- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Hodder (July 18 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965752615
- ISBN-13: 978-0965752619
- ASIN: 0340733578
- Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lost in a Good Book Paperback – Jul 18 2002
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What Fforde is pulling is a variation on the classic Monty Python gambit: the incongruous juxtaposition og low comedy and high erudition - this scam has not been pulled off with such off-hand finesse and manic verve since the Pythons shut up shop. 'The Eyre Affair' is a silly book for smart people: postmodernism played as raw, howling farce―Independent
Jasper Fforde's fascinating first novel reads like a Jules Verne story told by Lewis Carroll...Forget all the rules of time, space, and reality; just sit back and enjoy the adventure as Thursday, with the help of Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester, fights a desperate battle in which Jane herself is in jeopardy.―Sunday Telegraph
A stroke of fantasy genius . . . Unashamedly silly, but also marvellously intelligent . . . Hilarious―SFX
A decidedly quirky and strangely thought-provoking debut novel―Scotland on Sunday
It is always a privilege to watch the birth of a cult, and Hodder has just cut the umbilical cord. Always ridiculous, often hilarious ... blink and you miss a vital narrative leap. There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters―Time Out
Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously―Terry Pratchett
Engaging and captivating . . . not just one of the best sequels I've ever read, but one of the best damn books to come out of the UK in some time.―Engima
Douglas Adams would be proud―Scotsman
Don't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original―Sunday Express
Dark, funny, complex and inventive, The Eyre Affair is a breath of fresh air, and is easily one of the strongest debuts in years.―Locus
About the Author
Jasper Fforde is the author of three hit Thursday Next novels. After a varied career in the film industry, he now lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.
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Fforde slathers lots of plot with tons o' wordlicious fun as he carries us past the events of Thursday's introductory outing, into her first year of marriage and the aftermath of her defeat of archcriminal Acheron Hades and corporate creep Jack Schitt. The Goliath Corporation eradicates Thursday's husband and pressures her to rescue Schitt while she is dodging murder attempts by an unknown enemy, helping her father try to save the world and taking bookjumping lessons from Great Expectations' Miss Havisham. Oh, and battling the occasional Supreme Evil Being to bring in a few extra bucks. Who says a woman can't have it all?
The author writes dialogue superbly, and introduces new concepts and slang fluidly. There is lots of wordplay, and more than a few puns, but not so much as to be annoying. We see more of Thursday's father here, which is enjoyable, but her husband Landen is not really fleshed out. We are introduced to some terrific new characters, including Granny Next, condemned to live until she can read the ten most boring books ever written, and Miss Havisham, who loves anything with a gnarly engine. The brief cameo by Uncle Mycroft and Aunt Polly, though, is much much too little. Strangely, Thursday's partner Bowden is used to good effect in the first half of the book and then rather unceremoniously dumped, as are the rather fascinating neanderthals. Fforde adds some unique and wonderfully creative concepts this time around, many concerned with the world of literary characters who inhabit a magnificent library containing all the books that ever have been or ever will be written, on 52 (maybe 53!) floors of shelves stretching 200 miles in every direction.The librarian? The Cat formerly known as Cheshire. Jurisfiction, bookjumping and footnoterphones roll off the tongue and into your consciousness effortlessly as Thursday Next proves once again that she is a superb agent -- intelligent, resourceful, diligent and good -- an admirable heroine and a worthy narrator.
Anyway, you should read this book for the lively deconstruction of The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, if nothing else! In keeping with the spirit of things, there is an associated puzzle and contest, and an active web site with BBSs in which the author participates.
Really, it's impossible to convey all the creativity, fun and insight found here, but let me say that while I am a confirmed paperback and used book buyer, I got this as soon as the hardcover was available, and I will do the same with the next instalment, The Well of Lost Plots, due out in the Spring of 2004. Hurrah!
Can't go wrong, writes Sue Pyrb. Highest recommendation.
In The Eyre Affair, Thursday Next had been working on Shakespeare-related literary crimes in London as a Special Operative when she was summoned into a special assignment with a highly classified outfit. It all related to a run-in she had with a professor while in college. The assignment left her literally flat on her back, and after recuperating she returned to her hometown to face her past and her future. She had been trying to escape from both since her unit was decimated in a terrible lost skirmish in the Crimea during which her brother was lost, and her relations with the love of her life were terminated.
While there, important manuscripts began disappearing in unexplained ways and she found herself in the middle of the investigations. Helped by unexpected interventions from outside this time and dimension, she made steady progress towards protecting Dickens and Bronte from unpopular bowlderizations.
As Lost in a Good Book opens, Thursday finds herself happily married and expecting. But dark clouds soon rain on her happiness, and she has to deal with unexpected sadness. Complications from The Eyre Affair create new problems for Thursday. In the process, she has to develop new talents and solve new problems . . . some of which threaten our very existence! Along the way, she has some unexpected help from new friends . . . including Miss Havisham from Great Expectations!
The Eyre Affair focuses on the discontinuities between what readers would like stories to say and what authors have provided.
Lost in a Good Book shifts that focus to how to read fiction in richer and more delightful ways. If you are like me, you will find yourself remembering sleepy afternoons in your childhood as you day dreamed about being a character in a book.
Thursday's personal life also takes a delicate and thoughtful look at what it means to be connected to another person and what a personal loss really is. Anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one will find understanding and comfort in part of this story.
After you read this book, I strongly encourage you to move on to the brilliant third book in the series, The Well of Lost Plots. Although the books can be easily understood as a stand-alone effort, you will probably be more thrilled by The Well of Lost Plots if you sneak up on it by reading the other two books first.
Ultimately, these books most appeal to those who love literature as readers . . . and for whom classic characters seem like old trusted friends. Those who like science fiction, fantasy, mysteries and adventure stories will be much less pleased. Those aspects are amusing icing on the cake rather than the cake.
To me, Lost in a Good Book most seems like a continuing literary update and enhancement of Alice in Wonderland with Thursday Next as Alice.
As before, the Britain you will read about in this book differs substantially from the current one. Although the reason is never stated, I inferred that this one that has been influenced by time travelers to the detriment of Britain. The Crimean War had continued until recently since the 19th century between Britain and Imperial Russia. Wales is not part of Britain and is a people's republic that is not sympathetic to Britain. Literary debates are more important than political ones. Britain has succumbed to the military-industrial complex in ways that are usually ascribed to the U.S.A. Much technology is primitive (such as air travel by dirigibles) while other technology is very advanced (time travel, cloning of extinct animals as pets, and dimension shifting).
The overall themes of the book involve the classic struggles between the light forces of good and the dark forces of evil, against a backdrop of separated love.
The satire is layered on with a heavy hand. The names give you a sense of this. There are a number of agents who are assassinated. Their names provide clues as to what's coming next such as Kannon and Phodder. One of the new villains has a name that will make you chuckle every time you read it. The overall effect is a lot like Voltaire's Candide and occasionally has an element of Rabelais.
Regardless of any temporary drawbacks in the book to your preferences as a reader, the charming moments will easily carry you forward wondering what marvelous writing innovation next awaits you.
Plan to read this one in one sitting. It's hard to put down.
How does the book compare to The Eyre Affair and The Well of Lost Plots? I found the book to be more of a transition between those two books than a story of its own. Therefore, I thought this was the least strong book in the series to date.
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