Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

I have stuck with this series for a long time now. I have actually read just about every book Fforde has written, but my gateway book was the first in this series about Thursday Next. The first book, The Eyre Affair, was brilliant and literary and perfect for us lovers of the classics. It was the reality Fforde created for Literary Detective Thursday Next coupled with the literature itself coming alive that got my attention and made this series a favorite.

I still love Thursday. She has been through a lot over the course of this series (and it isn't over yet,) but while this latest book was jam-packed with adventure, the literary side was sadly absent.

No longer a detective, Thursday now heads up the library in Swindon, her home. It's a huge honor and a surprisingly dangerous post. Eventually, she gets sucked into a plot by the evil Goliath Corporation who's beginning to destroy specific pages from old, seemingly unpopular books. There's a bigger twist at work here, but in the midst of figuring it out, Thursday must help prevent her son, Friday, from committing murder and help redirect a smiting from the Global Standard Deity in the center of town.

It's a busy week (yes, this happens in just a single week) full of improbability, mathematics, nonsense, and complicated "what if" scenarios  resulting from the disbanding of the Chronoguard who were able to time travel until it was discovered time travel won't actually be possible. But, with everything going on in the real world, the book world is only an abstract character and nobody from the literary world, no well-known characters from universally loved books, make an appearance at all. If left me a little wanting when I finished the book.

Still very smartly written and vastly entertaining, the book was a good read and the series remains one of my all-time favorites. It was just a bit of a downer as far as my expectations, so be prepared if you've been reading this series from the start.

The complete series of Thursday Next books is, in order:

  • The Eyre Affair
  • Lost in a Good Book
  • The Well of Lost Plots
  • Something Rotten
  • First Among Sequels
  • One of Our Thursdays is Missing (which I've reviewed here)
Fforde also has three other series he works on in different intervals that are all very unique and interesting. 
  • Nursery Crime Series
  • Shades of Grey Series (note there are not 50 shades here)
  • Last Dragonslayer Series

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