It helps to know your classic literature when reading this book - not necessarily to have read it all but to know the basics. This book is also enhanced if you have read "Great Expectations" although it has to be said that you will not recognise Fforde's Miss Havisham in Dickens' original (although I think the version here is definitely an improvement !). There is a wealth of puns and wordplay ion this book as well as the literary references - for those of us who like this sort of thing it is a delight.
What the author does, however, within the absurdity of being able to enter the plot of books and the alternative reality in which he sets the story, is to introduce some really powerful writing, mostly based around the character of Thursday Next. Her grief at the "death" of her husband (the beautifully named Landon Park-Laine) is real and touching and her determination to have him returned to the storyline is the driving force of the book. It is the character of Thursday and her real and recognisable emotions and behaviour that grounds the book and stops it becoming silly although the delight for the reader is the increasing amounts of amusement to be gained from the absurdities.
I recommend these books for all those who enjoy words. I think that they woudl be very much enjoyed by fans of Terry Prachett.
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 1 edition (8 August 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034082283X
- ISBN-13: 978-0340822838
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 24.1 x 3.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 721 g
- Customer Reviews: 195 customer ratings