Lost in a Good Book: A Thursday Next Novel
Written by: Jasper Fforde
Narrated by: Emily Gray
Series: Thursday Next Novels, Book 2
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Genre: Female Detective, Alternate History
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Intrepid literary detective Thursday Next is back in the second installment of Jasper Fforde's one-of-a-kind series. The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with Jasper Fforde’s magnificent second adventure starring the resourceful, fearless literary sleuth Thursday Next.
When Landen, the love of her life, is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction—the police force inside books. She is apprenticed to the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens’s Great Expectations, who grudgingly shows Thursday the ropes. And she gains just enough skill to get herself in a real mess entering the pages of Poe’s "The Raven".
What she really wants is to get Landen back. But this latest mission is not without further complications.
Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth.
Delve into Jasper Fforde's literary universe with the other books in his Thursday Next fantasy/detective series.
©2011 Jasper Fforde (P)2011 Penguin Audiobooks
Thursday Next is a spunky literary detective working for Spec Ops (Special Operations) in an alternate London. Thursday won notoriety in her successful investigation in Book 1, The Eyre Affair, when she took down a prime criminal, Hades. Thursday is dodging the division’s publicist who keeps seeking her presence for promotions.
During an investigation, Thursday is caught in a time slip that involves her with Neanderthals, who have been recreated and trapped as civil slaves. A second loop indicates that Thursday is the target of an assassin. Thursday’s father is fully aware of time jumps and time slips as he was a “Chronoguard” officer who went rogue and lives in an alternate timeline while trying to prove corruption in the system. He is willing to help Thursday but needs her help to prevent the eminent destruction of the world from a strange pink goo.
Meanwhile Thursday is also facing threats from the corrupt corporate giant, Goliath. Goliath’s leader has a step-brother who was trapped by Thursday in Poe’s The Raven. Now the leader has ‘eradicated’ Thursday's husband, Landon. He is blackmailing Thursday to show him how to get into the literary library world to rescue his step brother.
The prior portal to the literary realm was opened by Thursday’s uncle, a prolific inventor. Now it has been closed and Thursday doesn’t realize she can get to the realm without the portal until she is cornered. She finds herself in the world of Dicken’s Great Expectations where she becomes the apprentice to Miss Havisham. She is assigned to help with the internal police force, the Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction. During her tasks Thursday ventures into the worlds of Kafka, Jane Austen, and even Beatrix Potter. She makes enemies and friends of the Neanderthals who have been recreated and trapped as civil slaves.
If all of that sounds rather crazy, it is – zany, crazy fun especially for those of us bibliophiles who are familiar with the classic authors and works that make up part of the stories’ adventures. It had been a while since I read The Eyre Affair but I remembered that it was fun listening. As I began this story it took me only a few minutes to remember the characters and get back into the fast-paced, comical stream of Thursday’s world. I love her unique pet, Pickwick, a dodo bird. The author melds literary characters with a rather fantastical world of strange, and sometimes corrupt, police procedures.
I recommend this series to readers who want to enjoy light, fun, literature name-dropping entertainment. I will be picking up Book 3, The Well of Lost Plots: A Thursday Next Novel, for future listening fun.
Audio Notes: Emily Gray does a wonderful job narrating this craziness. Her tone conveys a perfect flighty atmosphere to enhance the characters and dialogue. Although I am sure this is fun in print, for me it is a hoot in audio.
This selection is from my Audible library picked up in August, 2012. It qualifies for TBR Mountain, Audio Book Challenge and "L" in Alphabet Soup Challenge.