Jasper Fforde - Thursday Next series

Vertigo

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I have just stumbled on this series by Jasper Fforde. I have never read anything by him and have no idea about his stuff. This series seems to be kind of alternative reality thing and very definitely comedy/satire. As best I can understand it it is set in Bookworld - a world created by all the books in the "real world" where all the characters in those books are "real" and the heroine - Thursday Next - is a "Special Operative in literary detection". Here's the blurb on the first couple of books:

The Eyre Affair
In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde's ingenious fantasy-enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel--unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.
Lost in a Good Book
Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of four weeks, actually drowned in an accident when he was two years old. Someone, somewhere, sometime, is responsible. The sinister Goliath Corporation wants its operative Jack Schitt out of the poem in which Thursday trapped him, and it will do almost anything to achieve this - but bribing the ChronoGuard? Is that possible? Having barely caught her breath after The Eyre Affair, Thursday must battle corrupt politicians, try to save the world from extinction, and help the Neanderthals to species self-determination. Mastadon migrations, journeys into Just William, a chance meeting with the Flopsy Bunnies, and violent life-and-death struggles in the summer sales are all part of a greater plan. But whose? and why?
Anyone know anything. They sound quite fun especially for folk who are themselves aspiring authors.

Edit: Oh and here are a couple of review extracts on the Eyre Affair from Amazon:

'What Fforde is pulling is a variation on the classic Monty Python gambit: the incongruous juxtaposition of low comedy and high erudition - this scam has not been pulled off with such off-hand finesse and manic verve since the Pythons shut up shop. 'The Eyre Affair' is a silly book for smart people: postmodernism played as raw, howling farce' (Independent )

'It is always a privilege to watch the birth of a cult, and Hodder has just cut the umbilical cord. Always ridiculous, often hilarious ... blink and you miss a vital narrative leap. There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters' (Time Out )

'Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously' (Terry Pratchett )

'Surely a cult in the making' (Marie Clare )
 
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Shingetsu

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I think it is a very fun and funny series. I just got done reading the latest book in the series. It is very interesting reading about solving crimes in the BookWorld. Or characters coming out of the BookWorld into the RealWorld. I certainly recommend the series if you like comedy with crime solving along with wacky adventures and wacky characters.
 

Culhwch

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I read these a while back now, but I really enjoyed them. A very clever and original concept executed with skill.
 

digs

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This is a great series. Fforde's probably as close as anyone else has ever come to the genius of Pratchett (though he's still not that close). Be warned though: after reading these you will feel the urge to spend a lot of money on the classics.
 

Vertigo

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This is a great series. Fforde's probably as close as anyone else has ever come to the genius of Pratchett (though he's still not that close). Be warned though: after reading these you will feel the urge to spend a lot of money on the classics.
Well that can't be a bad thing. I think I will have to put these on my list. They do look good and I think the humour looks right up my street.

Incidentally for those of you have have read and enjoyed them, the reason that I first noticed them is that, according to fantastic fiction, he has just had a new one come out in paperback (presumably the hardback is already out) called One of Our Thursdays is Missing. How I could I not investigate a book with that title!?:D
 

aboyes

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Hell yeah!! I love Jasper Fforde and have read all his books apart from the last two, 'First Among Sequels' and 'One of our Thursdays is Missing', mainly because I don't want to finish them and have none left to read.

I would say that his Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series are my all time favourite books. The humour is very Douglas Adams at times and the plot devices are extremely clever. The way in which the Nursery Crime books link with the Thursday Next ones was brilliantly thought out.

Metafiction is the buzzword when I try to describe these to people who ask. But normally just advise getting The Eyre Affair and getting stuck in!

My wife and best friend have also read all of them, so we have out own little club to discuss them after reading which is nice :)

I would also HIGHLY recommend 'Shades of Grey' as well! I literally couldn't put it down, it's more sci-fi than his other books and is set in a post-apocalyptic future where people have limited colour perception.

Sorry to harp on but the man is a genius in my opinion and everyone should at least give one of his books a go!
 
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digs

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I would also HIGHLY recommend 'Shades of Grey' as well! I literally couldn't put it down, it's more sci-fi than his other books and is set in a post-apocalyptic future where people have limited colour perception.
Ooh, thanks for the reminder. I meant to buy Shades of Grey when it came out but forgot to remember! Better pop it back in the old booklist.
 

aboyes

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Oh and his young adult fiction book 'The Last Dragon Slayer' is also very good!

One more thing :) His website is really rather good as well - www.jasperfforde.com/ Lots on info and 'special features' relating to the books
 

Shingetsu

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Shades of Grey was a very good book. I just hate that instead of getting the next two books year after year, I read the second one won't be out until like 2013. I hope that's wrong because it really left me wanting to know what happens next.
 

DMZ

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Well this series sounds interestingly good I will look at it.............
 

natalienoo

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I adore all of Fforde's novels. The ideas are both insanely creative and strangely believable at the same time.
His Last Dragonslayer book just shows how varied his talents are. It takes a truly special author to be able to write for adults and younger readers with such success.

If you enjoy or appreciate classic fiction definitely start with his first book The Eyre Affair.
- if not, perhaps check out Nursery Crime or Shades of Grey. All his series are different, all are so much fun.
 

soulsinging

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I enjoyed the Thursday books for a while, but somewhere in the 4th book I began to lose interest. I'm not sure why. I tend to dive into a series and read it until I'm sick of it though, so that may have something to do with it. I remember really liking the second nursery crimes book.
 

Dave

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I have just read 'The Eyre Affair', and I am about to order some more. It also reminded me of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett as already mentioned, probably mainly because of the type of humour. Alternative realities are a little passé, not to mention flying by Airships, however, with the literary characters stepping in and out of books, and the sheer number of other ideas he stuck in there, I was given plenty to think about. I'm now looking forward to discovering how this world diverged from ours and when - it was certainly quite a while ago. The Crimean War was been going on for 150 years, Wales became a Republic after a War of Independence over a 100 years ago, and Germany occupied England during a "Second War." I'm not sure Thursday should really have married her old boyfriend though, he seemed a little dull and boring compared with her family
 

Thadlerian

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I recommend the Thursday Next books up to and including Something Rotten. I read book 5, The First Among Sequels some years ago, and was strongly disappointed.
 

Dave

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I'm not finished those books I bought yet, but Well of Lost Plots is completely off-the-wall. I was wondering about the other titles I have seen. Is Nursery Crimes a part of the same series, or some kind of spin-off? The Nursery Rhyme characters turn up in Well of Lost Plots warning they are going on strike. Shades of Grey sounds very interesting and I may look at that, but I also think the idea of taking a break from them is a good one.
 
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