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Fourth Bear [Paperback]

Jasper Fforde
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Like The Big Over Easy (2005), Fforde's first Nursery Crime novel, this sequel offers literary allusions, confusions and gentle satire, though, again like its predecessor, it lacks the snap of the author's Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair, etc.). Jack Spratt, DCI of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department, is also a PDR (Person of Dubious Reality), as are most of the characters Jack deals with, including the Gingerbreadman, a notorious killer, and Punch and Judy, a violence prone couple who are also marriage counselors. An alien policeman named Ashley, talking bears, a devoted group of cucumber-growing enthusiasts and an immensely powerful company, Quang Tech, add spice. All are grist for Fforde, whose word play runs the gamut from puns to shaggy dog stories. The Gingerbreadman's on the loose, Goldilocks is missing and Jack's once again persona non grata at headquarters. As Jack and his associates "bring justice to the nursery world," they also cast a Swiftian eye on corporate hubris, race relations, the drug trade and myriad other targets. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Still on leave from his wildly inventive Thursday Next series (Something Rotten, 2004), Fforde offers a second entry in his wildly inventive Nursery Crime series (The Big Over Easy, 2005). The sadistic and superpowerful Gingerbreadman, nemesis of Jack Spratt, has escaped from St. Cerebellum's secure hospital for the criminally insane. Unfortunately, Spratt has been suspended pending psychological evaluation for his role in the Red Riding Hood fiasco. Though at first he resists doing "a plot device number twenty-six" and hunting for the Gingerbreadman on his own, eventually Spratt has no choice but to follow the rules of detective convention. All he and his mismatched team have to do is find the links between exploding extreme-cucumber-growers, a missing reporter nicknamed Goldilocks, a theme park called SommeWorld, and, oh yes, porridge dealers. Chockablock with puns, literary allusions, groanworthy asides, and playful dismantling of the police procedural--wearing its love for an almost-extinct form of children's literature like a tattoo--The Fourth Bear will appeal to fans of whimsy, silliness, or plain old nonsense. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'Fforde is inventive and hugely funny.'—The Times

Praise for Jasper Fforde's new crime series—:

I love it. THE BIG OVER EASY is great not just because it's very funny...but also because it works properly as a whodunit...Comic genius.—Observer

A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb—Daily Mail

'With its witty literary allusions, social satire and blurred boundaries between fiction and reality, it's all completely mad, very funny . . . It also adds to Fforde's growing reputation as one of Britain's most inventive novelists and the thriller element keeps you guessing too.'—Word

'What makes Fforde a star is not his ebullient cleverness, but the elusive sympathy factor. However ridiculous his themes seem, his characters have a compelling immediacy.'—Independent

'This novel is a wonderful combination of silliness and cleverness, and a delightful holiday from reality. It's got such a good comic premise that it would work even if played straight, but virtually every page is adorned with puns, gags, tongue-twisters or comic setpieces, keeping the reader in a perpetual state of amusement.'—Independent on Sunday

'This is the first of best-selling Fforde's hilarious, absurd and utterly compelling new series of nursery crimes for adults.'—Daily Mirror

'This book, energetic, entertaining and packed with gags, is unlike anything you'll ever read.'—Telegraph

'THE FOURTH BEAR sees one of our funniest and most inventive authors at the height of his powers. The jokes come so fast that it is clear the author simply let his imagination off the leash and had a great time while writing it. You will have a great time reading it too.'—Daily Express

'THE FOURTH BEAR is a great choice as it has everything - humour, intrigue and cucumbers as a matter of national security . . . will have you wondering how you haven't discovered Fforde before.'—Anys Scoular, Observer

'Jasper Fforde is flavour of the comedy month, and this genial spoof whodunit if a fine example of his style... Fforde is a relaxed, polished storyteller who never falls in love with his own cleverness'—Sunday Telegraph

'It would be hard not to be won over by Fforde's undeniable energy and the sheer, unrelenting number of gags'—Daily Mail

'Fforde's dexterously tailored nonsense has an underlying thread of shrewd satire, and the author's own wry, dry narration helps to compensate for the omission in this abridgement of so many of his gloriously surreal jokes.'—The Times

About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and chewing the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.

From AudioFile

Jasper Fforde continues his tales of the Nursery Crime unit of the Reading Police Department, where Detectives Jack Spratt and Mary Mary investigate crimes involving fairy tale figures. With his perfectly clipped British accent, Simon Vance does his usual expert performance. In this case, he makes the improbable, unlikely, and downright ridiculous seem perfectly normal. It would be hard to imagine this novel without him. The plot includes the escape of the vicious serial killer the Gingerbreadman and the hunt for the missing gossip columnist, Goldy. Prime suspects are the Three Bears she was once involved with. But was there a fourth bear? Fforde is also known for his bestselling Thursday Next series. M.S. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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