Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and sucking the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation. 'The Well of Lost Plots' is his third novel.
In this delicious sequel to The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book, Fforde's redoubtable (and now throwing-up-pregnant) heroine Thursday Next once again does battle with philistine bibliophobes, taking a furlough from her duties as a SpecOps Literary Detective to vacation in the Well of Lost Plots, the 26 noisome sub-basements of the Great Library. Pursued by her memory-modifying nemesis Aornis Hades, Thursday joins Jurisfiction's Character Exchange Program, filling in for "Mary," sidekick to the world-weary detective hero of Caversham Heights, a hilariously awful police procedural. At the imminent launch of UltraWord, the vaunted "Last Word" in Story Operating Systems, Thursday's friend and mentor Miss Havisham is gruesomely killed, and Thursday gamely sets out to restore order to her underground world, where technophiles ruthlessly recycle unpublished books and sell plot devices and stock characters on the black market. Meanwhile, Aornis is doing her fiendish worst to make Thursday forget Landen, her missing husband and father of her child. If this all sounds a bit confusing, it is-until the reader gets the hang of Fforde's intricate mix of parody, social satire and sheer gut-busting fantasy. Marvelous creations like syntax-slaughtering grammasites and the murderous Minotaur roam this unusual novel's pages, and Fforde's fictional epigraphs, like his minihistory of "book operating systems," are worth the cover price in themselves. Fforde's sidesplitting sendup of an increasingly antibookish society is a sheer joy. (Feb.) Forecast: Despite the rarefied nature of his spoofing, Fforde has attracted a substantial and loyal readership. Expect fans to turn out in droves on the 20-city author tour. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Jasper Fforde has gone where no other fictioneer has gone before. Millions of readers now follow ... Thank you, Jasper - John Sutherland, GuardianA born wordsmith of effervescent imagination - Christina Hardyment, Independent[Fforde's] brand of inspired lunacy truly stands on its own ... this new book completes his creation of a world of true literary comic genius - Sunday Express on The Well of Lost PlotsThe third of this cult series sees Jasper Fforde hitting his stride ... should be a joy to anyone who loves reading - Time Out on The Well of Lost PlotsAn immensely enjoyable, almost compulsive experience - New York Times on Lost in a Good BookDouglas Adams would be proud - Scotsman on Lost in a Good BookDon't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original - Sunday Express on Lost in a Good BookThis year's grown-up JK Rowling - Sunday Times
Adult/High School-Fforde's third novel featuring English sleuth Thursday Next is an interesting, enjoyable mix of detective story, fantasy, and literature. Thursday works on cases involving the protection of the stories and characters of famous books, which can be affected and changed by people in the real world. In this installment, she enters the Book World itself. Fforde has a nice touch, never pressing on any one aspect of the story, but managing to interweave all of the elements, with a good deal of humor. The use of various literary characters means that it helps to be familiar with the works in which they appear, but, despite knowing very little about Anna Karenina, it is still very funny to read its plot written as a gossipy telephone conversation between two Russian noblewomen. It also helps to have read the first two books in the series, The Eyre Affair (2002) and Lost in a Good Book (2003, both Viking), but teens will want to read The Well of Lost Plots anyway.-Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Thursday Next (The Eyre Affair; Lost in a Good Book) needs a vacation. After saving Jane Eyre, stopping two criminal masterminds, and being hounded by the Goliath Corporation, she just wants to lie low until she can rescue her missing husband. Taking refuge in an unpublished police procedural, she continues working for Jurisfiction, investigating a murder that involves the highest levels of literary police. While Thursday learns the ropes of BookWorld, including managing nursery-rhyme characters on strike and conducting anger-management sessions for the protagonists of Wuthering Heights, she tries to keep her memories of Landen alive and her pulp novel from being stripped and thrown into the Text Sea. Fforde has settled comfortably into series mode, producing another fun romp in an alternate universe where books are more real than reality; there's a pun on every other page and a galaxy of literary and pop references to keep the reader's head spinning. Escaped minotaurs, spelling viruses, problems with software upgrades, and Spam for footnotes all contribute to the fun. This U.S. version includes a bonus chapter detailing yet another of Thursday's adventures. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/03.]-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.