As you already know, "The Well of Lost Plots" is the 3rd book in the "Thursday Next" series. After reading the first two awesome books in the series, you might think that there is no way the author can surprise you again... However, if you were to think that you would be very wrong, because Jasper Fforde does it again :) At the end of "Lost in a good book" we left Thursday pregnant, with a husband eradicated at the age of two, and followed by the Goliath Corporation (who wanted her skills to jump into books). She was in urgent need of a hiding place, at least until her son was born and she could begin again her efforts to un-eradicate her husband. As a consequence, she decided to "get lost in a good book", more specifically in a B novel in the Well of Lost Plots, in order to get some deserved rest. Did I say rest?. Well, at least that is what she expected to get, but with her temporary job at Jurisfiction, an assassin killing Jurisfiction agents and grammasites all over the place, getting some rest won't be easy. On top of all that, Thursday must face the very real risk that "Caversham Heights" (the B novel where she is staying for a year thanks to the Character Exchange Program) will be scraped, and deal with an enemy that she thought was left behind in the "real" world: Aornis Hades. As you can see, the "Well of Lost Plots" is likely to be everything but boring... You will meet again some old friends (for example Miss Havisham), and get to know new ones. But beware: there is a traitor among the people Thursday knows and likes. And where is Godot?. Why doesn't he appear?. I want to point out that I loved the introduction of the generic characters who lived with Thursday, "ibb" and "obb", who later won the right to use capital letters, thus becoming "Ibb" and "Obb", and who went to school in order to become characters in different books. They are... different, but charming :) Fforde goes on introducing unexpected things, for example a footnote system that works not only as a radio, but also as cellular phones that allow everybody to listen to private conversations. I liked the misspelling "vyrus", and the idea that in order to contain it many dictionaries were needed, but I hated what happened to one of the characters because of an incident involving that "vyrus". I probably could go on and on writing about "The Well of Lost Plots", because I loved it, and there are really lots of things to be said about it. However, I think that it is better to allow you to discover the rest, because if I don't let you do that I would be depriving you of a wonderful pleasure... I recommend this book to all those who love literature and will appreciate casual and pertinent allusions to well-known books and characters, but also to those who just enjoy an innovative and appealing fantasy book. If you would like to "jump into a book", seize the opportunity and do exactly that, with Thursday Next !!!. Belen AlcatRead more ›
Jasper Fforde won over fans from all over the world with "The Eyre Affair." Now he's presented "Well of Lost Plots," the third playful satire/mystery/fantasy starring hardboiled detective Thursday Next. It lacks the oomph and tightness of the first two books, but the hilariously literate mystery is still enthralling.
Thursday Next is in self-exile. After her husband was erased as a blackmail ploy and the world was almost reduced to goo, she is lying low to wait for her baby's birth, and to figure out how to bring her husband back. Problem is, she is now living in an unpublished detective thriller in the Well of Lost Plots, a sort of fiction limbo. The fictional people are thrilled to meet an Outlander (a person from the real world), but Thursday must deal with some generic extra roommates, and a pregnancy by the husband who no longer technically exists.
Then her mentor dies horribly, and Thursday finds that her brain is being invaded by memory-erasing mindworm. She sets out to uncover a black market that is recycling characters, and to avoid the attacks of the evil Aornis. Soon the world of fiction is under attack yet again -- and it's Thursday Next to somehow stop everything from collapsing.
One of the greatest things about Fforde's books is how hysterically smart they are. Fforde peppers his book with the Lewis Carroll, Falstaff, the Questing Beast, Mr. Toad, the Minotaur, the early works of the Bront' sisters, Heathcliff, and much more. What's more, he gives them a wink-nudge twist worthy of the best of British comedy.
That isn't to say that it's perfect. Fforde seems to lose the flow from time to time, and the plot takes quite some time to figure out where it's going. But his dialogue is still wickedly funny (when talking about discarded fantasy novels: "Do you have unicorns?" "Yes, sackloads"), and his subtle satire is delicious. It almost makes you forget that the plot meanders.
Thursday is a little more weathered in her third mystery; she's a little more vulnerable than before, which has dulled her edge. She still totes a gun and can be the toughie when required, though. The hilariously tough Ms. Havisham and nurturing Gran serve as nice foils and backups. So do ibb and obb, a pair of generic background characters who have no personalities, backgrounds... or senses of humor.
Fforde's unique fantasy-mysteries are like reading an Escher print, with a bit of Monty Python sprinkled in the margins. "Well of Lost Plots" isn't as good as the two before it, but it's still wickedly intellectual goofiness. Highly recommended.Read more ›
From the first chapter of Jasper Fforde's third novel, you can tell that the author had a blast writing this satiric mystery that explores the creation of fiction. Thursday Next - pregnant by her eradicated husband, haunted by a Hades sister intent on destroying her memory, and a Jurisfiction apprentice to none other than Miss Havisham of Dickens fame - takes refuge in a poorly written and unpublished crime novel called Caversham Heights. Thursday expects to rest there until the birth of her child, but she and Miss Havisham discover that the death of another agent by a Minotaur attack might not be the accident it seems. Meanwhile, nursery rhyme characters threaten a strike for not being treated like other fictional characters, two generic characters living with Thursday begin to become more well-rounded, and Thursday tries to save Caversham Heights from being destroyed by the Council of Genres for being so hopelessly bad. The more you know about literature, the more hilarious you'll find this fantasy. Characters are being manufactured in record numbers because Vikram Seth is planning a new novel, and no one wants a return to minimalism simply because of a character shortage. Heathcliff, Catherine, and the rest of the characters from Wuthering Heights attend anger management classes, and Mr. Toad is relentless in his competition with Miss Havisham for the fastest driver in both the Book World and the Outland. And if you're interesting in writing, you'll gain tips for keeping your novel out of the Text Sea, as Fforde pokes fun at hackneyed writing and incomplete character development. Because this is my first Fforde novel, I started reading this without any knowledge of what has happened previously in the series, but the author provides enough of a synopsis in the beginning to give a new reader the proper bearings. Despite this, there remains a disjointedness at times as so much satire is pumped into the book that does little to advance the plot. Sometimes Thursday seems to be there purely as a straight man, raising the question that perhaps Fforde should have heeded some of his own lessons in fiction writing. Fortunately, these lapses are few and don't hinder the enjoyment of the novel as a whole. This relatively long novel is not demanding and can be read more quickly than the page count might indicate. As a literary joke, The Well of Lost Plots is a triumph. As a mystery/fantasy, it is less successful. Readers will nonetheless delight in Fforde's imagination as he takes them through the land of the unpublished and the more solid, though more turbulent, ground of the classics.Read more ›