01/11/2008. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Hodder & Stoughton. 398 page enlarged paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-340-750202-9.
check out website: www.hodder.co.uk
Here comes another delightfully, annoying book from Mr. Fforde. Delightful as the plot leaps through hoops that must be storyboarded across his humble garret and annoying as I wish I'd thought of it. Some of you may have seen the amusing 'Lost In Austen' on the TV (OK, you guys across the pond are bound to get it soon which is a much-simplified version of the plots that Fforde has made a good living out of for some time.) Somehow, I wonder if his convoluted connivances could be translated to the screen without some downgrading or perhaps an explanatory booklet.
This book is the much needed return of Thursday Next. She is supposed to be retired, that's what she's told her beloved husband, but Thursday still goes out to work in the world of Jurisfiction every day. She goes by way of the Acme Carpet Company (Swindon), the cover story for SpecOps and she has a sideline in a little cheese smuggling. She also helps her colleague Spike with cleaning up the untidy supernaturals in Swindon. There seems to be a lot for her to do. You know what they say about a busy woman, just give her another ball to juggle.
Thursday has to try to persuade her son Friday that he really wants to work for the Time Corp. its not a problem other than he is a lazy good for nothing who doesn't want a job. No pressure but the world as we know it will end, not surprisingly, this will happen on a Friday. There's never any time for relaxing at the weekend. Declining readership in the real world means the Bookworld could be destroyed, word by word. It brings new meaning to declining the verb. The Big Brother idea for 'Pride And Prejudice' could be inspired but what if Lizzie gets voted out before she gets her man?
There is so much in this book that it would be a crime against fiction to give you any more details and that would confuse Jurisfiction too much. Did I mention that Thursday has two alter egos? The fictional Thursdays who featured in the novels are trying to get jobs within Jurisfiction but they are hopelessly hampered by being almost completely unlike Thursday. One is more like the Lara Croft and the other more a dippy hippy. Thursday can't decide which one offends her the most. Its gets even more complicated when Lara Croft decides she'd like some bedroom action with Thursday's husband. She can't explain to him without confessing about her job and she can hardly accuse him of cheating on her!
If you ever need a little boost, try any one of the 'Thursday Next' series. I just find them deliciously funny and far more inventive than any thing else in the same genre. Where else can you get time travel, a genre war and a Stupidity Surplus? Come to think of it, we've got the Stupidity Surplus here already-does this man have a crystal ball?
I have no idea what genre this is but it delights in the written word so much without being preachy that I will call it evangelical please-read-more genre. More please, I can't wait for the next outing.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA