Over the past decade, British novelist Jasper Fforde has established himself as the undisputed master of metafictional suspense stories. Though he is now in the middle of several completely different series of books, the original series of Thursday Next novels continues to be the crown jewel in his career. One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is the sixth book in this series as well as the second book in the sub-series known as BookWorld, a sub-series for which Fforde has said he plans to write two additional books. So this sixth effort is deeply embedded within the mythology and history of the Ffordian universe, but can also stand alone as a less than troublesome listen for those unfamiliar with the previous adventures of Thursday Next.
Emily Gray once again assumes the daunting task of Fforde’s enormous cast of well-known literary characters, and once again proves equal to such a tremendous challenge. Gray also narrated the first book in this sub-series, as well as two other Nextian Fforde novels. At this point, the Real Thursday Next has mostly retired from both literary celebrity and private investigation. When she goes missing, the Written Thursday must step up to take on the Real Thursday’s quirky assortment of obligations, from peace talks between Comedy and Romance genres to side-stepping the agents of mega-corporation Goliath, as well as quietly launch the investigation to find the Real Thursday. Only the Written Thursday is of course not as quick-witted and savvy as the Real Thursday, and mishaps abound.
The acrobatic narration required for this most recent installment is a feat that Gray accomplishes with remarkable dexterity and precision. Fforde’s broadly wicked sense of humor is not lost whatsoever in the telling, and Gray deftly lands his volley of intelligent punch lines with a loving familiarity that neither resorts to the cheesy nor beats a dead horse. Also worth paying special attention to is her interpretation of the Written Thursday’s new sidekick, Sprocket, an obsolete mechanical man who serves as her butler when they are not busy being on the run from a diverse set of mysterious enemies. Fforde is ultimately trying to address the important matter of what constitutes a happy ending, and uses all his beloved old tricks to sort out the answer. Emily Gray fortunately keeps pace with him every thrilling step of the way. Megan Volpert
Deftly blending such genres as mystery, science fiction, and classic literature, Jasper Fforde’s gleefully irreverent New York Times best-selling Thursday Next novels defy categorization. In this sixth installment, the threat of all-out Genre war looms over BookWorld. But with the real Thursday Next retired in the real world, the Council of Genres has no other choice than to tap the fictional Thursday to save the day. Her mission as emissary is to prevent the brewing war—but her task is made more difficult by a hidden foe manipulating events.
©2011 Jasper Fforde (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
I am a lover of stories, particularly stories that let your imagination run wild. Just because something doesn't exist is no reason for it to hamper an excellent story from being told. If I can do my work while listening to an excellent story, then I am one happy guy
I went into this book expecting to listen about the Thursday Next that we all have grown to love. Unfortunately for me this book is about an entirely different character (albeit her name is Thursday Next). While I was disappointed to read about the fictional Thursday instead of the "real" Thursday, this book really came together well in the end. The beginning is a bit slow (Jasper Fforde is setting up new characters) but it picks up pace and really comes together in the end. The Narrator does a fantastic job with the voices but the periods between chapters are agonizingly long. As ashamed as I am to say it, I think the Thursday Next series is running out of steam. I continue to enjoy the references to other works of fiction, but there are many reused jokes.
Time to impatiently wait for the next books for the other series.
I love Jasper Fforde's books, and buy them as soon as they come out, for the most part, but I wasn't sure about this one. The last TN book wasn't quite as fun for me - Thursday has gotten a bit too good at what she does and cynical about life, I enjoyed her more when she was having to discover everything about the BookWorld and motherhood and such.
However - this story was a great return. The Written Thursday was great - a nice return to the feeling of discovery the first books had. W.Thursday was fallible, made rookie style mistakes and all the other things that were endearing about younger Thursday.
I'm still a touch disappointed that Fforde didn't pick up the Sherlock Holmes/Temperance Brennan series hook he laid down at the end of First Among Sequels. I thought that had promise. Maybe he'll pick it up again later with the Real Thursday. One can only hope. :)
I love the political commentary and irreverence presented in these novels. The characters are highly entertaining. Fforde has an unusually gifted imagination and must be remarkably well-read given the wide variety of literary references. However, I found this one to be just a little too much in that I wish there were fewer storylines happening at the same time. I found it a little hard to remain concentrated throughout the story.
(Please note that I have (accidentally) read these books out of order, and read this one second. I likely ended up a little more easily confused than the true series aficionados.)
The narrator is wonderful. I even went in search of other books she had narrated, I liked her so much.
I absolutely loved "First Among Sequels", so was looking forward to this. For some reason, the narrator changed her style to leave pauses at the end of every sentence that threw off the pace of the book. I just couldn't get into it. I tried to listen to it, and didn't feel like I was getting anywhere, so I skipped to the second to the last chapter. I didn't hear anything that made me want to go back and finish the rest of the book. Maybe "Next" time...
I downloaded this book without even reading the description, because I have enjoyed all of the other Thursday books. Sadly aside from a few cameo appearances by Spike, Landon and Commander Bradshaw, NONE of my favorite characters appear - no Cheshire Cat, no Stigg, no anybody! After I got over the lack of all I have come to love and expect of this series, I was able to enjoy the book, though Thursday 5 is such a ditherer at the start tnat I nearly put the book down! Overall, not a bad read, but I was hopeful of so much more.
Not really a "Thursday Next" book at all, but the continuing adventures of "Thursday Five" as she was called in "First Among Sequels." None of the "Outland" characters seem to be in the book, JurisFiction is all but nonexistent, and the newly rearranged BookWorld is just plain sad.
It's annoying that Fforde wasted his time on this while he could have been finally writing the third Nursery Chryme or the next Shades of Grey.
Skip this one and I doubt you'll regret it.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
The narrator is amazing. I love her and her lovely English accent. I also love the pithy and literary humor. It is very amusing for an avid reader.
It is a very creative story and actually sort of how I have always viewed books, as a different, parrallel universe where the characters are actually alive and living their own lives when not acting in their book as it is being read. I love the idea that there are people who can jump in and out of the world.
She is amazing. One of the best.
I love all of the characters. Of course I love Thursday and her gram. I also always love her father jumping in and out of her life asking her bizarre questions about historical timeline. I also loved Pickwick in this story.
Jasper Fforde needs to write more books faster! I love this series and the Jack Spratt Nursery Crimes series. He is one of my favorites.
I'm a big fan of Jasper Fforde & the Thursday Next series. I really enjoyed the book, but the purpose of this review is to comment on the narration. The narrator can't do voices at all, in particular male voices. The voice of Landen, one of the most important characters in the book, is done in a dull monotone, which doesn't even sound human. It's difficult to imagine the main character in love with him. Other male voices are done in a similar slooooow, deeeep voice which is more distracting than anything else. Plus there are careless mistakes, where she uses the wrong voice, or stays in character when she shouldn't, or vice versa. But I guess that's an editing problem. I had to buy a print copy because I couldn't stand it any more. My plan had been to buy all the books in the series on audio, but I won't buy anything else from this narrator.
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
The Thursday Next series is a fun reinvention of literature. Using their original voices, Jasper Fforde shows us the classics as we have never envisioned them, and it works out fantastically. As always, Emily Gray is brilliant.
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