sometimes witty book reviews
Thursday Next is your average hero. She’s just over fifty, got two kids (a third exists only in her mind), a dodo named Pickwick and access to the World of Books. No, not a massive library – the actual world where book plots and characters are created and live out the narrative that the Outland (real world) creates. Also, cheese is an illegal substance, time travel is a profession and there’s the odd werewolf.
This latest instalment of the Thursday Next series, created by the eclectic mind of Jasper Fforde, does not let down the dedicated reader. For a novice though, I would suggest starting from the top – The Eyre Affair – in which Thursday, a humble public servant of the Literary Squad, first slips into the book world through a portal opened by her uncle Mycroft to find where Jane Eyre has got to. Not the book, the character herself.
It’s every genre you could possibly imagine, smooshed into the terrifically nonsensical world of Fforde and beautifully executed to boot.
In The Woman Who Died a Lot (2012) the Global Standard Deity (God) comes into existence because enough people believe in it, the National Stupidity Index is dangerously low thanks to the CommonSense Party being…too sensible and Thursday is out of action after sustaining injuries in the Book World. The fate of the British Nation rests with her daughter – Tuesday – as the GSD threatens to smite.
Go with it.