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Summary and book reviews of The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

The Well of Lost Plots

A Thursday Next Novel

by Jasper Fforde

The Well of Lost Plots
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2004, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2004, 375 pages

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Book Summary

In this delicious sequel to The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book, Fforde's redoubtable heroine Thursday Next once again does battle with philistine bibliophobes.

The eagerly anticipated third installment in the bestselling Thursday Next series—a genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainment

Thursday Next definitely needs some down time. After two rollicking New York Times bestselling adventures through the Western literary canon, Britain's Prose-Op is literally and literaturally at her wits' end—not to mention pregnant. Her job as Miss Havisham's apprentice at Jurisfiction is as hectic as ever—and not just because she has to moderate rage counseling sessions in Wuthering Heights. So what could be more welcome than a restful stint in the Character Exchange Program down in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots?

She's supposed to relax while filling in for a sidekick in an unpublished (and unpublishable) detective procedural socked away below the Great Library in the Well of Lost Plots. But a vacation remains elusive. In no time, Thursday discovers that the Well of Lost Plots is a veritable linguistic free-for-all where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books (like the one she has taken up residence in) are scrapped for salvage. To top it off, a murderer is stalking Jurisfiction personnel and nobody is safe, least of all Thursday herself.

Fforde has done it again in this absolutely brilliant feat of literary showmanship. When it comes to sheer wit, literate fantasy, and effervescent originality, nobody can touch this new tour de Fforde.

Chapter 1.
The Absence of Breakfast.

The Well of Lost Plots. To understand the Well you have to have an idea of the layout of the Great Library. The library is where all published fiction is stored so it can be read by the readers in the Outland; there are twenty-six floors, one for each letter of the alphabet. The library is constructed in the layout of a cross with the four corridors radiating from the center point. On all the walls, end after end, shelf after shelf, are books. Hundreds, thousands, millions of books. Hardbacks, paperbacks, leatherbound, everything. But the similarity of all these books to the copies we read back home is no more than the similarity a photograph has to its subject; these books are alive.

Beneath the Great Library are twenty-six floors of dingy yet industrious sub-basements known as the Well of Lost Plots. This is where books are constructed, honed and polished in readiness for a place in the library above—if they make it that far. The ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Introduction to The Well of Lost Plots

Thursday and her pet dodo, Pickwick, have taken up temporary residency in a run-of-the-mill unpublished crime novel called Caversham Heights through the book world's Character Exchange Program—at least for the duration of her pregnancy. While the pages of an obscure, unpublished novel seem like a safe harbor, Thursday's enemy stalks her in her sleep. Aornis uses her skills as a mnemonomorph to alter and destroy Thursday's memories, which are all she has left of her eradicated husband. Granny Next, apparently an ex-Jurisfiction operative herself, unexpectedly appears on Thursday's doorstep to try to help her battle the mindworm, but Thursday must face off with Aornis, and her darkest ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Entertainment Weekly

Brainier silliness is hard to find.

The Washington Post

Head-spinning narrative agility. His novel is satire, fantasy, literary criticism, thriller, whodunit, game, puzzle, joke, post-modern prank and tilt-a-whirl.

People

Enchanting . . . a tale to savor. Harry Potter fans outgrowing Hogwarts should dive in.

Kirkus Reviews

Third course in a feast of hyperliterary alternate-reality thrillers may prove too rich for some stomachs.....Like anchovies, Wagner, and Helmut Newton will greatly appeal to people with unusual tastes--and befuddle everyone else.

Publishers Weekly

In this delicious sequel to The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book, Fforde's redoubtable (and now throwing-up-pregnant) heroine Thursday Next once again does battle with philistine bibliophobes....Fforde's sidesplitting sendup of an increasingly antibookish society is a sheer joy.

Booklist - Keir Graff

Anyone who thinks there's really nothing new in fiction hasn't been reading Fforde's wildly inventive, genre-bending Thursday Next series....Amid the humor, wordplay, and fun with fiction's conventions, there's both a decent mystery and a book lover's plea to save the world's messiness from corporate streamlining. This will surely delight bookworms--and real people, too.

Library Journal - Devon Thomas

Fforde has settled comfortably into series mode, producing another fun romp in an alternate universe where books are more real than reality; there's a pun on every other page and a galaxy of literary and pop references to keep the reader's head spinning.

Reader Reviews
Cloggie Downunder

excellent Fforde
The Well of Lost Plots is the third of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. Having changed the ending of Jane Eyre, ended the Crimean war and had her husband, Landen Parke-Laine eradicated by the ChronoGuard, Thursday has joined Jurisfition and...   Read More

Lisa Davidson

I was disappointed the first time I read this but after I read Something Rotten and went back and read this, I enjoy it more. I LOVE Jasper Fforde!! Very funny.

paul@bookbrowse.com

Disappointing.

I loved the first two books, and was eager to read this one; but it never captured me. It is difficult to determine why this book failed; there are some good ideas in it, but somehow they seem to get lost in a convoluted sub-plots ...   Read More

Selene Miller

Although I loved the first two books in this clever series, and anxiously awaited the third, I was disappointed in "The Well of Lost Plots". It seems that the author, enjoying his success, has written a convoluted story with more inane ...   Read More

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