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The Woman Who Died A Lot

(Thursday Next #7)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  12,216 ratings  ·  1,433 reviews
The Bookworld’s leading enforcement officer, Thursday Next, has been forced into semiretirement following an assassination attempt. When Thursday’s former SpecOps division is reinstated, she assumes she’s the obvious choice to lead the Literary Detectives. But our banged-up heroine is no spring chicken, and her old boss has a cushier job in mind for her: chief librarian of ...more
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Viking (first published July 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  12,216 ratings  ·  1,433 reviews

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Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Jasper Fforde has built one of the most intriguing and thoroughly odd worlds in his alternate Earth within his Thursday Next series. Unfortunately, the very strengths of that fully developed world are transmogrifying into a weakness that threatens the series.

It's a case of too much. In The Woman Who Died a Lot, the wackiness of the world becomes too much for the narrative to sustain, and while the series has always felt like Fforde is barely controlling the craziness, he loses that control
David Baldacci
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another entry in Fforde’s incomparable Thursday Next series. Jasper Fforde has one of the most vivid imaginations of all time -- like J.K. Rowling on steroids.
You know, I keep thinking I'm going to be able to write this review, but I still don't know exactly what I want to say about it yet.

It's probably my favourite so far of the Thursday Next series, which kind of surprises me, seeing as how it has so little of the things I generally love the most about these books.

(view spoiler)

Now, I get that there's a reason for that, and the way it was explained made complete sense.

The thing that
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Book-lovers
Book #7 in the Thursday Next series. Not a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading the other books before this one.

Thursday Next remains one of my favorite fictional female characters. A 56-year-old, who is disabled, a gun-carrying war veteran, a wife and mother, and...someone who has the ability to transport into books and back out again. I adore the fact that Fforde has allowed Thursday to age: in the first book she's 36, and now (6 books later) she's 56.

Highlights: a man who has passages of
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The Woman Who Died A Lot is the seventh book in the Thursday Next series and proves to be another enjoyable visit to the book-obsessed alternate Earth of Swindon, where the enforcement arm of the Library Service agitates for permission to conduct dawn raids to retrieve overdue books, and all of the Service’s members would die to protect any book in the library (except for “those bloody awful Emperor Zhark novels and anything written by Daphne Farquitt”). There are a number of stories going on in ...more
I’ve enjoyed the Thursday Next series since encountering her in the wonderful The Eyre Affair 10 years ago despite my worry that Fforde had read rather too many classics, pulp police procedurals and postmodern theory which he seemed to weave together through a slightly absurd public school/Oxbridge wit. Hits his stride again here after what seems like a bit of a detour in One of Our Thursdays is Missing, despite its verve, wit, meta-fictional commentary and freshness. The last Thursday Next ...more
Aug 29, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
'I think it's an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard'


To all the librarians
that have ever been
ever will be
are now
this book is respectfully dedicated

Everything comes to an end. A good bottle of wine, a summer's day, a long-running sitcom, one's life, and eventually our species. The question for many of us is not that everything will come to an end, but when, and can we do anything vaguely useful until it does?

5* The Eyre Affair
5* Lost in a Good Book
5* The Well of Lost Plots
5* Something
Melissa McShane
I love the Thursday Next series, but wasn't as fond of this one. Probably I'll like it better the next time I read it, but I'm not sure; the ending seemed a little contrived, or at the very least rushed. Although Fforde sets up the denouement throughout the book, the fact that it involves not only new characters but also a hitherto unknown organization makes it feel forced.

Aside from this, the storyline with Thursday's son Friday trying to change his destiny was really good. I especially liked
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading the Thursday Next books for more than a decade, and have greatly enjoyed my travels with Thursday. The early books seemed to have four things which made them quite enjoyable--a feisty protagonist, biting satire of modern life, a wide ranging yet well written plot filled with dozens of characters, and most importantly references to an entire library full of books in Bookworld which made every in-joke you got a good laugh and every one you didn't made you want to run to the ...more
R.S. Carter
As usual, loved it! This time, we are back in the real world (albeit an alternate reality) with Thursday Next, renowned literary detective, as she faces a number of complicated issues.

First, the Almighty has finally revealed His presence and resigns Himself to the destruction of wayward mankind on a regular basis. Swindon is scheduled for an almighty smiting on Friday at noon unless Thursday can stop it.

Thursday's genius daughter Tuesday is currently working on a smite shield to save Swindon.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
ZOMG a new Thursday Next book!! And I was lucky enough to score a proof at a teeny secondhand bookshop upstate!!!

I will tell you this right now: I just got back from a 10-day vacation. I have gallons of emails to answer, scads of laundry to do, and an entire apartment to clean before I go back to work tomorrow, yet I am still going to spend at least a half hour finishing this book with a cup of coffee before I do any of it.


And I did! And it was soooo worth it, even though, exactly a week
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed, owned
In my opinion, this is Jasper Fforde back at his marvellous best.

I will, however reluctantly, admit that I found the previous Next tale - One of Our Thursdays is Missing - just a little flat. I'm not sure even now that I can quite put my finger on why and it's not as if it was a poor effort; it just didn't meet the expectations that JF has caused me to have.

This book, though, places any loss of form firmly into the past. The Bookworld is, this time, of peripheral interest only; it's not giving
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor, adventure
I think this is the best Thursday Next novel. Clones in tupperware. Armed library agents (better make sure I return my books on time). Libraries named like football stadiums. It made me laugh - a lot.
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It’s 2004 in the alternate Britain of the now semiretired literary detective Thursday Next, and she’s getting older—54—but as her husband Landon tells her, when weird comes knocking gray hairs count more than the lost physical prowess she’s mourning. Weird, ironic, and mind-bendingly wonderful is of course exactly what you get in a Thursday Next novel. I’ve loved just about all of Jasper Fforde’s books, but the Thursday Next series is my favorite by far and even in that group this new one is ...more
Kathleen Lenihan
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I love Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next, otherwise why would I have read this book? That said, the last two books in the series have left me less than satisfied. In One of our Thursdays is Missing, the plot takes place almost entirely in BookWorld with the protagonist being the written Thursday. In TWWDAL, we have a book that takes place entirely in the "real" world. In the former, I missed the real Thursday, and in the latter, I missed the whimsy of BookWorld. Something in the recipe of each is ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
Back in the real world, Thursday Next is recovering for the injuries that happened at the end of the previous book. The GSD (Global Standard Deity) has threatened to smite Swindon, and the only person capable of stopping this is her daughter Tuesday. Her arch enemy, Aornis Hades has escape from the time loop she is stuck in and has planted a mind worm in the family that makes them think that they have a third child, Jenny.

The Goliath company now control the police and Spec-Ops, and are looking
Stephen Richter
This one was completely crazy. Thursday Next is exited when she learns her old job may be reinstated but then everything goes haywire. Plus God has decided to bring back some good old
"Old Testament" smiting. It is best to just go with the flow on this one because as I wrote previously, it is crazy.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This reached my home three weeks before going on holiday, and it took a lot of self control to leave it alone for that period. Worth the wait - both that short one and the much longer one since Thursday Next's previous outing. Jasper Fforde has lost none of his ingenuity, and none of his power to entertain. Inevitably there is a familiarity with the characters which the reader is assumed to have, but if you have that you will be delighted. He's just as funny as ever.

The plot is just too
Moira Russell
For some reason this didn't irritate me nearly as much as all the other ones did. Maybe I'm slipping.

This installment also felt more like sf than literary fantasy; and a lot more like a kind of stopgap between the frantic adventures of the last one and the no doubt frantic adventures of the upcoming Darkest Matter exploration. Lots of explanation, lots of theories, lots of wrapping-up. A lot fewer literary in-jokes, a lot more earnest overexplaining of how stuff works, more satire, more time
Gabrielle S
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, e-books, netgalley
4.5 Stars but I don't give out many five star reviews. This was fantastic. As a librarian I love the alternate version of librarians that Fforde has created. This book unlike the earlier ones was set in the real world not in Book World and while I suspect that that might bother some people I liked it. Thursday's real world is a little insane too.

There is resolution to a lot of things that happened earlier which is nice because I was wondering whether those things would get resolved.
Kathy Davie
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Seventh in the Tuesday Next fantasy series about a secret agent-type librarian willing to take on megalithic corporations intent on ruling the world through books. Greed. Money. Power. Books.

I really don't recommend diving into this without having read at least a few of the earlier Thursday Nexts. (Start with The Eyre Affair ---Jane Austen lovers may riot or embrace its nonsense, but y'all won't be bored!)

The first half was bloody confusing. And it's totally fantastical, odd, crazy, and
He needs to hurry up and write more.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Time spent with Thursday Next is always enjoyable and the plus is that there was an Eleanor of Aquitaine joke. Be still my heart.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Thursday Next and I have been on quite the journey in the last week or so. As I've mentioned, I have generally either not much liked or nigh loved all of the prior Thursday Next books. The Woman Who Died a Lot finally proves that I can actually like two Thursday Next books in a row, so huzzah for that. While this one did not entertain me quite so much as 1, 4, and 6, I found it a solid read without any slow spots.

This Thursday Next book starkly stands out from the rest. The entirety of this book
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published on Booking in Heels.

The Thursday Next novels have to be my all-time favourite series - what's not to love about a kick-ass woman who can jump into books? The last installment, One of Our Thursdays is Missing was a little bit of a let-down, but this latest installment more than makes up for it - a return to 'proper' Thursday Next!

I would love to know what exactly powers Jasper Fforde's imagination. Not only has be produced four different series of completely unique and absurd
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very impressed, as always, in fact 25% more impressed! Although no meet-ups with fictional characters, just like how One of Our Thursdays... was entirely set in BookWorld, the richness of RealWorld is no less enthralling. The Next family deals with very unique problems that could only happen in a Goliath-influenced world - thank Google we don't have any issues like that in ours ;-)One of the greatest aspects of this novel was the moral tone it takes while avoiding preachiness - a hard thing to ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very early in the book, Fforde references this line: to keep the Menai bridge from rust by boiling it in wine from this poem and I was terribly thrilled because I once memorised most of that poem for no particular reason other than I rather thought at one stage that I should memorise some poetry. It may have had something to do with Anne of Green Gables.

I felt very clever for knowing the reference, since it felt as though it was something obscure, but of course for the rest of the book I was
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the latest Thursday Next book, Thursday is middle-aged and embroiled in trouble again. This book is centered in Thursday's world, not the Book World, and I thought that worked very well; only one main world to keep straight. I am always entertained by Thursday's weird world, a world in which librarians perform dawn raids to get back overdue books, and where the head librarian is one of the most powerful positions in England. There were some interesting time travel ideas in here, some good ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thursday Next remains, as ever, my all-time favorite literary hero. And after she spent most of her last feature, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, well, missing, it was wonderful to spend some time with her again. It's almost like slipping into your old, comfortable body--bum leg, pain patches, and all. Oh, pardon me. I'm getting ahead of myself. This installment of Jasper Fforde's longest series gets back to basics, letting us wander through wacky-old Swindon, spend time with beloved ...more
Yvonne Boag
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I became a huge fan of Jasper Fforde from when I first read The Eyre Affair. It was like having an author write a book solely aimed at my taste and sense of humour and this has continued through out the entire series. The Woman who died a lot does not disappoint. Thursday Next is back and she is now head of the Wessex All You Can Eat at Fatso's Drink Not Included Library Services. And it's my sort of library where dawn raids are considered to retrieve overdue books. "I'd also like you to review ...more
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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 ...more

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)
  • First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)
  • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6)
  • Dark Reading Matter (Thursday Next, #8)
“Do I have to talk to insane people?"
"You're a librarian now. I'm afraid it's mandatory.”
“Do you really think you'd win a PR war against a bunch of committed librarians?' He thought about this, but he knew I was right. The libraries were a treasured institution and so central to everyday life that government and commerce rarely did anything that might upset them.Some say they were more powerful than the military, or, if not, they were certainly quieter. As they say: Don't mess with librarians.
Only they use a stronger word than 'mess'...”
More quotes…