Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: One of Our Thursdays is Missing

One of Our Thursdays is Missing (Thursday Next - Book 6) by Jasper Fforde

Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Fantasy
ISBN-13: 9780670022526

(Received for review from Viking/Penguin)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jasper Fforde on the WEB: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

Excerpt from
One of Our Thursdays is Missing

Book Trailer: This is actually a trailer for one of the other books in the series, but Jasper goes into some detail about the world of Thursday Next and I thought readers who are new to Bookworld might find it interesting.

Synopsis (Book Jacket):


Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the RealWorld or is this something more sinister?

But all is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, who is attempting to keep her own small four-book series both respectful to her illustrious namesake and far from the grim specter of being remaindered.

Despite her desire to stay out of the spotlight, written Thursday is asked by Jurisfiction to investigate a novel that has suffered an in-read breakup and deposited a narrative debris field halfway across the BookWorld. It's not quite so straightforward: Someone has ground the ISBN numbers from the wreckage, and all of the sudden the mysterious Men in Plaid want her dead.

As the hunt for answers takes her from the Council of Genres to Fan Fiction and from Comedy to Vanity publishing, written Thursday realizes that read Thursday had been investigating a plot fiendish enough to be killed for. But who is responsible? Only a trip up the mighty Metaphoric River and a visit to the hideously frightening RealWorld can provide the answers.

With her clockwork butler, Sprockett, and her Designated Love Interest, Whitby Jett, Thursday has to come to grips with her inability to live up to her namesakes talent and prove herself to the one person she respects more than anyone else: the real her...


Jasper Fforde fans have anxiously awaited the latest book in the Thursday Next series,
One of Our Thursdays is Missing. Fforde doesn't disappoint with a total reinvention of BookWorld, new and old characters and a mystery that will keep readers turning those pages. Fforde uses wit and satire to bring readers a world of full of puns and literary allusions. This series is not for the faint of heart and requires a love of books and all things literary!

Thursday Next is missing! Has she relocated to the RealWorld and left BookWorld behind forever? Or is something more sinister at hand? With BookWorld on the verge of an all out Genre war, started by a dispute between Women's Fiction and Racy Novel, everyone believes that only Thursday Next can bring the conflict to a solution. But, Thursday is gone, or is she? Written Thursday Next is real Thursdays literary counterpart, but the two couldn't be more different. Written Thursday is left holding the bag and trying to solve the mystery of real Thursday's disappearance while working for Jurisfiction to clean up a narrative mind field. When written Thursday discovers a plot to end BookWorld, she realizes that real Thursday was investigating the same thing. With the Men in Plaid out to see her dead and her trusty clockwork butler, Sprockett at her side, written Thursday races against time to save her real counterpart and BookWorld.

In 2001 Jasper Fforde burst on the literary scene with his first Thursday Next novel,
The Eyre Affair. Readers were fascinated by this completely zany and insane place, called BookWorld. Now ten years later, Fforde fans are still as much in love with Thursday Next as ever. In this sixth book in the series, BookWorld has gone through a transformation that could literally change the entire direction of series, opening it up to a whole new audience. RealWorld is kind of put on the back burner in this novel and that gives readers a chance to really learn a lot more about BookWorld and how things work there. I thought the author did an amazing job of changing the way readers view BookWorld, bringing it into a much clearer focus.

Real Thursday Next and written Thursday Next could not be more different. I liked the way Fforde made them almost opposites, yet still connected in a very real way. Real Thursday is brassy, confident and full of zim and vigor, while written Thursday is much more gentle and sedate. Written Thursday almost comes across as self-conscious yet capable, very different from real Thursdays kick-ass attitude. It's like she's out to prove something to the real version of herself and that made for an interesting read. Readers not only had the very complex plot of the genre war, but the more subtle personal issues to make the novel more interesting.

Fforde introduces us to a new character this time around, in the form of a clockwork robot named Sprockett. Sprockett put me in mind of the clockwork mechanisms described in Cassandra Clare's infernal devices series and also the English version of a perfect butler. He had all of the qualities of someone who was totally invested in taking care of his charge, while he still clanked around like tank in a sense. I thought this character was a really refreshing change for the series and I look forward to learning more about Sprockett.

This is a very complex series that is filled with literary allusion, wit and satire. Fforde has created a world where book lovers are reading stories about the books themselves, the genres and the sub-genres. I thought it was amazing! I caution readers who have not read the other five previous books in the series that this one will be difficult to follow without the background gleaned from the others. It's not impossible, but I'm sure it would be somewhat confusing. I recommend this one for all of those readers who really love books and literature. This book is right up your alley! I recommend it to Jasper Fforde fans and to those who want a truly literary mystery. Fforde is a master wordsmith and readers will find themselves chuckling often at his puns and jokes that may be lost on some, but not on book addicts.

Please check back later this afternoon for a great Q & A provided by Viking and a chance to win a copy of One of Our Thursdays is Missing!

One of Our Thursdays is Missing is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Jasper Fforde is the author of five previous Thursday Next novels:
The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten and First Among Sequels. He is also the author of the novel Shades of Grey, as well as the Nursery Crime Series, featuring Detective Jack Spratt, which includes The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear. All of Jasper Fforde's books are available from Penguin. Jasper currently lives in Wales.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

What a great review! I adored Sprockett, definitely one of my new favorite book characters, and I thought the new Thursday made for such an interesting read. This series is like heaven for people who love books and literature.

Mystica said...

Thank you for a great review. Pity the giveaway is restricted!!!