Jasper Fforde

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Jasper Fforde

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in London, England, The United Kingdom



Member Since
March 2016

Fforde began his career in the film industry, and for nineteen years held a variety of posts on such movies as Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment. Secretly harbouring a desire to tell his own stories rather than help other people tell their's, Jasper started writing in 1988, and spent eleven years secretly writing novel after novel as he strove to find a style of his own that was a no-mans-land somewhere between the warring factions of Literary and Absurd.

After receiving 76 rejection letters from publishers, Jasper's first novel The Eyre Affair was taken on by Hodder & Stoughton and published in July 2001. Set in 1985 in a world that is similar to our own, but with a few crucial - and bizarre - differences (Wales is a socialist rep

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Jasper Fforde Just recently a previously unknown Shakespeare First Folio was rediscovered, which once again throws the often unwelcome spotlight on the earlier 'pro…moreJust recently a previously unknown Shakespeare First Folio was rediscovered, which once again throws the often unwelcome spotlight on the earlier 'problem' manuscripts of Shakespeare's most famous work, Hamlet.

The First (bad) Quarto of 1603 is long presumed to be a pirated version, presumably reassembled by minor actors within the company. But there are, however, even earlier versions which throw an intriguing light on Shakespeare's writing processes as he moved from first draft to finished masterpiece.

The 'Frightfully Bad' Quarto, for instance, featured Hamlet with the now notorious 'Scooby Doo' ending, where King Hamlet turns out to be Fortinbrass simply pretending to be a ghost in order to divert attention away from his pending invasion. It finishes with the line, now much paraphrased: "And were it not for these children of meddlesome countenance, this crown would be mine.'

Of lesser interest still is the fragmented 'Die Hard Quarto' which features Hamlet visiting Elsinore castle to reconcile with Ophelia, only to find the castle overrun with 'A foul and pestilent congregation of evilness' led by Polonius' estranged brother, Hans Gruber. Thankfully the play is now lost except for fragments of the 'Now I have a rapier Ho Ho Ho' scene. As a minor aside, the play features the first known usage of the exclamation: 'Yippee Ki Yay, Bull's pizzle'

But of all the various Hamlet drafts theorised to exist, perhaps the most contentious is: 'The Comedy of Hamlet, Prince of Zombies'. Extrapolated from scribbled margin notes in Kit Marlowe's early draft of 'The Massacre of Paris', the play is unique in that it was originally thought to have been performed backwards.

Denmark has been overrun by a Zombie Apocalypse. All are undead. The action begins when Prince Hamlet is brought back to life during a fencing tournament. In revenge for this 'foul and discourteous act' Hamlet proceeds to 'undead' the rest of the cast. He does this by various means - an 'elixir of life' to his mother, a refreshing sea journey for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, a swim in the fountain of life for his undead girlfriend Necrophelia, and the 'unstabbing' of Polonius. It was, according to a contemporary observer: 'A play of infinite mirth'.

Details of the action are mostly obscure, but the soliloquy survives where Hamlet muses on whether it is better to be dead or undead: 'To not to be, or to not to not to be'. The play ends, it is supposed, with Hamlet swearing to make his father undead and reseat him on the throne of the now living Denmark. It is thought the surviving line: 'Something Rotten in the State of Denmark' also refers to the play's Zombie roots.

The mechanism by which this early draft morphed into the modern Hamlet has long been mired in controversy, but tellingly, Shakespeare was known to have promised to deliver a 'most excellent tragedy' to the King's Men in 1602, and was told to: 'deliver the work on Monday or your head will be off'. It is tantalising to suggest that he simply reversed the action over the course of a boozy weekend.

Alas, we will never know.
Jasper Fforde I don't have an answer - I just want to say Thank You! I have loved that you read all my books!!?

Seriously, you guys pay my bills and allow me to do t…more
I don't have an answer - I just want to say Thank You! I have loved that you read all my books!!?

Seriously, you guys pay my bills and allow me to do the best job in the world. Thankyouthankyouthankyou(less)
Average rating: 4.01 · 411,454 ratings · 34,847 reviews · 34 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Eyre Affair (Thursday N...

3.88 avg rating — 114,592 ratings — published 2001 — 91 editions
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Lost in a Good Book (Thursd...

4.14 avg rating — 48,202 ratings — published 2002 — 68 editions
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The Well of Lost Plots (Thu...

4.10 avg rating — 36,256 ratings — published 2004 — 54 editions
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Something Rotten (Thursday ...

4.16 avg rating — 31,503 ratings — published 2004 — 49 editions
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Shades of Grey (Shades of G...

4.14 avg rating — 31,798 ratings — published 2009 — 37 editions
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The Big Over Easy (Nursery ...

3.94 avg rating — 30,261 ratings — published 2005 — 33 editions
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First Among Sequels (Thursd...

4.02 avg rating — 23,737 ratings — published 2007 — 43 editions
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The Fourth Bear (Nursery Cr...

4.08 avg rating — 20,875 ratings — published 2006 — 29 editions
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One of Our Thursdays Is Mis...

3.96 avg rating — 17,457 ratings — published 2011 — 36 editions
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The Last Dragonslayer (The ...

3.87 avg rating — 18,939 ratings — published 2010 — 49 editions
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More books by Jasper Fforde…
The Eyre Affair Lost in a Good Book The Well of Lost Plots Something Rotten First Among Sequels One of Our Thursdays Is Mis... The Woman Who Died a Lot
(7 books)
4.01 avg rating — 285,118 ratings

The Big Over Easy The Fourth Bear
(3 books)
3.99 avg rating — 51,418 ratings

Shades of Grey
(3 books)
4.14 avg rating — 31,879 ratings

The Last Dragonslayer The Song of the Quarkbeast The Eye of Zoltar
(4 books)
3.96 avg rating — 32,850 ratings

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The US books have very little changes. Indeed, Thursday Next 1 to 3 are actually better as I had a chance to rewrite them a bit more as there was a year's delay in publication. There are minor changes to 'house style' sentence construction and more c See Full Answer
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More of Jasper's books…
“If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution.”
Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten

“After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer's breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer - perhaps more.”
Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots

“Take no heed of her.... She reads a lot of books.”
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair



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