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The Well of Lost Plots

(Thursday Next #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  36,616 ratings  ·  1,938 reviews
Protecting the world's greatest literature—not to mention keeping up wit Miss Havisham—is tiring work for an expectant mother. And Thursday can definitely use a respite. So what better hideaway than inside the unread and unreadable Caversham Heights, a cliché-ridden pulp mystery in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside? But peace a ...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Penguin Books (first published February 23rd 2004)
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 ·  36,616 ratings  ·  1,938 reviews

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fforde-jasper
The continuity is big in this one and the later parts of the series keep referring to the happenings before, just that it gets more complicated than usual because of the parallel world theme.

The title alone says much about the idea of the reality of created universes and how, in this case the satirizing of the crime genre, it can be put in scene. It shows how conventions ruled genres over decades, that there once were strictly written conventions for everyone who wanted to get published and that
Book Review
3 of 5 stars to The Well of Lost Plots, the third thriller and mystery book in the "Thursday Next" series written in 2003 by Jasper Fforde. For those new to the series, it's a detective story where crimes occur inside books, and real-life people can jump inside the book to fix the problem or solve the crime. In book 3, things take a bit of a turn... Thursday, the main investigator, needs some down time, and goes to the "Well of Lost Plots," where unpublished books go to di
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy this book anywhere near as much as the first two in the series. While I think Fforde’s choice to set the action almost entirely in the Bookworld was an intriguing one, I also got the sense he was in over his head.

Like many of the partially completed books in the Well of Lost Plots, there is a great amount of creativity on display here, but also a lot of half-baked ideas and poorly developed characters. The action took place in so many different settings and with su
5.0 to 5.5 stars. I liked this book so much that when I finished it I had to really wonder whether I should go back and re-read the first two books in the series (which I have 4 stars and 3 stars respectively). The writing was absolutely superb, the plot was engaging and very original and the literary references hysterical. I found myself more than once jumping to Wikipedia to find out from which book a particular character or reference originated.

A few fun examples (1) a rage counseling sessio
Oct 02, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In which my irritation at this series reaches a boiling point.

I had an odd reaction to the two previous Thursday Next novels, a curious mixture of subtle enjoyment and distinct annoyance. The enjoyment came from the fact that I’m a man who loves books and they were distinctly literary reads. But there was also a huge amount of quirkiness (never a quality I particularly like) and an arch ‘oh-isn’t-this-soooo-clever!’ self-satisfaction to the proceedings. There were points in the previous books wh
This one took a bit more time to get going than the previous two. The point wasn't really clear until a third of the way through, but that's not awful. It's a lot of fun just visiting this strange world - even stranger since most of this one was in the book world, not the 'real' one.

The book world provides so many wonderful opportunities for fun & humor. Mrs. Havisham, the depressing spinster from Great Expectations, loves to drive fast so it only makes sense she has a rivalry with Mr. Toad fro
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers, people who like funny books
Recommended to Carmen by: Library

Thursday Next is a war veteran. She has traveled into books. She has worked for Special Ops. She has fought a Supreme Evil Being. Her skills and smarts are legendary.

Thursday Next is pregnant. The father, her husband Landon, is dead - eradicated by those Goliath Corporation bastards. They traveled back in time and killed him as a 2-year-old. It's
Anthony Eaton
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was surprised to see how many people didn't like this one as much as the first two. Personally, I loved it. Interestingly though, before I launched into the Thursday next books, I had already read the 1st 2 of Fforde's ' Nursery Crimes’ series, which intersects loosely with the book world setting of this 3rd novel, and for me a large part of the reading pleasure here was in the cleverness of that intersection, And so perhaps that has some impact upon the way I read the book.

Like the previous 2
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: metafiction, fantasy
More and more disappointing, this series. The whole story sounded like an enormous and finally quite annoying backstage gossip. I think I've had enough of Thursday Next.
Kirsten McKenzie
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly delightful!
Loved every page. It might have helped somewhat if I'd known originally that this was the third book in the series, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the story.
I felt the plot was utterly original, and the characters, and the sub plots, and the Grammersites...
If you love reading, then this is the series for you. My imagination was blown away by the author's creative imagining of what happens inside of Well of Plots, and the likely graveyard of discarded verbs and nouns.
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Writers and other book nerds.
I seem somewhat doomed to find series via a book somewhere in the middle. I'm sure it happens to everyone, but it -feels- like it happens to me a bit more often.

So... Except for people who find it accidentally, who'd read a review of this book? Likely someone who's interested in perhaps reading it... Who, I'd guess, would be someone who's already read the first two. So, this review's probably useless. None the less....

This book (as I'm sure is true for the rest of the series) is meant as somethi
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF at 70% The title is supposed to be a description of the location of most of the book. Lost plots and generic characters abound, unfortunately what it really describes is the book itself. Overly clever, steeped in literary geekdom and lame, in your face, characterizations. Not much to like about this book even Thursday was a miss. 2 stars for a few scattered funny moments and Thursday's gran.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This is an interesting continuation of Thursday's story. Now, she's living in the Book World, planning to stay and rest for a year until she has her baby, when she'll return to the Outland and continue trying to bring Landen back.
The beginning of the book moves verrrrry slowly. Some of the conflicts that will come to a head at the end of the book are introduced, but they are just blurbs at first. Most of the "action" consists of Thursday meeting and interacting with other Jurisfict
Lisa Vegan
Mar 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: almost anyone who enjoys humor, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, the English language, and books
I slogged through most of the first fifth or so of this book; I preferred Thursday in her “real” world of the first two books. I was concerned that this third book wouldn’t be as enjoyable as I’d expected it would be. I ended up loving it though, and laughed as much as I did while reading the first two books, and cared as much about Thursday and certain other characters as much as well.

This book was kind of all over the place more than the first two books in the series, but there were so many wo
Oct 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
There's something in me that wants to dislike these books, but I just can't. They are both absurd and ridiculously clever, and stuffed full of jokes that only a gramma(rfan) could love. I appreciate that Fforde explodes the formulae of every genre he skewers, refusing to return his characters to the starting block for the next book. I sometimes find everything a little too clever and self-congratulatory, and the quotes that start the chapters irritate me with their look-ma-no-exposition expositi ...more
Oct 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008, fantasy, funny-stuff
I jumped right into "The Well of Lost Plots" after finishing "Lost in a Good Book". I think I'm ready for some other reading for a while.

"The Well of Lost Plots" was a pretty interesting book, and it was fun. But, there wasn't a lot of plot to it and it jumped around a lot. Once again, Thursday's primary problem remains unresolved. I hope it gets taken care of in the next volume.

Oh, and I think I need to read "Great Expectations".
May 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z2018
SO CREATIVE!! I love this book and I love this series. ♥
Aug 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Outlanders with humor
In this third book, Thursday Next goes for a small holiday in a poorly written and unpublished novel in the Well of Lost Plots within the Book World. While there, she ends up joining the Book World police (Jurisfiction) as an apprentice to the Dickens Great Expectations character Mrs Haversham.

As in the previous two novels, this one if full of funny dialogues and meetings with characters from some of the great classics (Dickens, Brontë and Verne are just a few).

The books really revolves around
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing. I'm convinced that Fforde is one of the most brilliant authors writing fiction today.

The Well of Lost Plots, rather than being more of the same from the world of Thursday Next and Jurisfiction, is something fresh, still original, never boring, and simply... fabulous. I adore this series for so many reasons... not the least of which being that it, much like Harry Potter or Abarat, is too often viewed as a children's book when it (and the others) are really nothing of the sort.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-collection
Re-read as part of the #thursdaysareforthursday Instagram read along with @booksandfrogs

"'The Well of Lost Plots is where we interface the writer's imagination with the characters and plots so that it will make sense in the reader's mind. 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
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thursday Next leaves her strange version of Swindon behind to take a sort-of maternity leave in the Bookworld. As part of the character exchange program she finds herself in the poorly written book Caversham Heights. But whilst she's in Bookworld she still has duties to attend to, whether that be an Alice in Wonderland trial, helping Miss Havisham run anger management groups in Wuthering Heights or try and work out what's wrong with the new book operating system UltraWorld.

It's an interesting mo
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books about books/reading are my favourites. And there is some amazing imagination at work here. Unfortunately, the book didn't really click with me. I wanted to like it but it took me ages to read it. And I felt like a small child watching Shrek - I noticed that there are heaps of references and jokes that I just didn't get because I do not know all the books mentioned. There are so many outstanding ideas in this book but knowing there is a joke I just don't get is frustrating in itself and whe ...more
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those looking for something different
Just got this one and had to read it right away. I was going to wait, as I still haven't read Lost in a Good Book, but I picked it up just to look through it and I couldn't put it down. I'm not even sure really why I like this series so much. Maybe just because it is so different. Or maybe it's all the Lewis Carroll stuff. But it was really good and I'm anxious to read more in this series.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Thrusday Next's wacky adventures in the BookWorld continue, a brilliant book!
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Onto book 3 I went.

There is something about this series of books that is just an easy kind of read but keeps you entertained all the way. I can't really remember the last time I enjoyed a series of books so much as this, I love all the little subplots being interwoven in each book and how you end up with more answers, but then even more questions at the end of each one.

I enjoyed this book so much, learning more about the Bookworld, how you make up the generics and just quite literally seeing a c
Ashley Marie
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
For as excellent a narrator as Emily Gray is (she's fantastic and I adore her), methinks I shall switch solely to paperback for the remainder of this series. It's been awhile since I looked at the first two and I'm too lazy to grab them off the shelf and check but this volume in particular had plenty of footnotes, thanks to the many Footnoter Phone conversations, and I don't believe they were included in the reading of the text. So while I truly didn't miss anything, I felt like I was, if that m ...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
If Alice in Wonderland was written about a policewoman from an alternate 1980's Britain and had less of an LSD trip vibe and more of a literature geek thing going on, and there was some murder involved, you'd ALMOST have a frame of reference for this extremely weird book in Jasper Fforde's already EXTREMELY weird Thursday Next series. Frankly, he outdid himself; it's a fantastically imaginative and thoroughly amusing story, but you're definitely down the rabbit hole the whole time with no clue w ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most genius and inventive series I‘ve come across. Anyone loving bookish stuff and language is bound to love Jasper Fforde‘s writing - I just cackle so much to myself while reading. A lovely sight (and sound) indeed, but you‘ll now when you read for yourself.

Thursday Next, what a queen!
Angel White
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 3 of the Thursday Next Series was absolutely amazing. In this one we go behind the cover and pages of a book and travel INSIDE where the characters, plots, readership, and all things book-related are governed by Jurisfiction agents governed by the Council of Genres.

In the last book there was a major event that made Thursday Next go into the Character Exchange Program and she is now hiding out in the Well of Lost Plots where books are unpublished or awaiting creation. While there agents seem
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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 no-man ...more

Other books in the series

Thursday Next (7 books)
  • The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1)
  • Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2)
  • Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4)
  • First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)
  • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6)
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot (Thursday Next, #7)

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