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First Among Sequels

(Thursday Next #5)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  24,708 ratings  ·  1,634 reviews
It's been fourteen years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult sixteen year old. However, Thursday's got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed at the Reichenbach Falls and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. W ...more
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Viking Adult
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  24,708 ratings  ·  1,634 reviews

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fforde-jasper
The title itself is a good indicator of the clever use of innuendos, references, and connotations in this unique universe.

The time travel element is big in this one and unleashes the full potential of caricaturing with this trope and exaggerating the potential for confusion by multiple everything possible, people, worlds, whatever. The only problem might be that, without the foreknowledge or better said reading the other novels of the series first, it might get too complicated with all those ele
May 10, 2008 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
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

‘Incredibly enough, reality TV has just got worse.’ ‘Is that possible?’ I asked. ‘Wasn’t Celebrity Trainee Pathologist the pits?’ I thought for a moment. ‘Actually, Whose Life Support Do We Switch Off ? was worse. Or maybe Sell Your Granny. Wow, the choice these days makes it all so tricky to decide.’
Bowden laughed. ‘I’ll agree that Granny lowered the bar for distasteful programme makers everywhere, but RTA-TV, never one to shirk from a challenge, have devised Samaritan Kidney Swap. Ten rena
Jul 23, 2007 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
Aug 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) 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
Megan Baxter
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I still enjoy these. I don't know that they are as shiny and new as when Jasper Fforde was a discovery, but I do enjoy them. I felt like the one before this was a bit muddy, if I remember correctly (it was a while ago), but First Among Sequels is a thoroughly fun addition to the Thursday Next series. I really never get tired of Fforde's voice. That's what it comes down to, in the end.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enfor
May 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it
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
Stephen Richter
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Thursday Next is now in her 40s, has a slacker son named Friday who sleeps until noon is and is suppose to save the world in the future. Plus she is tasked to train Thursday 5 and Thursday 1-4, literary versions of herself all the while working for Acme Carpet Company, now a cover for Spec Ops. Jasper Fforde once again invents a wild tale of the literary world. ...more
Jul 22, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
Rachel C.
May 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
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
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, fantasy, 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 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor
I think that at book five in this series, Fforde is running a little low on novel elaborations of the theme and on targets for satire. He broadens the scope here, from the plot—the (real) UK government tries to unload a stupidity surplus—to the book- and time-travel concepts—Fforde goes meta! I found it fun, if occasionally confused and inane. The plot isn't very cohesive. Perhaps Fforde's first idea ran flat, so he had to add in another plot line. ...more
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2008
One of the endorsements on the back of this book reads, Brainier silliness is hard to find, and I think that's the best encapsulation of Jasper Fforde I've yet to find. He really is the smart person's beach read, or some other such epithet.

This book made me think, though, that really really original artists can sometimes suffer for their singularity. I remember thinking this about Tom Robbins years ago, and it happens with visual artists and musicians too, I'd say. What I mean is that when some
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 23, 2013 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
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 30, 2015 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 worki
This is a diabolically tricksy book. When I first opened my copy and saw the book list, I panicked. I've spent over 10 years collecting my copies so I could read them in order, and I was astounded to find a crossed out title on the list: "The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco", listed as TN #5. Did I miss one? Was it a special limited edition or charity project? Nope. This is a fictional book which doesn't exist in our world, but that makes this book (First Among Sequels) officially Thursday Next #6, no ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's not much to say about this book that I haven't said about Thursday Next books. First, this one feels the most like a sequel and a book with a sequel in that it doesn't give as much exposition about earlier books in the series, and it ends on a cliffhanger. Second, I really wish there was more content in the Outland. I love the Bookworld and Fforde's creativity, but I much prefer his creativity in the real world of the novel. I want more cheese activity, more Spike, more Bowd
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, urban-fantasy
I enjoyed this, although I do not know how I would compare it to the earlier books in the series. It has been too long, and there were too many books in between reading book 4 and book 5. Memory says this one didn't have as many insider literary jokes. My opinion on this is that it was probably a good thing. The last few books seemed strung together more by humour and not plot.

This novel starts 14 years later than the previous book. We meet a moody, smelly Friday Next, who oozes lazy teenager t
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great “thinker” from Thursday Next!
3.5* really. A good read. Still enjoying the series. Not quite sure why I haven't just given it 4* but it just doesn't feel like it was quite there. I enjoyed listening to it but I wasn't desperate to pick it up all the time. ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was curious where this series would go after the first four books, and was concerned when this book started 14 years after the last. But I stand corrected: I love the direction the book has taken. A hilarious amount of retcon, the same wonderful mix of high and low brow comedy, and plenty of new, interesting twists that will help move the series long. Delightful!
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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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)
  • 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)

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