One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Thursday Next Novel Paperback – Jan 31 2012
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Praise for One of Our Thursdays is Missing
“One of Our Thursdays is Missing, like other Fforde novels, is jam packed with spot-on parody, puns and wry observations about words and genres that will delight literary-minded fans of the series.” - Los Angeles Times
“There is no denying Fforde’s supersized imagination, linguistic agility and love of books, Books, BOOKS.” - Chicago Sun-Times
“Fforde’s diabolical meshing of insight and humor makes a ‘mimefield’ both frightening and funny, while the reader must traverse a volume that’s minefield of unexpected turns and amusing twists.” - Publishers Weekly
“One of Our Thursdays is Missing is filled with passages [in] which geeky humor jostles with genuine insight about the current state of fiction.… [T]ake a joy ride with the passionate reader who wrote this novel.” - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“[With a] furiously agile imagination…Fforde has shaken up genres—fantasy, comedy, crime, sci-fi, parody, literary criticism—and come up with a superb mishmash with lots of affectionate in-jokes for any book lover.” - Miami Herald
“Fforde is a breath of fresh air.” -Kirkus
“Fforde’s books are more than just an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and are tautly plotted. They have empathetic heroes and heroines who nearly make terrible mistakes and suitably dastardly villains who do. They also have more twists and turns than Christie, and are embellished with the rich details of Dickens or Pratchett.” -Independent
“A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb.” - Daily Mail“Fans of the late Douglas Adams, or, even, Monty Python, will feel at home with Fforde.” Herald
Praise for The Woman Who Died A Lot, the next installment in the Thursday Next series
“Fforde continues to show that his forte is absurdist humor in his seventh crime thriller starring Thursday Next, a member of the Literary Detectives division of Special Operations in an alternate-universe Britain. [An] endearingly-bizarre fantasy world limited only by Fforde’s impressive imagination.” –Publishers Weekly
“As always, Fforde makes this wacky world perfectly plausible, elucidating Ffordian physics with just the right ratio of pseudoscientific jargon to punch lines. It’s a dazzling, heady brew of high concept and low humor, absurd antics with a tea-and-toast sensibility that will appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse alike. Fforde is ffantastic!”
–Booklist (starred review)
“Strap in and hang on tight.... Another winner for fans and lovers of sf, time travel, puns, allusions, and all sorts of literary hijinks.”
–Library Journal (Starred review)
“Jasper Fforde fans, rejoice! The Woman Who Died a Lot, the seventh installment in his Thursday Next series, delivers all the imagination, complexity and laughs we've come to expect from Fforde and his book-hopping, butt-kicking heroine.The Woman Who Died a Lot brings together the charming lunacy and intricate plotting that have enthralled Fforde's readers over the years.” –Shelf Awareness
“In Misery, Stephen King compares the euphoric feeling writers experience in creative bursts to ‘falling into a hole filled with bright light.’ Avid readers also know that feeling: A good story temporarily erases the world. British novelist Jasper Fforde has expanded on King’s simile in a wonderful seven-book series of novels featuring Thursday Next. Enormously knowledgeable about literary history, Fforde scatters nuggets for nerdy readers like me. By the end, all of Fforde’s myriad particles of plot, accelerated by his immense skill and narrative sense, collide, producing pyrotechnics and a passel of new particles to propel his next tale. I love the Thursday Next books, and when a new one appears, I don’t fall but leap into this bibliophile’s Wonderland.” –The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“This is the proverbial madcap lighthearted romp, full of hijinks, parody, and puns. Jasper Fforde does it well. It’s safe to say that if you enjoy that particularly British, Douglas Adams-style absurd delivery of wry observations, you’ll get a kick out of this one.” –New York Journal of Books
“The Welsh writer Jasper Fforde's wildly inventive books defy easy description — more accurately, they mercilessly mock the concept of easy description. Are they mysteries? Outrageous parodies of literary classics? Science fiction? Absurdist humor? Gleeful mashups of all the above?” [The Woman Who Died A Lot is] still big, big fun, with enough in-jokes to keep anyone snickering for a long time — especially English Lit geeks.” –The Seattle Times
“Quirky and surprising and funny. Thursday fans will welcome her return.”
–The Free Lance–Star
About the Author
Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling series of Thursday Next novels, which includes Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, and The Woman Who Died A Lot. The series has more than one million copies (and counting) in print. He is also the author of The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear of the Nursery Crime series, Shades of Grey, and books for young readers, including The Last Dragonslayer. Visit jasperfforde.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the 6th book in this long running series. The main premise of the series is that there is a book world that exists alongside the real world. Thursday Next is a literary detective who can jump between the real world and the book world to solve problems. We first met her in The Eyre Affair where she was instrumental in stopping a criminal who was kidnapping book characters and holding them for ransom Over the years, she's gotten married, had children (named Tuesday and Friday of course) and continued to bridge the gap between the real world and the book world.
While I was writing this I decided that it's impossible to give the plot line for this novel. If you haven't read the series you won't have a clue what's going on; so if you're interested start with the first book The Eyre Affair. Having said that, this is a great continuation of the series. It's funny, very imaginative and totally believable in an odd fantasy sort of way. There are actually a few pictures in the book, art that adds to the written text in helping you to imagine what the settings look like.
I hope I've piqued your interest enough to give this series a try. It's definitely worth reading
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As always with Fforde, the writing is fun, the BookWorld is amusing, and the randomness of the characters always keeps you on your toes. But as an avid Thursday fan who wanted more THURSDAY, I was let down.
One of Our Thursdays is Missing is Fforde's sixth novel in the series. There is always danger of a continuing series growing stale, but Fforde manages to keep things fresh in a variety of ways. First, he rotates the Next novels with those in two other series. Also, there was a bit of a paradigm shift in the last book, as Fforde moved the action of the story ahead by 14 years. Our heroine was suddenly in a very different place in her life.
Now, she's just in a different place period, and nobody seems to know where she is. Per the title, one of our Thursdays is missing. However, that leaves one remaining. The fictional Thursday has noted her counterpart's absence, even if no one will own up to it. She's on the case--which is just as well. Things are getting somewhat contentious in her book.
This volume, for the first time, delves into the real nitty-gritty of what it is to be read day in and day out. We get a lot of new information about the BookWorld, in part because there's new info to be had. Fforde recreates his creation in the opening chapter. It's fiction; he can do that. Also new is Sprockett. As literary characters go, this mechanical manservant falls somewhere in the intersection of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves, Matt Ruff's electric negroes, and Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Girl. He's a welcome addition to the series.
While Fforde has added several new elements this time around, other familiar aspects are absent. This novel takes place almost entirely in the BookWorld. I quite missed the cast of RealWorld (or Outland) characters, but as I became more engaged in the story being told, I missed what was left out less. The Next books are beloved for their unique and affectionate brand of literary satire. That's very much in evidence here. In addition to lampooning the classics, there are plenty of playful references to Fforde's contemporary peers. But on top of that, it's not a half-bad mystery plot that Mr. Fforde has penned.
The one thing we can count on from any Fforde offering is the author's trademark wit and humor. His idiosyncratic cleverness is abundantly on display, so I'll leave the last words to him:
"Budgetary overruns almost buried the remaking before the planning stage, until relief came from an unexpected quarter. A spate of dodgy accounting practices in the Outland necessitated a new genre in Fiction: Creative Accountancy. Shunned by many as `not a proper genre at all,' the members' skills at turning thin air into billion-dollar profits were suddenly of huge use, and the remaking went ahead as planned. Enron may have been a pit of vipers in the Outland, but they quite literally saved the BookWorld.
Bradshaw's BookWorld Companion (16th edition)"
Felt a little lighter in plot that others in the series, but this was offset by the wonderfully witty and reinvented BookWorld. Almost like a series reboot!
I am constantly amazed at the wordplays and use of language. A bonus on reading this on my Kindle was being able to use the built-in dictionary to look up all the new (real) words sprinkled through the story!
I usually read a Thursday Next novel in a couple of evenings; when I took The Big Over Easy (the Nursery Crime series) on a trip to San Francisco a few years ago, I almost asked the pilot to go around a few more times, so I could finish the book; I read Shades of Grey cover to cover in a day. I'm sorry to report that it took me a week to read One of Our Thursdays is Missing, the latest offering in the Thursday Next series; I could put it down.
The plot of One of Our Thursdays is convoluted, even by Fforde's standards. I get the Book World, I even get why the written Thursday had to visit the Outland (Real World). But to gratuitiously reintroduce Mycroft without giving one of his greatest supporting characters so much as a line of dialogue seems unfair. Do you know who the Bellman is? Don't expect any help figuring him out here; you'll have to go back to Lost in a Good Book. Don't remember the greatest villain ever, Jack Schitt? (The Hades siblings have redeeming virtues, like senses of humor; Schitt is just 200 proof evil.) You won't be told that Thursday marooned him in The Raven, but that accounts for the animosity between them. As well as minor characters from previous books who have become major characters here and major characters from previous books who have become minor characters here is also a full cast of new major and minor players are so many minor characters in One of Our Thursdays, so many that you need a map to keep track of them. When I read The Eyre Affair I hadn't read Jane Eyre in over forty years, yet I could make sense out of it. In One of Our Thursdays there are repeated references to previous books, but if you haven't read those you have no chance of understanding; I had to dredge up a plot summary of First Among Sequels just to figure out what was going on in this book, the next in the series. But even then it was confusing. The ongoing in joke, is the written Thursday the real Thursday or not, wears very thin by the end, and even then we just leave Thursday (real, not written) dropped off at Grey's Anatomy (how did we get there? That certainly isn't in the fiction genre).
In fact, the ending is very unsatisfactory. Nothing is pulled together, there are too many lose ends and ambiguous characters left. Sure, that's happened in other novels in the series: Jack Schitt, Aenais Hades, to say nothing of the whole supporting caste. But this is different: Red Herring is unaccounted for, is Senator Jobsworth a good guy or a bad guy, does the written Thursday get her role back and if she doesn't what happens to her, does Sprocket go to Jobsworth or back to Vanity or stay with the written Thursday ...? And, speaking of Sprocky, he reminds me a little too much of C3PO.
All in all, I found One of Our Thursdays is Missing to be dissatisfying. I'm still a Fforde fan, and I'm looking forward to the next colo(u)r novel. But if you haven't bought One of Our Thursdays, wait for the paperback.
We follow the written Thursday Next, not the proper real world Thursday Next, as she tries to solve the disappearance of the real world's Thursday, without letting anyone know the real Thursday is missing. The written Thursday visits Landon, who she has a crazy crush on (well, he was meant for her, right? Or, um, meant for the real Thursday, who she is meant to be just like.), and starts becoming confused about whether or not she may have suffered a mental breakdown and may actually be the real Thursday.
Through it all we have mimefields (terrifyingly scary), the written Thursday's new robotic manservant (love his way with a Tahiti Tingle - whatever manner of cocktail that is), and the usual problems with Pickwick the dodo and Thursday's malapropist house assistant.
If you're a fan, then you know you need to read it. If you're not, then for god's sake don't start reading here. Start with the Eyre Affair and go from there, in order, or you'll be hopelessly lost and think the series is a crazy load of tosh. Which it is, except - well, it's a cleverly-written, addictive, charming load of tosh that carries many rereads' worth of puns and word trickery. Seriously, you'll love it. Go get it now.