Clare Fitzgerald's Reviews > One of Our Thursdays Is Missing

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

liked it
Read from July 30 to August 11, 2012

So I finished this book about a week ago and didn't blog about it because... well, largely because I am a lazy bum. Partly because Life Things and partly because the next book I'm reading is so good I'd rather read it than write about this one, but really, mostly because I am a lazy bum.

The book in question is Jasper Fforde's One of Our Thursdays is Missing, the sixth book in his "mind candy for English majors" Thursday Next series. This one is from the perspective of written Thursday--the New Agey one that got written in after Pulpy Sex-and-Violence Thursday got scrapped somewhere in book four or wherever--because Outland (ie, the real world) Thursday has mysteriously disappeared, at a very politically inconvenient time, because a genre war is about to break out along the borders of Racy Novel and Women's Fiction.

Honestly, at this point in the series, the Bookworld worldbuilding and clever fake techobabble has gotten a bit overdeveloped, and is sometimes more clever than actually funny, and at other times is more self-referential than the last season of Arrested Development. It's feeling a bit... stretched. And at times, weirdly voyeuristic? Like, this has gone from being a story about the wacky land where stories live, to a peek into Jasper Fforde's brain and sense of how clever he is. (It was always a bit like that but it's definitely getting more so.) It's like he wrote the story, and did an entire fandom's worth of nerdy nitpicking that really ought to have been left to the geeks to work out over the next ten years. It's too much. However, many of the jokes, even when a bit too self-conscious, are still pretty funny, so overall I did find the book amusing.

The main thing this book was lacking in was characters from real works of literature--a lot of it is about the Thursday Next novels themselves, with excursions into vanity publishing and fanfiction. So lots of OCs. And lots of discussion of genre gatekeeping and tropes, making it less of an English-lit-student brain-candy book and more of a publishing-industry-wonk cathartic mocking book. Or something.

I definitely enjoyed it, but you definitely have to be in the sort of mood where, like, if you were watching TV instead of reading a book, you'd be watching a twee sitcom about a bunch of zany members of some subculture or other.

xposted at my bookblog

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