My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Fforde's interests as an author continue to take him in a different direction than some of his fans would perhaps desire. The focus on the book world, which made the first 5 books so memorable, is abandoned here for a closer examination of other parts of his quirky parallel universe. It's still wildly entertaining, and certainly moreso than book 6.
One constant thread through all Fforde's work is an interest in social satire. Beyond that it gets increasingly hard to classify his books as belonging to any particular genre. His inventiveness knows no bounds. It's somewhat interesting then to see that he's allowing Thursday Next to age and bear the consequences of all the injuries she's suffered over the years. It sort of puts a limit on how many books there can be within her fictional lifetime, unlike other protagonists who seem immune to the passage of time.
Fans of Fforde are already keenly aware that book 8 will be about the Dark Reading Matter. This book and the preceding one have done their part to telegraph the inevitability of that exploration. This book in particular does a fine job of setting up how that mysterious place might be approached. I only hope that after all his puttering around with exploring different ideas, that he comes up with a worthy story arc for his next dive into the Book World (and yes, that pun is intended).
Oh, and about Jenny, I... wait, I forgot. I'm sure it will come back to me in a moment.
You didn't have to have been familiar with the previous Jasper Fforde novels to understand most of the ideas behind this one.
I have heard them ALL...from Thursday Next, through to all the others. I recommend them all, but I think you need to have listened to some of the earlier ones to know the underpinnings of the later ones (even when they are on different "tracks"").
Sure -- on a rainy day while knitting or doing a puzzle.
Jenny -- who doesn't exist. But Fforde has done a great job here with Landon, formerly a stick character.
Emily Gray IS Thursday Next. She makes Fforde's absurd and increasingly complex world plausible.
My taste in books excludes the supernatural. Many people like this stuff, but I am not one of them. I should have read the reviews more carefully.