Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed, is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of four weeks, actually drowned in an accident when he was two years old. Someone, somewhere, sometime, is responsible. The sinister Goliath Corporation wants its operative Jack Schitt out of the poem in which Thursday trapped him, and it will do almost anything to achieve this - but bribing the ChronoGuard? Is that possible?
Having barely caught her breath after The Eyre Affair, Thursday must battle corrupt politicians, try to save the world from extinction, and help the Neanderthals to species self-determination. Mastadon migrations, journeys into Just William, a chance meeting with the Flopsy Bunnies, and violent life-and-death struggles in the summer sales are all part of a greater plan.
But whose? and why?
Please note: Chapter 13 has been intentionally omitted from this title.
©2002 Jasper Fforde (P)2003 ISIS Publishing Ltd
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"Better heard than read?"
Having delved into the realms of jurisfiction through reading one of Fforde's latest novels, I decided to return to its near roots via this audiobook (for those of you who are familiar with Fford's Thursday Next series, time is a relative thing). Whether it was because the bewildering worlds in which the key protagonist, Thursday Next, exists unfold in a pseudo-logical fashion following the earlier 'Eyre Affair' or because the weighty length of the novel transmuted into hours of easy listening, I found the audiobook format for this second novel of the series more captivating than its paperback counterpart (as the child of a librarian, I feel somewhat treacherous typing those words).
The book itself follows Fforde's idiosyncratic, original and captivating first book of the series 'The Eyre Affair' and charts Thursday's attempts to recover her husband, Landen, who has been eradicated by the villainous Goliath Corporation. Moonlighting in jurisfiction, she is apprenticed to Miss Havisham (resurrected from Dickens' Great Expectation, retaining some of her man-hating characteristics but as you've probably never imagined her before, if you've ever taken to imagining literary figures). With a destination of Poe's 'The Raven', Thursday journeys (not without incident) through the courtrooms of Kafka and the well-kept lawns of Austen, encounters Beatrix Potter Bunnies and seemingly uncovers a new play by Shakespeare whilst all the time trying to identify some curious and potentially life-endangering pink slime.
Being a book-lover's book all about books, it seems strange not to delve into the pages, in a Thursday-like fashion, to read Fforde's offering but somehow the audiobook format really works for journeying alongside Thursday. The engaging and amusing flourish of Fforde's pen is met with enthused delivery in Kruger's narration. Just as I couldn't put the book versions of Fforde's work down, so I couldn't stop listening.
"Lost in a good book"
This is the second Thursday Next book. And this is where I started the series with book 2, so yes you can start here. Set in a strange yet believable alternate 1980s Swindon, this book starts just after Thursday has got married. Enjoyed this audio book so much I immediately brought the next one on audible. This book does have an ending, but there is some stuff that is continued in books 3 and finished in book 4. A fantastic series, by a fantastic author.
"Finally getting to grips with Thursday Next"
I have always liked the Thursday Next stories, but this is the first one I have really loved. This is probably because it is the first one that I have actually read in the correct sequence, I think anyway, it follows the last book I read, The Eyre Affair. Before this I had read them in a totally random order (The Well of Lost Plots followed by One of our Thursdays is missing), this resulted in me being a bit confused a lot of the time. This is not to say I didn't like these stories, but this time I could really enjoy the story since I, more or less knew where I was.
As normal, the main plot of the book is not clear until you are some way in, but this isn't a problem, you still have the rich strangeness of the world Jasper Fforde creates to bask in and absorb.
I'm sure there is a lot of literary humour in these books which I miss, just because I don't tend to read much literature, but there is still plenty of other humour to enjoy here.
The performance by Gabrielle Kruger is good and at this point, she is Thursday Next to me. However I'm not so sure about the production values. There are a few stumbles in the reading, which I'm sure all readers make, but they really should have been spotted and recorded. Also there is a noticeable change audio quality about half way through book, maybe caused by a change in recording venue?
None of this really detracts from the story and I have already lined up the next Thursday Next story in my queue.
"Thursday at it again"
Very good, the thread between all of Jasper Fforde novels is intriguinglying subtle a second or even third listening / reading is required (well from me at least )
The well of lost plots
Very good and easy to listen to
There always is with Jasper
The use of plot devices as plot devices is a novel twist
"as good as pratchett"
Great performance really brings life to Thursday. Sorry made me laugh out loud, a rare thing these days.
"A worthy sequel"
Narrator was excellent - book kept me gripped from beginning to end. Looking forward to the next one.
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