The government is trying to figure out how to deplete the Stupidity Surplus now that the CommonSense party is in charge. The Book World is trying to sThe government is trying to figure out how to deplete the Stupidity Surplus now that the CommonSense party is in charge. The Book World is trying to stop the falling Real World read rate, and Thursday faces the increasingly dangerous Thursday from the trashy novel versions of her SpecOp/Book World adventures. Not to mention an alternative version of her son is threatening to replace her lazy, unwashed, real version of her son.
This is probably my favorite of the Thursday Next books after "The Eyre Affair". The sudden jump in time from the 1980s to 2002 really gave a lot of mystery to what had been going on in Thursday's life. The usual underlying theme of time travel causing events and Thursday fighting to put things right were mixed with two Thursday "clones" (from the meta-TN books with the Thursday Next books) working in the book world. Multiple copies of her son, a ghost of her great uncle, an imaginary daughter, the disbanding of Spec Ops and the subsequent underground version of Spec Ops that formed, and the usual shenanigans from the Acme corporation just added many levels of interesting subplot to what might have otherwise just been another adventure to save the world.
After her husband's eradication, Thursday Next decides to take up an apprenticeship with Ms. Havisham (from Great Expectations) and live in an unpubliAfter her husband's eradication, Thursday Next decides to take up an apprenticeship with Ms. Havisham (from Great Expectations) and live in an unpublished novel in the Well of Lost Plots until she gives birth. As she learns the ropes of Jurisfiction duty, she discovers that someone is trying to kill her, that a icky pink substance is going to destroy the (real) world in a month's time, the book she's currently living in will most likely be torn apart for scrap if it doesn't get more interesting, and the only way to uneradicate her husband is to get a war-mongering corporate lackey out of the prison she made for him inside a copy of Poe's "The Raven."
After introducing the world of Thursday Next in the first book, Fforde decided to create an even more fantastical and unbelievable world in the sequel. With the Goliath Corporation and the head of the Swendon SpecOps after her for the incidents of the first book, she moves to the fictional world of an unpublished mystery novel to figure out her next moves. It's a good build on the second novel, but doesn't have that spark of newness that made the first one so fantastic. With the addition of a cast of literary characters from classic (and not-so-classic) works, there's enough intrigue to go around and the end-of-the-world scenario brought to her by her time traveling father just makes it that much more over the top (in a good way)....more
In an alternate version of England where dodos are no longer extinct and Neanderthals have been brought back to life, Thursday Next works for a literaIn an alternate version of England where dodos are no longer extinct and Neanderthals have been brought back to life, Thursday Next works for a literary detective agency, breaking up forgery rings and protecting original copies of literary works. When the original copy of Jane Eyre disappears from a secure glass case in the Bronte family home with no trace of tampering, Thursday is brought in to track it down. What follows is a string of events that get progressively weirder as she learns a former professor has gone bad and is killing off fictional characters to ruin great works, and the only way to stop him is to jump into the books herself.
This is a British literary geek's dream. The humor builds as things get more and more ridiculous. Thursday Next is a strong and smart protagonist in an insane world. The way Fforde twists classic literary narratives to suit his story (only to twist them back in the end) is ingenious and allows for clever plot twists. Literary characters are real living people... except now quite. I love this book and every time I read it, I'm immersed all over again....more
It took a marathon reading session that kept me up far too late on a work night, but I finished my re-read and I enjoyed it as much as I remember enjoIt took a marathon reading session that kept me up far too late on a work night, but I finished my re-read and I enjoyed it as much as I remember enjoying it the previous time. I'm particularly fond of how Gaiman goes back and solves plot threads that you've long forgotten were left dangling, even after the story seems to be finished. He's so great at creating not only vivid characters but also a world that is exactly the same as the one we live in while being completely different in every way.
I'm glad I revisited it. Neverwhere is still my favorite Gaiman book, but this story is the most epic of his novels. Definitely worth the revisit....more