Its been fourteen years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult sixteen year old. However, Thursdays got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed at the Rheinback Falls and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. When Thursday receives a death threat clearly intended for her written self, she realizes whats going onthere is a serial killer on the loose in the Bookworld. And thats not allThe Goliath Corporation is trying to deregulate book travel. Naturally, Thursday must travel to the outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to triumph against increasing odds.
"Fans of satiric literary humor are in for a treat." - PW.
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Rated of 5
excellent dose of Fforde
First Among Sequels is the fifth novel in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. The narration starts in 2002, some fourteen years after Something Rotten. Thursday, now 52 and feeling her age, is working at Acme Carpets, Spec Ops having been disbanded soon after the Commonsense Party came to power. Her sixteen-year-old son, Friday, destined to lead the ChronoGuard and save the world, is a typically teenage smelly, grunty bedslug. Landen and Thursday have two daughters, Tuesday and Jenny, and Landen writes at home whilst Thursday secretly runs her own Spec Ops branch and, in the Book World, trains cadet agents for Jurisfiction. Reality TV shows like Samaritan Kidney Swap have become popular, and read rates are dropping dramatically, a cause for great concern in the Book World. Tension is mounting between some of the genres in the Book World, and the Council of Genres is proposing to make books interactive. As things come to a head, Thursday finds herself, unthinkably, going to Goliath Corporation for help. While some of the pieces about time travel and the ChronoGuard almost had my eyes glazing over, things I loved in this excellent novel were the book refitter’s own language, the fictional Thursdays, the Stupidity Surplus, Schrödinger’s Night Fever Principle, the good ship Moral Dilemma on the Hypothetical Ocean, Aornis Hades timeloop prison, books whose genres change, piano exchange, the serial killer pun and the cheese smuggling. Landen has previously been very much in the background, but in this instalment his character is developed and we see more of Thursday’s family life. Fforde is always inventive with names and this book is no exception: Mrs Berko Boyler, Daphne Farquit, Aflredo Traficcone, Anne Wirthlass-Schitt, Cherie Yogert, Hedge Moulting, Cliff Hangar, Irritable Vowel Syndrome, and the various cheese names; Salmon Thrusty’s “The Demonic Couplets” is worthy of Rushdie himself. Thursday makes a lovely speech about the importance of the reader. The cliff hanger ending will send readers in search of the next Thursday Next novel, One of Our Thursdays is Missing. Reminiscent of Douglas Adams, this is another excellent dose of Jasper Fforde.
Jasper Fforde was born in London on January 11, 1961. His father was a prominent economist, while his mother did charity work and was a passionate reader. Fforde and his four siblings were raised in London and Wales. At the age of twelve Fforde was sent to Dartington Hall School, a progressive coeducational boarding school near Totnes, Devon, which he attended until his graduation in 1979.
As a child, he shared his mother's love of reading, and by the age of eleven, had become quite interested in film and television. While the young Fforde liked to watch Monty Python, he was particularly influenced by a commercial he saw for milk starring actor Roger Moore. It showed what happened behind the scenes on a production set, and this commercial inspired Fforde's aspirations as a movie ...
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