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One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel [Hardcover]

Jasper Fforde
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 8 2011
The newest tour de force from The New York Times bestselling author of Thursday Next and Shades of Grey.

Jasper Fforde's exuberant return to the fantastical BookWorld opens during a time of great unrest. All-out Genre war is rumbling, and the BookWorld desperately needs a heroine like Thursday Next. But with the real Thursday apparently retired to the Realworld, the Council of Genres turns to the written Thursday.

The Council wants her to pretend to be the real Thursday and travel as a peacekeeping emissary to the warring factions. A trip up the mighty Metaphoric River beckons-a trip that will reveal a fiendish plot that threatens the very fabric of the BookWorld itself.

Once again New York Times bestselling author Jasper Fforde has a field day gleefully blending satire, romance, and thriller with literary allusions galore in a fantastic adventure through the landscape of a frisky and fertile imagination. Fans will rejoice that their favorite character in the Fforde universe is back.

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'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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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 "Thursday Next" series. He is also the author of the "Nursery Crime" series.


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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fforde's Continuing Inspired Lunacy Wins Again March 20 2011
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"One of Our Thursdays Is Missing" is the sixth novel in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, and unlike many series, it is absolutely essential for the reader to have read the previous five volumes if one hopes to have a glimmer of a clue as to what is going on. That said, anybody who loves literary fiction, absurdism along the lines of Flann O'Brien and jaw-droppingly funny puns, allusions and other forms of written humour will, I hope, have already discovered the mad genius that is Mr. Fforde's written world. It's not really possible to describe what this book is about, other than to say it takes place mostly in BookWorld, the island world located inside a sphere in which all of the characters of written works live and from which they act out their lines whenever someone in the real world is reading their book. BookWorld is only one of many such realms, but we are concerned primarily with Fiction Island and its islets, where a Genre War of epic proportions is about to break out, and only Thursday Next can stop it. But the real Thursday is missing, so it falls to her fictional counterpart to do her best, even knowing that her best is nowhere near good enough....Jasper Fforde is easily one of my top 3 or 4 authors, and while I will never again have the joy of experiencing his fiction for the very first time, every single new volume from him is a cause for celebration. I cannot recommend this series highly enough, but I do caution that you must read the whole series, starting with "The Eyre Affair" and proceeding in order of publication. If you love good writing and inspired creative lunacy, you will be very glad to discover Jasper Fforde.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not Japser Fforde's best June 29 2012
By Neko TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thursday Next fans may be a bit disappointed by this latest addition to the series. The previous storylines were based on the "real" Thursday Next and her adventures in both our world and the book world. This particular novel focuses mainly on the events surrounding the book world Thursday, who is nowhere near as interesting and readable as the original. I'm sorry to say that I didn't manage to finish reading it. For me, it simply wasn't a true Thursday Next adventure and fell rather flat.
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By S. Morehouse TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is a pure fantasy novel so if that's not your genre you won't enjoy the book. However, if you have a great imagination and love books and have always wondered what happens really inside a book when the reader stops reading then this series is for you.

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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hoped for more from Fforde's latest book March 13 2011
By Ashley Taylor Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I absolutely LOVE the Thursday Next series, and was super excited to receive this latest installation in the mail last week. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, as I have been with most of Jasper's recent books. First of all, the book isn't about the <real> Thursday, it's about the <written> Thursday, who, as you will recall from First Among Sequels, is a total wet blanket. Second, the story is filled with so much background information about the BookWorld that, for readers who have already read the first five Thursday Next books, is less than exciting. Lastly, and this is the main reason why I am only giving three stars to the book--the plot does not pick up until over 200 pages into the novel.
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.
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thursday is here at last! March 8 2011
By Susan Tunis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Way back in 2001, buzz rippled through the American publishing industry for a British debut novel, The Eyre Affair. It was this country's introduction to two unlikely-named characters: Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next. We've had a decade to get to know them now, and they haven't worn out their welcome yet. On the contrary, Fforde ffanatics long for Thursday's return, as she has not made an appearance since 2007's First Among Sequels.

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)"
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thursday, but not as we know it/her March 3 2011
By cfm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow, yet another spin on the Nextian universe, refreshing different from the last couple of books. Jasper Fforde amazes me with his constant changes and point-of-views.
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!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good book lost May 28 2011
By Tom Lackner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jasper Fforde may be the best user of the English language writing today. He is witty, articulate, and knowledgeable. He mines metaphors and establishes characters as well as anyone. He may be the best satirist and social commentator since Swift, and that's a long time. But not even Swift could hit it for six every time, and with One of Our Thursday's is Missing Fforde is out for a duck, bowled lbw. (For Americans, that's "home run" and "out on three consecutive called strikes.")

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookworld Reboot May 18 2011
By Gen of North Coast Gardening - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a rabid Fforde ffan, so obviously I couldn't wait to read the next in the Thursday series. But this isn't the Thursday we know and love, nor is it the Bookworld we are used to. Bookworld's had a massive reboot and overhaul (Bookworld 2.0) and so the reading experience of it was dramatically different - more lively and easy to imagine.

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.
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