Monday, 4 June 2012

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing Review

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next 6)
- Jasper Fforde

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

It is a time of unrest in the BookWorld.
Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the RealWorld or is this something more sinister?
All is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, eager to prove herself worthy of her illustrious namesake.
The fictional Thursday is soon hot on the trail of her factual alter-ego, and quickly stumbles upon a plot so fiendish that it threatens the very BookWorld itself

This is the sixth book based on Thursday Next and her adventures in the bookworld, but this time the focus is on the written Thursday Next, who appeared as a main character in the last book – First Among Sequels. The written Thursday is a little different from the ‘real’ Thursday – she’s less sure of herself and her skills. She doesn’t know the real world and lacks some of the intuition that Thursday usually has. However, this means she is a little more vulnerable and na├»ve. With the exception of a short visit to Swindon, the majority of this story takes place in the newly rebuilt bookworld – which is now a sphere but on the inside – so you look up and see other islands of the bookworld.

One thing that you can’t escape is the sheer inventiveness of Jasper Fforde’s worlds. He has so many ideas and witty one-liners that I find it difficult to think of him ever doing anything normal. (I’m willing to bet he brushes his teeth with bark and mint leaves, using a pink elephant to rinse!) And this always makes his book a delightful journey – like getting off a long, boring coach journey to find yourself in a perfect 1950s diner complete with Elvis Presley performing (before he was famous) and the Fonz on a motorbike – it’s familiar, comfortable and yet completely surreal and unexpected all at the same time. I loved exploring the new geographical bookworld and meeting a lot of new characters. The written Pickwick is brilliant, and I loved Thursday’s new butler with the expressive eyebrow. It was fun to see some cameos of the ‘real’ people during a quick visit to Swindon as well, but on the whole this focusses on new characters and internal bookworld politics. This does mean that it is probably more accessible to new reader than other books.

However, as much as I am intrigued and love the bookworld, there is something a little flat about it. I felt the same way with The Well of Lost Plots which was also set primarily within books. I need some of the drama and intrigue from the real world Swindon to fully connect to the book and the characters. I like the bookworld to one of many courses rather than the whole dinner! That said there are some great character developments as the written Thursday has to deal with the shadow of the real Thursday always being held over her and adding some different angles to Thursday who has only ever been a first person narrator before now. I like the depth this gives to the character – both written and real.

Overall this is a fun book with so many different views of books and reading that it will make your head spin if you think too hard. There are some great ideas in the bookworld – the mime-field had me in stitches – and it is always good to spend some time with old friends – even if you’ve never met them before.

Recommended for fans of Tom Holt and Terry Prachett. 7.5 out of 10

7 comments:

  1. Hi Mel! I picked up a copy of nook one of this series wanting something fun and different, it seems I am missing out and need to get reading this swries. I want to meet Elvis and dive into all the wackniness of the book world! This,sounds like so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think I know this series, I only read a book by this author and finally wasn't conviced... But maybe I need to try this one. thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOL this sounds so original and fun! I haven't heard of this series or the author but I think I'll like the metaphors used.

    Talk Supe

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds pretty cute! It's the first time I see this book too it looks original! And great for summer, too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Thursday :) I should read more but honestly the books are confusing and it did not make it better that I started with book 4 ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. 6th book? GAH! I'm so behind I think I may have to start over. Sorry it fell a bit flat, but I'm looking forward to the Well of lost plots! :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is this a middle grade read? I love the name Thursday. It does sound unique and fun...it's a shame it fell a little flat. Something has to be right for you to stick with the series this long!
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

    ReplyDelete