Monday, February 13, 2012

[That's] the RealWorld for you. A brutal and beautiful place, run for the most part on passion, fads, incentives and mathematics

I wasn't planning on reading another Fforde book immediately after The Big Over Easy but I couldn't help myself. Fforde Tweeted a couple weeks ago that the lastest Thursday book One of Our Thursdays is Missing was out in paperback. Well, I can't turn that down. So I went to the local bookstore and they had a copy and I can't have an unread Fforde book sitting around. Another Fforde it was.

The Thursday Next series is my favorite book series and this is the latest addition. Thursday is missing! No one in the BookWorld or the RealWorld knows where she is but there are some tense times between Women's Fiction and Racy Novel and Thursday is needed for the peace talks. She has a lot of enemies so who knows where she's gone. There is hope though: the written Thursday! She's like the real Thursday except not quite as smart. Or as quick. Or as good with a gun. She wasn't her hippie, granola-loving self she was in Thursday Next: First Among Sequels which was good, but I still missed Thursday.

Like the other Thursday books, or really any Fforde books, they're hard to describe to someone who isn't already familiar with the world. In the map of BookWorld, the Thursday books fall into the "speculative fanatasy" neighborhood, which borders on Dickens and Tolkein rip-offs, according to the BookWorld map. They're absurd and punny, with science and crime fiction making their way in. There is a lot of literary humor and I'm sure I missed a lot of it. But considering I loved The Eyre Affair and read it several times before ever reading Jane Eyre, knowing all of the literary references is not necessary.

I want to compliment Fforde on his ability to take a character, written Thursday Next, who is virtually identical to real Thursday Next and make her different enough so you can tell you're not dealing with the original. Unfortunately, I missed the original. Written Thursday is almost Thursday, but not quite. And I wanted her to be the real Thursday. Of course if I had the real Thursday then the book would have been "One of our Thursdays is missing! What? No? She's actually just right over there. Nevermind then!"

Overall not the best in the series (The Well of Lost Plots is still my favorite), but it was still nice to go back to BookWorld.

Title quote from page 180

Fforde, Jasper. One of Our Thursdays is Missing. Penguin, 2011.