Jasper Fforde has done it again in this genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainment.
After two rollicking New York Times best-selling adventures through Western literature, resourceful literary detective Thursday Next definitely needs some downtime. And what better place for a respite than in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside?
But peace and quiet remain elusive for Thursday, who soon discovers that the Well is a veritable linguistic free-for-all, where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books—like the one she has taken up residence in—are scrapped for salvage. To make matters worse, a murderer is stalking the personnel of Jurisfiction and it’s up to Thursday to save the day.
A brilliant feat of literary showmanship filled with wit, fantasy, and effervescent originality, this Ffordian tour de force is the most exciting Thursday Next adventure yet.
©2004 Jasper Fforde (P)2012 Penguin
Librarian, Avid Reader, Audiobook Addict!
Emily Gray’s narration as always is great she gives each and every character its own unique voice and quality. I am so glad the rest are available with this narrator on audible. Between this series and Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate Series Emily has become one of my favorite narrators.
This one was a bit different in that it seemed to end many different times but then didn’t. Loved the ultraword storyline, a book can only be read 3 times; it cracked me up as such a jab at the e-book publishing world. But considering this was written in 2003 it made me wonder does Fforde have ESP?
It is also a hard book to review because there are a lot of plots going on at the same time. But I guess we are in the well of lost plots so Fforde had to mash as many in as he could, but it was almost too much. As I said the book felt like it ended a couple times when actually it kept going so this threw off the rhythm of my enjoyment. I still loved all the literary references and the writing still makes me laugh but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the previous books. I did enjoy the addition of the generic characters they are the people in books you just see once, the person passing on the street the shopkeeper and such, kind of like extra’s in TV shows that can be changed into whatever character is needed for the next book that comes along. And I think Lola & Ronald and Grandma Next were my favorite characters in this one.
What I do love about this series is all the literary references and this had them shooting left and right and I still feel that you need to have at least some knowledge of the classic (even if it’s from PBS Masterpiece Theater) which is how I knew Miss Havisham as I just watched Great Expectations last week. Because I’ve honestly only read a few Dickens novels but have been meaning to read more (really I have).
All in all this is a fun book and I will continue on with this series.
3 1/2 Stars
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
I love this series because I love being immersed in bookworld and Thursdays life. I love the little nods to classic literature. It reminds me of sitting in the stacks in the library and getting "lost in a good book" It was about Thurdays early days in jurifiction and how she had to help struggling books so they don't get irradicated. and how she has to deal with a lot of red tape. it is cute.The only criticism I have on this particular one is that the plot came to resolution and then went into another little plot and then another,. Kind of like sometimes in the movies the movie ends but then they add-on more. It is not necessary because the book is a series so you can tell these stories in the next book. But then. maybe that was purposeful because it is after all A Well of Lost Plots.
Like all the Thursday Next books, the Well of Lost Plots is filled with humor, absurdity , intelligence, literary puns and literary references that are profoundly entertaining to anyone who loves books, words, and reading. The social commentary disguised as humor is brilliant.
I highly recommend this and all the Thursday Next books.
Emily Gray brings a great deal of wit to her performance and gives life to a broad range of crazy characters. Her voice is lovely as well.
Thursday novels are one of my likes. I missed this one, but found it with the new series feature. Thought it would be like the rest. It is (spoiler?) about plots that are in the library basement waiting to get written into novels. That is where this plot should have stayed as far as I am concerned. As much as I like Thursday it was a chore to keep listening. It gets high ratings, but I found it jumbled overall. Only made it one third in, and gave up. Earlier and later ones in the series are better.
The first 2 books were great but this one is full of distractions and too many characters. What is the deal with the generics calling each other names and cursing? This book feels like the author raked all the characters from stories he loves into his left over plot ideas making big mess that no editor bothered to sort it. Then the narrator tries to do different voices for the various characters but most are just squeaky.
I think if you are a huge fan of the Thursday Next series, you'll like this book. While there is plenty of exposition to catch you up if you hadn't read the previous books, I can't imagine caring much about Thursday or this story if I hadn't just read the previous installment. There are plenty of literary and grammatical jokes for the book nerd, but I was a bit let down by the story itself. Just not as intrigueing as previous Fforde novels.
Emily Gray reads well and is a great voice for Thursday. Unfortunately there are a lot of characters and voices to keep up with in this book, and she doesn't always pull that off.
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