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"").
I would recommend this to anyone who has listened to John G. novels in the past and enjoyed them. In a number of ways, it had some of the twists and turns of his previous novels.
I have listened to all his books. They are fine. The "good" thing about them is that they are all unrelated. So each one starts from scratch and you need to get to know all the characters to really understand them and appreciate them.
It was interesting to listen to, and J.P. Beaumont is on his new "retirement" tract. Unfortunately, it was very short (abridged is the only format available). However, it does a reasonable extension of some of the key characters from the J.P. Beaumont earlier series. There are a few oversimplified twists and quirks. If you enjoyed the previous books in the Beaumont series, this fits in well with the flow of those stories and J.P. takes on some good schemes about how to investigate crimes committed in an isolated situation where no one can really remove themselves from the investigation that J.P. is undertaking, and where no new person can be found responsible for the interesting actions that take place in the main story.
The book started out interesting but it went nowhere and it got there fast. It was plodding and it seemed to have no point. I listen to every book that I purchase through to the end, but it was difficult with this one. And then, when it was over, it came to no resolution and seemed to just "stop" (thank goodness because at the end it got REALLY bad). This is one I plan to remove from my player, delete from my library, and hopefully erase from my memory. My only recommendation is to save time by not listening to this. Any book available has to be better than this.
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