Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Introduction to Lost in a Good
Thursday's hopes for a quiet life with her new husband, Landen, are dashed
when a seemingly impossible string of coincidences involving a falling car, a
disgruntled Neanderthal, and a mysterious young woman leads to some extremely
close brushes with death. Her jumpy ChronoGuard father rescues her just in time,
only to reveal to her that the world is destined to become one big, pink blob of
Dream Topping in a matter of days unless they can figure out how and why it
happens. And just when Thursday discovers that she is pregnant with Landen's
child, the Goliath goons eradicate Landen from existence, threatening to make it
permanent unless Thursday retrieves her nemesis Jack Schitt from his
imprisonment in a copy of "The Raven"this time without the
help of her now retired uncle Mycroft's mad machinery. Thursday's loved ones are
disappearing, while her list of enemies appears to be growing steadily.
Luckily, Thursday's fictional colleagues in an internal book-policing squad
called Jurisfiction have eagerly anticipated her return to the book world,
assigning her to apprentice under the tutelage of one of their greatest agents,
the abrasive Miss Havisham of Great Expectations. Thursday discovers that
the sudden materialization of Shakespeare's long-lost play Cardenio, which she
had been investigating for SpecOps 27, was indeed too good to be trueit has
evidently been stolen from the Great Library by a rogue character from the book
world. With Miss Havisham and Jurisfiction's help, Thursday must find the
perpetrator and return Cardenio to its proper home in the Well of Lost
Plotsthe home of all unpublished worksbefore the thief can gain all the
power and money that goes with its release in the real world.
Thursday's grandmother says she cannot die until she has read the ten most
boring classics ever written. What do you think those are?
What sort of impact would the discovery of a long-lost play by Shakespeare
make in Thursday's book-loving world? What kind of impact would it make in
our world? What kind of discovery would make an equivalent impact in our
world, if not the discovery of a Shakespearean play?
Aornis Hades is both a mnemonomorph memory eraser and a coincidence
manipulator. With the former, she erases memory; with the latter, she
murders people. Which is the more dangerous characteristic? Which act does
the most harm to a person? Which act has the most impact on Thursday's life?
Destiny plays an important role in the first novel and coincidence plays
an important role in this one. How does Fforde define a coincidence? How do
coincidences relate to destiny in a world where time travel is a reality?
How would you define a coincidence?
Thursday jumps into books, but she also visits Landen in her memories.
Which world is more palpable for you, the world created when you can lose
yourself in a book or the world of memory? Which world would you rather be
able to jump back into?
Thursday manages to outwit the prosecutor in a trial that takes place in
Kafka's novel. What other fictional courts could she have gone before? What
would be the best case to argue in the other fictional trials?
Thursday's father says, "Scientific thought, indeed, any mode of
thought whether it be religious or philosophical or anything else, is just
like the fashions that we wearonly much longer-lived. It's a little like
a boy band." What does he mean by this? Do you agree or disagree? Do
you think it's possible to have the scientific thought equivalent to the
"boy band so good that you never need another boy band againor even
any more music"? The Neanderthals are interesting new characters in the
second book. How would Neanderthal clones be received in our world? Do you
think it would be ethical to reintroduce extinct species like the dodo and
the Neanderthal in our world? Why or why not?
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