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 And what better place for a respite than in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside?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
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
The whole storyline is fantastic. I loved the had had, that that conversation. It was a joy to listen too.
The death of Miss Haversham.
I loved the way she pronounces things and that she uses tone to relay emotions.
Adventures in Jurisfiction
Jasper Fforde does not disappoint with this novel. It is fun and fully immerses us in the book world. Emily Gray does a great job with the narration. She has a diverse set of voices and believe me with the number of characters in this book this was no easy task.
Our Ms. Next becomes a Jurisfiction agent in the Well of Lost Plots. This is a purely fictional world filled with Ms. Havisham, The Cheshire Cat, Heathcliff, etc. You also have a vast number of characters from books that have not been published and generics. You'll have to read the book to truely understand how enjoyable the generics are. Ms. Next is still trying to get Landon back and is in hiding - that is why she is in the Well of Lost Plots.
Enjoy this book. It is science fiction but focuses on a many literary concepts such as the idea that there are no more original thoughts/plots and characters are just recycled versions of other characters so you can hire on multiple Heathcliffs, Merlins, and so on. It is delicious for any book lover.
Emily Gray, as mentioned above did a great job. I bring attention to this because I was critical of her performance in the previous Next Novel. She did not handle male characters well previously. She overcame this issue. Landon was a miniscule part of this book but there were many male characters and she did a fabulous job. If you are on the fence because the narration of the last book left you disappointed don't worry. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.
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.
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.
James Randi Fan
Love the series and the narrator does a great job in immersing me in the story. Definitely better than the Ultraworld (tm) version that caused the Bellman to smell faintly of Cantaloupe.
I'm on the third listen of this series in two months! I relistened to it a second time as soon as I had finished the seventh book. Now, here I am again, listening for this third time after having listened to several other books. It is so engaging, the narrators bringing you into the story in a wonderful way, details revealing themselves that I had missed previously, just as delighted to be taken into these wonderful worlds Jasper Fforde has created. Highly recommend!!
I appreciate how each book tackles a different element of this alternative universe. Fforde has a quirky and wonderful knack for creativity and humor. Thursday Next rocks.
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