Friday, November 9, 2007

First Among Sequels

I repent of some of the bad things I've said about my library. They have gotten both of the new books I've been interested in lately. I bought Making Money, but I've resisted this one and felt very virtuous about it and it was at the library the last time I went. I was quite surprised. And I must say the only reason I had not bought it was because the local bookstore didn't have it, so I'm not that virtuous.
I really like Jasper Fforde. He has a very odd sense of humor, a vivid writing style and a wholly new take on the interface between the reader and a work of fiction. The Thursday Next series (this is the fifth) are about a woman who can enter fiction and joins the inter-fiction police department, "Jurisfiction."
The world he has created is one where books are popular like movies are. In some of the earlier books Richard III by Shakespeare is done with audience participation, like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. A crooked politician almost buys an election by presenting England with a long lost Shakespeare play, Cardenio. And there is a branch of detectives for literary fraud and similar issues.
If you love fiction, and are familiar with some classics and the way things are "supposed" to go in fiction you will enjoy these.
The first four take place in the eighties. This one takes place fourteen years later. The protagonist has three children, including a stereotypical teenage son. Though what he does with this stereotype is entertaining. Nothing is just a stereotype or cliche in Jasper Fforde.
Having raved this much, I must say, I didn't like this one as much as some of the others. It wasn't bed, just not my favorite. And Jasper Fforde does write like a non-LDS person, so there are some bits of swearing and such. But I sure like the way he thinks.

Thursday Next in First Among Sequels. Jasper Fforde. Viking. 2007

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