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First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,755 Ratings  ·  1,372 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
Paperback, 398 pages
Published June 26th 2008 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2007)
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Jul 23, 2007 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 25, 2009 Esther rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 10, 2008 Brownbetty rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
May 25, 2008 Kerrin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 24, 2008 Tripp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
Look, I like this series a lot. But there's a lot in this one that I find frustrating.
1. The fourteen year time skip between books. I'm really not a fan of time skips as a plot device, and jumping THAT FAR? No thank you.
2. (view spoiler)
3. Multiples of the same character.
3a. I mean, we have three different versions of the protagonist - Actual Thursday Next, Thursday N
Rachel C.
May 19, 2008 Rachel C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 25, 2009 Sandi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009, funny-stuff
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
Oct 29, 2012 Louize rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.
Oct 10, 2014 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
Fourteen years have passed since the last book, and Thursday Next now has a teenage son, now works for a carpet company and has a side income smuggling cheese in from Wales. But all is not right in the world of books. reading rates are falling, Sherlock Holmes has and others have been killed, and they start to think that there is a serial killer loose in bookworld.

On top of that the Goliath corporation is trying to muscle in on travel to bookworld. The carpet company is a front for the real work
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
Nov 04, 2015 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Whilst this book might be listed as 5 in the Thursday Next series, it is set 14 years after the previous book, so it is almost like a brand new series. The only trouble with that is that so much time is spent filling in the intervening happenings, and scene setting that the first half of the book is quite a slog of a read. There is a fair amount of repetition too.
So things have changed in this fictitious corner of England. Much of SpecOps has been disbanded, and Thursday now finds herself workin
Feb 01, 2015 Barbm1020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
In Jasper Fforde's wonderful book, Thursday Next: First Among Sequels First Among Sequels we find Thursday no longer a young and eager secret agent in the world of literary law enforcement, but a middle-aged wife (of her formerly eradicated but now retrieved husband) and mother of 2 (or possibly 3). The British Archipelago is suffering from a Stupidity Surplus which results in bad decision-making on the part of many government agencies, including an enormous tax on Welsh Cheese imports to Englan ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book-lovers
This book is #5 in the Thursday Next series. Read the other books first! Not a stand-alone.

Thursday Next is retired from Special Ops. Now 52, married with three children: Friday, Tuesday, and Jenny, Thursday Next is working for Acme Carpets.

Except she's really not. Unknown to her darling husband, Thursday has not really given up her dangerous job of keeping the fictional world in order. Blessed with the rare ability to travel in and out of books, Thursday and the other agents of Jurisfiction kee
Jan 30, 2009 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristy Miller
Feb 02, 2015 Kristy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 30, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2013 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 12, 2007 Eviltwinjen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2009 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REALLY die-hard Thursday Next fans
Bronx cheer to this one.

I finished it, and I didn't finish it, which is typical of the strange paradoxes running through this book which I didn't care enough to invest myself in figuring out. The whole time travel paradox lost me, and I guess I could have sat and tried to wrap my mind around it but by page 50 I was already skimming and the skimming grew increasingly careless and superficial as I plowed through the rest of the book (hence the finished/unfinished dichotomy).

I give Jasper Fforde a
Rick Davis
Apr 14, 2014 Rick Davis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
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
Oct 10, 2013 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, series
after 'something rotten', i thought i just needed a Thursday Next respite... but i think now, Thursday and I need a clean break. The quirky, funny things about BookWorld and the Outland and Jurisfiction were all just a muddied jumble in this one. I was never quite sure which storyline to invest in, there were 3 mediocre plots happening the entire time. Unsatisfying ending that led to a terrible "stay continued for our next adventure!!" cliffhanger.
Jan 27, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-satire
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.
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
Fun as always, though I didn't go into it intending to read two books about the erasure of time travel simultaneously. Plods along a bit, but the setup for the next book is fantastic and i can't wait to dive in.
First Among Sequels is the fifth Thursday Next book, a book series which is impossibly to accurately sum up, because it’s so weird, and stubbornly resists classification (on purpose). I suppose in theory you could start reading the series with this book (after all, I had largely forgotten most of the details of the previous four when I started it and it turned out fine for me), but you’d really lose appreciation for the little details if you did that, and a lot of the stuff you just wouldn’t car ...more
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Thursday's Disdain for First Four Books 8 50 Apr 26, 2013 12:02AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: First Among Sequels 1 5 Apr 23, 2012 05:56AM  
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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 to 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 Entrapment.

More about Jasper Fforde...

Other Books in the Series

Thursday Next (8 books)
  • 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)
  • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6)
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot (Thursday Next, #7)
  • Dark Reading Matter (Thursday Next, #8)

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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.” 476 likes
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