'The Fourth Bear' - Jasper Fforde

Culhwch

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While I was reading one of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books, a friend of mine asked what it was about. After trying for five fruitless minutes to explain even a tenth of the gist, I gave up. Thankfully, while his newest offering, The Fourth Bear, is not nearly so convuluted, it is just as entertaining.

The second in the series that began with The Big Over Easy, The Fourth Bear sees the return of Reading's crack Nursery Crime Division. DCI Jack Spratt and DS Mary Mary are fresh from nabbing The Red Legg'd Scissor Man, main suspect in a string of thumbectomies, when the homicidal Gingerbreadman escapes from St Cerebellums mental hospital, with murder on his mind. But it's not their case - after making a mess of the Red Riding Hood case, Spratt is suspended pending psychiatric evaluation. Never one to let a unsurprising plot device get him down, Jack takes on the case of a missing journalist - known to her friends as Goldilocks. As he races to uncover the truth, Jack discovers the two seperate cases are inextricably linked. What ensues is a twisting and turning murder investigation, as Jack and Mary battle against time, authority, substance-abusing bears, the Men in Green, and a mailicious oversized cake/biscuit.

Though Fforde never stops to take himself seriously, he nevertheless delivers a most literary book. The Next Set showed his love of literature and the ludricrous, and those passions continue to shine through here. Just because this story is littered with nursery characters, anthropomorphic bears, Extreme Cucumbering, and even Dorian Gray, it works just as well as any silmilar murder mystery currently on the shelves. What elevates it is Fforde's keen wit and unswerving nerve to go wherever the hell he wants to. Nothing is sacred... not even himself, as Jack and Mary both question the lame payoff of one of Fforde's long setups.

By turns irreverent and acerbic, silly and inspired, The Fourth Bear is one not to miss.
 

Winters_Sorrow

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Sounds good.
I've never read Jasper Fforde before but I've loaned a copy of "The Eyre Affair" and the precis sounds wacky enough to tickle my funny bone. :)
 

Joel007

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I just bought the fourth bear, but i haven't had time to read it yet :) If its anywhere near the standards of his other books it should be excellllent
 
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