Who wrote this book and when?
Jasper Fforde in 2001.

Has there been a film version?
No. And to be honest, I hope they never make it into a movie because the movie industry would just butcher it. It’s way too intelligent a book for the masses to see in movie form.

Who are the important characters?
Thursday Next – a Crimean War vet, thirty something, and literary detective; strangely immune to the powers of the third most wanted man in the world
Acheron Hades – the third most wanted man in the world, sincerely evil and not interested in money; unfortunately, he has strange powers of immunity against bullets and strange powers over other people with weak minds
Uncle Mycroft – Thursday’s uncle, an eccentric genius who invents sometimes groundbreaking and sometimes worthless machines and animals
Jack Schitt – (I’m not kidding…) an agent of the Goliath Corp., a weapons company that runs Britain
Bowden Cable – Thursday’s partner in Swindon
Victor Analogy – head of the LiteraTec in Swindon, Thursday’s eccentric boss
Edward Rochester – a main character in “Jane Eyre,” and a friend of Thursdays

What’s it about?
In an alternate reality where literature and the Crimean War (lasted over 1oo years now) are the two biggest issues to discuss, Thursday Next is a war vet who works as a LiteraTec – a Literature Detective. One day, her usual job of investigating fake “original” manuscripts is interrupted by a sudden promotion to Level Op 5, in pursuit of the third most wanted man in the world – Acheron Hades. Someone has stolen the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’ “Martin Chuzzlewit” and Hades is the prime suspect. Thursdsay finds herself caught up in a battle against a man from her past who is now complete evil, without a clue as to what his motive and endgame are, and which will involve her family, time travel, and re-entering a book she visited as a child – Jane Eyre.

Why is this book a classic?
It may not be a recognized classic, but it references enough classic novels to get recognized.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Oh yes. Oh yes oh yes.

Why did this book make your list?
My best friend and super librarian Shannon Patrick recommended it to me. Big time cool points for her.

Has it won any awards?
Nope.

Favorite quotes:
“Mycroft fell to the floor, gulping for breath. Acheron stood over him and wagged a reproachful finger. ‘Don’t ever call me mad, Mycroft. I’m not mad, I’m just…well, differently moraled, that’s all.'” – p 157

“He handed me a gold-edged card with the dark blue Goliath Corporation logo embossed on it. ‘The name’s Schitt,’ he replied. ‘Jack Schitt.’ I shrugged.” – p 73

Anything else?
This is actually part of a series called the “Thursday Next” series. As of now, there are two other books. Also, because of this book I don’t feel as stupid wanted to name my kid Katy Tuesday.

Personal thoughts:
This was a rollicking good read. I had never heard of it until my best friend Shannon recommended it to me based on our mutual admiration of “Jane Eyre.” And this book made me feel smart, it made me laugh hysterically (the out loud kind, not just a lengthy snicker), and it threw things at me that I never would have expected. Fforde’s alternate reality was just confusing enough to keep me on my toes, and it was highly appreciated. The villains were just diverse enough, the protagonists just sarcastic enough, and the bit characters just flavorful enough. Add to this so many literary allusions and illustrations that even my former professors might be challenged to recognize them all. Nothing is safe from being used to further the story or make it a bit more entertaining, not even the rules of grammer, the history of literature, or the concepts of time travel and science. Spot on, Mr. Fforde, spot on.

Advertisements