Thursday Next is now a celebrity after her successful trip inside the novel "Jane Eyre" to rescue and re-insert the heroine back into her own novel and change the ending to a more satisfying one to most of the readers. As a Jane Bond-type heroine of the Literary Spook business, Thursday continues her work in this novel which adds several novel ideas, a whole spate of them rather, to the idea of what constitutes a novel or any sort of writing for that matter. Below is a brief sample of what awaits you in my review or, if you ignore all warnings, the entire novel.
The ladies on the Skyrail are helping each other work crossword puzzles and the answers to the clues come up, Meddlesome, Thursday, Goodbye. That plus the fact the seven women are all named Irma Cohen gives Thursday a pause. Plus her picnic gets rudely interrupted by a vintage Hispano-Suiza falling out of the sky on her blanket a few seconds after she runs from the area! When Thursday tries to explain to Victor at the LiteraTec office that she punched a neanderthal because she thought he had a gun on him, Victor objects that it would be ridiculous for a neanderthal to have gun. Thursday tries to explain that coincidences are mounting and that is also a waste of time.
The world is going to end and nobody will listen to Thursday. The world actually ended at the beginning of Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" because the space was needed for a new freeway and Earth was in the way. But in this novel the entire Earth is being turned into a pink Jello Pudding or some British equivalent called Dream pudding. Thursday duly reports her conclusions about the world ending on some day in December, but Victor will have nothing of it.
[page 69] He dumped my arrest report in his out tray and sat down.
"Thursday," he said quietly, staring at me soberly. "I've been in law enforcement for most of my life and I will tell you right now there is no such offense as `attempted murder by coincidence in an alternative future by person or persons unknown.' "
I sighed and rubbed my face with my hands. He was right, of course.
Thursday does not lead a dull life. For example, note this report of her day to husband Landen. Cardenio is a previously unknown play by Shakespeare.
[page 76] "Did you have a good day?" he asked at last.
"Well," I began, "we found Cardenio, I was shot dead by an SO-14 marksman, became a vanishing hitchhiker, saw Yorrick Kaine, suffered a few too many coincidences and knocked a neanderthal unconscious."
After the Eyre thing, women everywhere started to dress like Thursday who thought the whole chinos and a shirt fad was ridiculous. She asked the wife of a colleague dressed that way:
[page 79] "If Bonzo the Wonder Hound had rescued Jane Eyre, would you all be wearing studded collars and smelling each other's bottoms?"
Thursday's brother Joff was a minister in the Church of the Global Standard Deity and reported to her with some chagrin that the church had split in two for the third time in one week.
[page 81] "No!" I said with as much surprise and concern in my voice as I could muster.
"I'm afraid so. The new Global Standard Clockwise Deity have broken away due to unresolvable differences over the direction in which the collection plate is passed around."
Try reading this novel from the last page back to the front or reading each page forward but upside down. It won't make any difference. Anyway you read this book, it is colorful, imaginative, literary, funny, mind-stretching, and mind-bending. Combine JK Rowling with Douglas Adams and mix in a little Doug Hofstadter, and you've got Jason Fforde. You have a Dickens of a time in store for you. This is a Ffunny Booke! Tie up your pet dodo so you won't be disturbed in the middle of a good laugh and read on . . .
The remainder of my review can be found via DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#06b. Bobby Matherne.
Don't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original - Sunday ExpressLet yourself be entertained by a witty romp - Sunday TelegraphThis year's grown up J K Rowling - Sunday TimesDouglas Adams would be proud - ScotsmanThe reader is catapulted in and out of truth and imagination on a hectic, humorous and neatly constructed chase that finishes by tying up every loose end in the most satisfying, novelistic way - The TimesJasper Fforde's fascinating first novel reads like a Jules Verne story told by Lewis Carroll...Forget all the rules of time, space, and reality; just sit back and enjoy the adventure as Thursday, with the help of Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester, fights a desperate battle in which Jane herself is in jeopardy. - Sunday TelegraphIngenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously - Terry PratchettA stroke of fantasy genius . . . Unashamedly silly, but also marvellously intelligent . . . Hilarious - SFX
All life on earth was due to end in a month but I had more pressing matters to attend to. My husband Landen didn't exist and unless I did something about it soon, he might remain that way for ever.