While there were a few exciting parts near the end, I did not enjoy it as much as The Eyre Affair and others in the series.
Tripp
If I have ever read a more raucous and joyful ode to reading than Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, then I have long forgotten it. Set in a fantastical alternate Britain, the series heroine is the titular Next who is a member of the Literary Detectives, a government organization that combats book crime, such as, say, the unlawful editing of books. How can such events occur? Well as it happens, what is written in books exists in it own dimension and if you were to enter that dimension, you co...more
Lisa Vegan
I was really scared to read this one because so many readers seem to dislike it, even those people who enjoyed the first four books in the series, and I didn’t want to feel disappointed. I’m not sure why so many readers don’t like this one. I was into it right from the start.

So what if this book isn’t plot heavy (but there is a story/plot!) – I love hanging out in this alternative world with Thursday and the other characters – I especially enjoyed the parts about the kids.

Fforde is unbelievably...more
Brownbetty
May 10, 2008 Brownbetty rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who like words put together to form stories
Jasper Fforde reminds me of a Douglas Adams who came from a happier home. (I have no idea what Adams' home life was like, but for the sake of analogy, humour me.) His humour is less biting, but just as madcap, his characters are kinder, and easier to like, but the surreality is, I think, just as strong, and listen to this nice bit of language on pianos: "Composed of 550lbs of iron, wood, strings, and felt, the 88-key instrument is capable of the most subtle of melodies, yet stored up in the te...more
Jenny
I have loved this quirky series, but in all honesty, I think this book had too many subplots and not enough plot to sustain the interest of anyone but a fan. Some great satire, though--I loved the reality TV shows made out of books.
Rachel C.
May 19, 2008 Rachel C. rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Karen, David, other Fforde fans out there
Maybe it's because I haven't seen Thursday Next in a long time, but I really enjoyed this book!

I loved the scenes with her family - seeing son Friday as a grunty teenager whose only interest is playing guitar for his garage band, The Gobshites. (His parents are worried because he's slated to save the world 756 times, but is already three years behind schedule on his ChronoGuard career.) The scene about Thursday's daughter Jenny almost made me cry.

The plot is intricate and hard to follow, but if...more
Leigh Wisniewski
Seriously, Jasper Fforde. This has gone far enough.

I thought The Eyre Affair was pretty ingenious. As the series continued, the books seemed to start to fall into a hole, but as the holder of an English B.A. and M.A., I was sticking with Fforde for his clever puns, literary allusions, Shakespeare references, and other literature-related nonsense. I was particularly fond of The Well of Lost Plots, not because it was terribly good, but as a writer I appreciated the fantasy of Bookworld and how st...more
Sandi
According to the little pop-up under each star, two stars means "it was okay". And, that's about all I can say about this 5th installment in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. It was in serious trouble when 75 of the first 100 pages were spent in a pointless jaunt through Book World that seemed to be there only to provide exposition that fans of the series don't really need. Fforde throws out a lot of potential story lines and doesn't follow through with most of them. Absolutely nothing comes...more
Louize

I love how Jasper Fforde stitched things together without a flaw.
It's just cockily satisfying how each question was answered in the most unexpected manner and timing. And his name choices were impeccable as ever.
Joanna Compton-Mys
All I can say is that half the pleasure of reading Fforde's Thursday Next series is in ferreting out the myriad literary references slipped into the work. The fifth book in the series was no different in this respect, playing in fiction, poetry and the oral tradition.

This was a really fun read that plays with Thursday as both an "outlander" and a member of Jurisfiction, the fictional version of Spec Ops (So27) policing the fictional world's woes, uncannily like and unlike the real world. Set 14...more
Gayle
I gave myself a breather between this one and Something Rotten, and a good thing I did. I found this one a lot more readable. Thursday is employed by Acme Carpets, which is a front for her Spec Ops group (Spike, Stig, et al), which is a front for her Jurisfiction activities. As Thursday tries to work with assorted versions of herself, she tackles issues of falling Outworld readership, Goliath Corporation's upcoming Austen Rover, and her dead Uncle Mycroft, who has been making ghostly appearances...more
B.
I thought the first of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, The Eyre Affair, was fantastic. Funny, literate, clever - a wonderful book, especially for voracious readers. One of the funniest books I've read, and I recommended it to others, bought it for them, and just generally enjoyed it. While the next three books in the series weren't quite as magical, they were also a lot of fun.

By the time I reached the end of Something Rotten, though, I felt the joke had started to run thin. Not that there...more
Eviltwinjen
Sep 12, 2007 Eviltwinjen rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Thursday Next fans...really not a stand-alone.
Shelves: fiction
Ah, Jasper Fforde. I missed you while you were writing the Nursery Crimes books, in which I just couldn't work up much interest. Thursday is what makes these books work--she's loveably contradictory and hard-assed, but also a doting mum who can't stop calling her son "Sweetpea", even when he's an adult version of himself from the future who's threatening to replace her actual (lazy no-good) teenaged son in the present.

In First Among Sequels, the beginning of a new quartet (featuring a now middl...more
Rick Davis
For a long time, I've been wanting to pick up a Jasper Fforde book, having heard good things. As this was the only book in the "Thursday Next" series that my local library had immediately available, I thought I'd jump right in. Perhaps I should have tried to get one of the earlier books first.

I enjoyed the story; it was funny and creative, and had interesting characters. I really got into all the references to different books. However, the plot seemed unnecessarily convoluted, and took too long...more
Callista
Seemed to meander and rehash things from previous books at first, though there were plenty of little things to chuckle at. I don't care for the ChronoGuard plotlines as much as I enjoy the Jurisfiction stuff, and that may explain part of the problem I had with it. However, once it got going and settled into answering some of the key questions, it got better. Certainly a nice, light, entertaining read for word nerds.
melydia
Several years have passed since we last checked in with Thursday Next, and now she is the mother of three children, the eldest a despondent teen. SpecOps was disbanded and she swore off the book world, but still works as both a literary detective and for Jurisfiction in secret. Her latest assignment for the latter is training the latest recruit: herself. That is, herself as portrayed in the novels based on her life. Meanwhile, Pride and Prejudice is on the verge of being turned into a reality sh...more
Kristy Miller
First, I feel that I must address those readers who didn't like the book for either of theses to reasons: 1) You haven't read any other Thursday Next books before; or 2) You have read them, but it has been a really long time. Your laziness as a reader is not the author's fault. This is the 5th book in a complex series. No, it's not going to make sense if you haven't read the others. And if it has been a while, re-read them. You know that Jasper ties all his books together with jokes and referenc...more
George
I inadvertently skipped books 2-4 in the series, but thanks to the prominence of time travel in this book and Fforde's explanations, I didn't feel particular lost. From time to time, I seem to fall out of the rhythm of reading and it takes the right book to bring me back in. I tried picking up a Saramago that's been sitting on my shelf for a while, but after taking almost a month to get barely halfway through, I decided to switch gears, and what better way to do it than the Thursday Next series,...more
MissJessie--former librarian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerri
I’ve read all the books in the Thursday Next series up to this one and the first is still by far my favorite. They are all entertaining, but the plot seems to become less and less important with each go-around. I wasn’t sure what this one was exactly about until maybe three-quarters of the way through. Nonetheless, the ideas are clever. I found myself asking again and again, “How does he come up with this stuff?”

This time Thursday lives in a world with a stupidity surplus and political parties...more
Julie
Love it. Love the whole series. Love the author. It's literary sci-fi, literary mystery, just plain literary at it's best. Awesomely clever. Time travel, ghosts, the end of the world (caused by the end of Time), a demon, Danverclones (creepy Mrs. Danvers from du Maurier's Rebecca, cloned into an army of thousands), a "dirty bomb" that if unleashed in an inter-genre war between Racy Novel and Feminist Literature, could "scatter poorly described fornication all across drab theological debate or dr...more
Scot
The shine has worn off this series as it continues along—but I was so charmed at the outset that I keep coming back, and I shall most likely continue with the next installment (and it’s made abundantly clear at the end there will be a next installment) even though I found most of this book cruising on past glories, and ironically pulled in two directions—either the author spends too much time re-establishing complicated cosmologies and character back stories that occurred in previous books, or h...more
Giant Bolster
A slight drop in standard, this one. It was still highly enjoyable to read, but I thought there was too much exposition going on. The workings of the BookWorld and Chronoguard were explained in too much technical detail – to the extent that these elements no longer just seemed intriguingly fantastical but downright contrived. I wonder if Fforde received feedback about this during his alpha or beta readings, but interestingly, there was a pointedly self-reflexive snippet where Thursday1-4 complai...more
Melissa
I love this series so much. I’ve shamefully waited almost three year to read the fifth book, but luckily I wasn’t disappointed. Fourteen years have passed since the end of the 4th book and Thursday has adjusted to her life as a wife and mother, though she may not have given up her work as a literary detective quite as completely as she led her husband to believe. Thursday Next, a literary detective, lives with her husband and kids, Friday, Tuesday and Jenny.

I am constantly astounded by Fforde’s...more
Erin
I managed to acquire an advanced copy of the book, the 5th in the Thursday Next series.

I love the series, but I think this is the weakest of them. It's not as compulsively can't-put-it-down readable as the rest of the series, and there are way too many apparently disparate plot threads, which, granted, all come together in the end, but make the novel hard to follow early on. It's also not nearly as suspenseful as the earlier novels: none of the conflicts seem all that urgent, there's less death...more
oriana
One of the endorsements on the back of this book reads, Brainier silliness is hard to find, and I think that's the best encapsulation of Jasper Fforde I've yet to find. He really is the smart person's beach read, or some other such epithet.

This book made me think, though, that really really original artists can sometimes suffer for their singularity. I remember thinking this about Tom Robbins years ago, and it happens with visual artists and musicians too, I'd say. What I mean is that when some...more
Anthony Eaton
I will have to admit to being a little bit uncertain at launching into this one – it comes across as something of a ‘transitional’ book, as our hero Thursday next becomes, in effect, 3 heroes: The ‘real’ Thursday, plus two 'written' Thursdays. By a third of the way through the book though, I was hooked. Fforde continues to be one of the most creative and inventive writers of literary fiction that I have come across in recent years– the Thursday next universe is a compelling place, and the way in...more
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Thursday's Disdain for First Four Books 8 41 Apr 26, 2013 12:02AM  
  • The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
  • Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures (Zamonia, #3)
  • The Sign Of The Book (Cliff Janeway, #4)
  • Letters from LA
  • The Victoria Vanishes (Bryant & May, # 6)
  • Black Projects, White Knights: The Company Dossiers (The Company, #4.5)
  • Making Money (Discworld, #36)
  • The Firemaker (China Thrillers, #1)
  • Curse of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #2)
  • The Book Stops Here (Mobile Library Mystery, #3)
  • Aberystwyth Mon Amour (Aberystwyth Noir, #1)
4432
Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on sterling banknotes, and is cousin of Desmond Fforde, married with the author Katie Fforde. His early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films including Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrap...more
More about Jasper Fforde...
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2) The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4) The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1)

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“Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It's the crack cocaine of the literary world.” 446 likes
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