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“Funny fantasy about a written character searching for his real counterpart in Bookworld, where all your favorite characters are sure to turn up. The better read you are, the funnier it is.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Not my favorite in the series. While I respect Fforde's reshaping of the book world, the novel still did not work well for me. There was some great insight into book genres in story, especially in the real Thursday mystery and psychological thrillers. However, Fforde's focus on fictional Friday was problematic. Fictional Thursday is admitted to be rather dull in the last novel and throughout this novel. Having this dull character as the lead made for frankly, a boring book. Took too long to really get going. The past Thursday books had an engaging mad cap energy to them and the movement between book world and "real" world was where their brilliance lied. Fforde certainly has a tremendous use of language and is a brilliant satirist. That satire is why I did not rank this one as two stars, which was my first temptation. I get that authors some times feel painted into a corner with series they create and I get why this story was set and with the fictional Thursday as protagonist. As a reader, I am also allowed to voice my opinion that it does not work for me.”Thomas G wrote this review Sunday, November 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Clever writing. This is a very intelligent author!”Tom Burns wrote this review Wednesday, July 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Blissful as always. With Douglas Adams dead, Iain Banks dying and Terry Pratchett with Alzheimers, nothing better happen to Jasper, Neil Gaiman or Douglas Coupland or my reading life would be utterly miserable!”Superenigmatix wrote this review Monday, April 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If you haven't read the first five "Thursday Next" fantasy-comedy-mystery-thrillers, or at least my reviews of them, I'm not sure how to begin to describe Book 6 to you. There's just so much going on in them. Whether it is worth your while to find out what you're missing, you may judge from a personal anecdote: While listening to Emily Gray reading the audio-book edition of this book during a car trip, I once had to pull over until I could regain my composure, I was laughing so hard. Only once, to be sure; but laughs of one size or another crowded thickly into this brainy, zany, complex, amazing book.
Some fans of Thursday Next may be disappointed to find out that the "real" Thursday barely appears in this installment. The narrator and main protagonist is actually the "written" Thursday—which is to say, the character in Bookworld who headlines the cast of the Thursday Next series in the reader's imagination. You see why I said this was going to be hard to explain.
Thursday—I mean the "real" Thursday, who lives in a somewhat daft alternate-history version of present day Swindon, U.K.—is a woman of many parts. As a Spec Ops detective, she used to investigate the really weird crimes, such as those involving time travel, extraterrestrials, and (her specialty) fictional characters running loose in the real world. In Bookworld, meanwhile, she is a top-tier agent of Jurisfiction, one of the few who can move freely between the two worlds. Besides all this she moonlights as a wife, mother, carpet salesperson, cheese smuggler (please don't ask), slayer of the undead, nemesis of the evil Goliath Corporation, and championship croquet team manager. She has saved the world multiple times and eluded about six dozen attempts on her own life. But now she has disappeared somewhere in Bookworld, and it couldn't happen at a worse time.
The written Thursday, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be cut out of the same cloth. Less assertive, more tree-huggy, and plagued by relationship problems—such as being in love with the husband who exists only in the real world but not in the books. She washed out of Jurisfiction training and now, when not appearing in her out-of-print and seldom-read series, serves as a Bookworld accident investigator who can be counted on when a lousy investigation is needed. She gets just such a case when an unidentified book in transit over fictional airspace crashes and leaves a swath of debris across the thriller genre. All she needs to do is find that it is an unprecedented and unrepeatable accident, but instead she picks up the scent of a conspiracy that could rock the whole Bookworld.
Meanwhile, she has to find the real Thursday in time for sensitive peace talks with Speedy Muffler, the renegade leader of Racy Novel. And as the case progresses, she grows less and less sure that she isn't the real Thursday herself, suffering from delusions of being the written one. She would like it to be true—after a tantalizing but confusing visit to the real world and a near-kiss with her beloved Landen, oh! doesn't she!—but a nagging intuition persists in telling her that hear real-world counterpart is hurt but alive, somewhere in Bookworld.
As each new clue brings written Thursday closer to understanding how her two cases fit together, she increasingly wishes that she had the real Thursday's detection chops—because the more she knows, the less it makes sense. And that's even taking into account the cracked logic of life as a text-based life-form, in a world where buildings, landscapes, and people—rather than pages—exist between the covers of each book, where raw metaphor is mined and smuggled, where a wind-up butler and a deputy boyfriends with a hideous (but transferable) backstory share space with Men in Plaid driving 1949 Buick Roadmasters, where fan-fiction characters live in a ghetto guarded by game-show hosts armed with eraser-tipped ordnance, where the perception of time is based on length of description, and where participants in a conversation may lose track of who is saying what in the absence of dialog cues. The only thing weirder than Bookworld, from our point of view, is how our world appears to a visitor from Bookworld. And the character who guides us through it all has confusion of her own, as she works out who she really is and what she is capable of.
I have learned, just now, that this is really Book 2 of what is meant to be the second four-book series of Thursday Next novels, starting with First Among Sequels and continuing (after this book) with The Woman Who Died a Lot. A release date has not yet been announced for Book 4, currently titled Dark Reading Matter. Meanwhile, author Fforde (which, according to Emily Gray, is pronounced "Ford") is also working on two other series of novels, titled "Last Dragonslayer" and "Shades of Grey."”
“I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love Jasper Fforde. Can't go wrong with a Thursday Next novel. There are always fun twists and crazy puns. This cruise down the metaphoric river was a blast and I love the way Fforde always finds new and fascinating ways to look at the Thursday Next world.”Michela P wrote this review Thursday, January 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is the sixth and certainly the strangest of the Thursday Next novels (*). Avid followers will recall that Thursday lives in Swindon, works for Jurisfiction (the book police) and travels into the BookWorld for them, fixing plots which have gone wrong (The Eyre Affair), foiling super-villains (Something Rotten), etc. But this time she has disappeared - she may even be dead - and everyone is worried that she will miss the forthcoming peace talks (between two of the fiction genres). Enter the Written Thursday, the one who fronts for the Real Thursday whenever one of the novels is being read. She takes on the task of searching for the Real Thursday across the Bookworld (Carmine will stand in for her if anyone reads one of the novels), and she will also deputise for Thursday at the talks. Except that she's not up to all of the excitement, having only ever been read. The cast take exception to her behaviour, and vote the Written Thursday out of the series. With nothing left, Written Thursday dismisses her butler, heads for the talks and to track down Real Thursday. The denouement is part Death on the Nile and part Heart of Darkness, and the epilogue ties up all the loose ends, just like it should. (*) If you are new to Thursday Next, then start with The Eyre Affair because this one is definitely the weirdest of the bunch. 6.5/10 (July 2012)”Peter R. Auber wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions: http://readeroffictions.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-one-of-our-thursdays-is-missing.html
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series has been for me a very uneven read. Certain installments rank among my favorite books, while others I had to force myself to get through. In fact, I almost gave up on the series after book three, until my parents, who I started on the series, insisted that book four, Something Rotten, was amazing and that I just had to read it. Thus was I sucked back in. Last week, I read book five, which I found quite slow, but with One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, Fforde has once again made me glad I did not give up on the series.
What I will always love this series for, even the books that I would never try to reread, is its utter originality. Of course, that's a term that gets thrown around a lot in the book-reviewing world, but, if asked to name a book or series I thought truly original, I would probably have to go with this one. I simply have never encountered anything else like Fforde's work. It's utterly irreverent, absurd, self-referential, off-the-wall, confusing, pop culture-tastic, humorous, silly, and, occasionally, quite deep.
In One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, we have a new heroine. In place of Thursday Next, we have Thursday Next. Confused yet? Welcome to Jasper Fforde. THIS Thursday Next is the written Thursday, rather than the Outlander Thursday. Told in the first person, the reader follows Thursday Next (from this point the Outlander Thursday shall be called just that for clarity), the tree-hugging one from the Thursday Next novels.
As established in the last book, Thursday Next has been trying to change the series a bit to fit better with Outlander Thursday's actual image and personality, the original written Thursday Next in books 1-4 having been more like a paranormal romance heroine. Her changes to the series have not gone over particularly well, the whole series now dangerously close to being unread, which displeases her costars greatly.
When she gets an offer to go investigate a mysterious book-crash in Conspiracy, she jumps on the chance, a bit bored with the irascibility of her fellow characters. On the way, a Man in Plaid (think men in black, only...you know...plaid) tells her that a Thursday is missing and disappears. These two elements combine into one big mystery that Thursday Next feels a compulsion to solve. What happened to Outlander Thursday? Will she be back in time to negotiate peace between Racy Novel and the rest of the BookWorld? Why did that book crash?
I thought the first person perspective and change to the basic formula of the previous books brought new life into the book that was missing from the last. I really like Thursday Next, even if she's not quite as bright or capable as Outlander Thursday. She is perhaps a bit more approachable. Also, her narration allowed for a clever 'will the real Thursday Next please stand up' kind of confusion.
Also, there was some really hilarious commentary on published vs. self-published books in here, done in the standard ridiculous Jasper Fforde way. A fact I'd forgotten until I read this is that self-published books used to be known as vanity titles. This still amuses me. In light of all of the recent changes in publishing, I found these themes and his attitudes very interesting, particularly that on fan fiction, though I do wonder if that would be different now that so much fan fiction is getting published.
I apologize to those of you who are probably rubbing your heads in mystified confusion. Jasper Fforde's books are rather complex, particularly since there are so many of the same (though very different in personality) character running around. However, if you have the patience to disentangle his books, they are a book nerd's delight, full of puns and jokes poking fun at literary tropes.”
“Great book! I love Thursday Next! Can't wait to get the new one that comes out tomorrow.”Lara Rosenthal wrote this review Monday, October 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Okay, I feel slightly traitorous admitting this, but I actually like the Written Thursday better than the "real" Thursday!”ToniLACross wrote this review Friday, September 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Funny fantasy about a written character searching for his real counterpart in Bookworld, where all your favorite characters are sure to turn up. The better read you are, the funnier it is. ”nina d wrote this review Thursday, August 16, 2012. ( reply | view 1 replies | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No