Sunday, July 10, 2011

CB # 19 One of Our Thursdays is Missing

One of our Thursdays is missing by Jasper Fforde

            I really enjoy the Thursday Next mysteries. Thursday Next lives in an alternative verison of our world, where cloning has allowed dodos to be pets, strong cheeses are traded on the black market and Wales is a socialist republic. Oh, and also it’s possible for a person to read her way into a book. I love the series as a whole. Fforde obviously love books, as seen by the way that Next can travel throughout BookWorld and meet all of her favourite characters. I love the allusions that occur throughout, they're always surprisingly funny. Some of them, especially in the earlier novels have caused me to pick a book up and read it myself. However, this (the 6th novel by my count) was not his best work.

This novel is told not from the perspective of real world Thursday whom readers have come to know and love, but from the perspective of the written version of her, the one who is regularly read in the books about her adventures. These books are similar to what those who have read the series have read before, except that all the sections about Justification as well as the explanation of how Thursday read her way in, in the first place. The fictional Thursday is a bit of a hippie, and honestly, rather dull.   “Real” Thursday is simply more fun to read than written Thursday and a lot of the joy of the novel has been lost to me. Another factor is that  the geography of BookWorld has changed dramatically, as demonstrated in the prologue, when Thursday explains how BookWorld now consists of islands. This probably made the whole plot of the novel more reasonable to write, but it was sort of aggravating after being used to things.

There is a fun mystery in this novel, and there are still the fun allusions to other works, including War and Peace and Harry Potter fan fiction. If you haven’t read the Thursday Next books before, I definitely wouldn’t start here. Instead I’d read the first one, The Eyre Affair and continue on from there. For me at least, this one really completes the series, but it isn't a necessary read.

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