Michelle's Reviews > One of Our Thursdays Is Missing

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde
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's review
Feb 07, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2012

Originally read in February 2011, reread November 2012. Fun seeing the pictures this time (the advanced uncorrected proof did not include them).

3.5 stars? I can't decide how I feel.

First, I won the Advanced Uncorrected Proof from Goodreads! Ahhhhh! I was jumping up and down screaming in my head when I found out. I love winning things. And as my workmate reminded me, I did NOT win anything at office Bingo a couple of weeks ago. And Jasper Fforde is my book husband. It was like the universe came together to send me this lovely, lovely book.

Now, the book. I wanted it to be a home run, slam dunk, whatever other sport saying that means I just love it to pieces right away because it's easily perfect. I even quickly read First Among Sequels to prepare myself. If this book was not perfect, you see, I didn't want to blame it on my own confusion. (First Among Sequels, still awesome, by the way.) But even with that, it took me a 114 pages to get into the groove with this one. Why? Well, even though the book promises that "[f]ans of Thursday Next will rejoice that their favorite character is back", the book does not center around Thursday Next at all. It focuses on the written Thursday, who we are told time and again, including by written Thursday, that she is NOT Thursday. She toughens up a lot, becoming more like Thursday, but she isn't, and I can't pretend otherwise. All of the other characters that we know and love are also not in the picture (brief appearances by some). We do get a new character that I like--Sprockett. Adding to the confusion, the BookWorld is completely different from how we've read about it in the previous books. It's a lot of change, and a lot to get used to. I didn't get insync with the book until page 114 because we're finally getting to Jurisfiction, Commander Bradshaw, Council of Genres-- familiar things. I feel like Fforde got into the groove as well with the jokes, puns, literary references. I felt like he was done setting up everything and could now let the story flow.

(Jasper, you do realize you had another Captain Corelli's Mandolin joke in this one, right? I think there was a similar one in First Among Sequels? Like the same joke about the first 100 pages or so being blah because of the sudden surge of interest? Sorry, sorry, don't want to call you out, but it surprised me that we did that one again. Let me know in the future if you would like for me to read all of your books ahead of time to catch these things. If you did this on purpose, ignore me. Okay, that's all.)

I had a lot of favorite moments. Here's one of them:

"Sprockett and the cabbie looked outside. Surrounding the car were five hundred or so mimes, all dressed uniformly in tight black slacks, a stripy top, white grease-paint and a large hat with a flower stuck in the crown. They were miming in the most terrifying fashion, their hideous faces contorted with exaggerated expressions, their bodies moving in a frighteningly sinuous movement that defied written description. The cabbie panicked and started the engine. It burst into life, and he popped the car in reverse.
'Hold it,' I said, looking out the rear window. 'You can't go backwards--there's a mime stuck inside a pretend glass cube just behind you. Wait--he's out. No, hang on, there's another, bigger pretend glass cube outside the smaller one.'
The cabbie started to sob."

Hahahahahahaha. And later in the book, "Was the mimefield funny or not? To us I think not. But it might have been funny to someone."

Oh, right, I know Fforde was tired of the time traveling, but I loved the time traveling! I'm sad to see it go. (Except maybe it isn't completely gone? I mean, we were hardly ever in the Outland to see if it was truly gone. I can't just believe that Thursday's father isn't running around in Time. And only slightly related, but I missed Mycroft. I completely love Mycroft.)

So, in conclusion, read the book. Jasper Fforde is still amazing and witty and funny and so darn creative. The literary references are fantastic. But be prepared. Don't go picking up the book thinking, Hurray, Thursday's back! Because she is NOT.
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