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 love this series and I love everything by Fforde! It makes me laugh and it's honestly too bad the rest of my family just doesn't get it :) Great read - good twists and I can't wait for more.
Bravo!!! I have loved this series from first word to last. Although this book has taken a significant turn the characters are fantastic and the plot line is riveting. I have not ever read a series I like so much and that keeps me smiling or outright laughing at all of the literary references. It makes you believe that a real "book world" must exist or how else would authors actually come up with plot lines!
We find ourselves in the next generation of Thursday Next novels. I can not wait for the "Next" installment!
The only thing I really missed this time around was the cheshire cat - he is always one of my favorite characters............
Jasper Fforde is brilliant at conjuring up concepts about genres vs genres and genres vs real life. Thinking that the unread characters from books go wild seeking characters so they could "suck the reading light out of them." Too funny.
this book is entirely about the written Thursday. the first 30 mins to and hour are torture and there is way to much description. once you get past that, it's quite fun.
This was a fun story to listen to but anyone listening needs to know literature to catch all of the references and understand the character. What great imagination Jasper Fford has!
This one ranks in my top ten.
Absurd and creative wordplay, I had to buy the Kindle version to see for myself all of the jokes.
Sprocket was my favorite. He just truly sounds like a Cog Based Butler should.
Thursday Next is the most memorable, since I already knew her, followed by Sprocket.
I'm a big fan of alternate reality fiction. The Eyre Affair was quite a thriller, and just enough "öff" for my tastes. I spottted Missing and got it even though it is out of sequence. I often laughed out loud, and thoroughly enjoyed every second of this one.Emily Gray brings all of the characters to life, I think perfectly.
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.
A number of people were disappointed with this but I prefer to think Fforde was just exploring some inevitable possibilities. After all, he had completed a glorious 5-novel story arc and set up no end of intriguing questions about the book world. These questions had to be addressed. And the key question is what does it all look like from the written-Thursday's point of view?
Admittedly, it's not my favorite book in the series. From a narrative perspective, large chunks of it feel maddeningly slow. But narrative pace has never been the prime attraction of this series for me. It's all about the inventiveness of the ideas and the quirky book references. And in this regard, Fforde does not disappoint.
Things pick up a bit as the book progresses. The "written characters" become more interesting as they are forced to grow as characters. I suppose "character development" was another book problem Fforde was interested in exploring.
There's even a scene that is genuinely touching where written-Thursday meets real-Thursday's family.
But the kittens? Well, for that you'll just have to read the book. And I didn't even mention the puppies...
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