Tag Archives: Jasper Fforde

World Book Night 2013


world book night, world book night logo, wold book night 2013

Happy World Book Night everyone!

This year was my first year taking part in World Book Night as a giver. With a mixture of excitement and nerves!

World Book Night (for those who don’t know) is sort of like World Book Day, but for adults. The idea is to get people who wouldn’t normally read to read. Events take part up and down the country and half a million books are given away, some by givers (like me) and some are given directly to hard to reach areas.

I gave away 20 copies of Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair which is a favourite of mine. I picked it because it is easy to read, it’s engaging, it’s funny nd exciting, and it has a little bit of everything. Plus it’s the first in a series which makes it easy to go on from there, as well as being related to Jane Eyre, which is another way to continue your reading.

I was giving away copies to parent and staff at the nursery where I work, which is in a deprived area of Birmingham. It actually went much better than I expected. Not one parent who I offered a book to refused it, and a couple of staff took books too.

I actually found that quite a few of the parent like reading, I don’t tend to know the parents that well and it was interesting to see something new about them. One parent in particular was really interested to the book. He was asking me what it was about and about the rest of the series, he said he would definitely read it, but that it was his wife who should read more. Another told me she was reading The Help at the moment but would read The Eyre Affair next, then pass it on to her Mum who she said was also a reader. One of the grandparents seemed unsure at first but once she found lut there was a crime element, and it was also connected to Jane Eyre she changed her mine- and said she would pass it on to Mum. Quite a few seemed to think they needed to pay for them, or make a donation, maybe adults are just not used to getting free stuff, these seemed to be particularly gracious when they found out it was theirs to keep for free.

Some of the kids actually seemed interested too, which is good in a role model sense. The granddaughter of the grandparent I mentioned before asked why she got a book, and got the reply “because I was a good girl”. Another kid insisted on ‘reading’ the book himself. And another actually picked up a book for his parents, claiming it was about “George’s Day”, probably because it is St. George’s Day today.

 

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The Woman Who Died a Lot- Jasper Fforde



The Woman Who Died a Lot was read as part of the Wishlist Challenge.

This is the seventh book in the Thursday Next series. You can read my reviews of the previous 5 Thursday Next books by using the Thursday Next or Jasper Fforde tags.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

The BookWorld’s leading enforcement officer Thursday Next is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindon for what you’d expect to be a time of recuperation. If only life were that simple.

Thursday is faced with an array of family problems – son Friday’s lack of focus since his career in the Chronoguard was relegated to a might-have-been, daughter Tuesday’s difficulty perfecting the Anti-Smote shield needed to thwart an angry Deity’s promise to wipe Swindon off the face of the earth, and Jenny, who doesn’t exist.
And that’s not all. With Goliath attempting to replace Thursday at every opportunity with synthetic Thursdays, the prediction that Friday’s Destiny-Aware colleagues will die in mysterious circumstances, and a looming meteorite that could destroy all human life on earth, Thursday’s retirement is going to be anything but easy.

 Review

As with the previous book The Woman Who Died a Lot read much more like a series book than the previous books did. That is that it is harder to understand if you didn’t read the previous books.

I found that this book was a little more predictable than the others. I quite often guessed what was going to happen before it did, which hasn’t generally been true of the Thursday Next books. However enough was confusing and there were enough twists that I didn’t guess everything, so it was still exciting and intriguing enough for me to want to keep reading it.

I did kind of miss the bookworld element which wasn’t in this book, and the literary references were a bit less frequent.

Eagerly awaiting the next one now.

4/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.59)

Kindle (£4.99)

Hardback (£10.87)

Other Reviews:

Alison @ Piling on the Books.

Have I missed your review? Comment with your link and I will add it here

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Post a Week 33% Gone


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Today Post a Day/Post a Week have put up a post to tell us all that we are 33% of the way through our goal (which is a third of the year, can you believe how fast it’s going?

Anyway to honour this time Post a Week are asking about what our favourite posts in our journals have been this year…there are quite a few I’m pretty proud of, in no particular order

Review of One of Our Thursdays is Missing

I was looking forward to this book for such a long time, and I had lots of expectations from having read the rest of the Thursday Next series, from reading other peoples reviews of the book and from going to see Jasper Fforde when it was released, so it made for a pretty good review book I think.

Review of When God Was a Rabbit

I got this book early and I was eager to let everyone else out there know what it was like before it was released, I think I did pretty good in describing how the book was without giving too much away, although maybe I was a little heavier than I would have liked on the spoiler tags. It’s also one of my most frequently visited reviews.

Musings: The Popularity Contest

In this post I talked about how hype and popularity can effects a readers approach to books. This is one of my posts with the most ammount of comments, I think only blog hop posts come higher

What are some of your favourite posts on your journal? On my journal? And on other journals?

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One of Our Thursdays is Missing- Jasper Fforde


1. Marts: Ny Thursday Next!

Image by emme-dk via Flickr

Synopsis (from Amazon)

It is a time of unrest in the BookWorld. 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?

All is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, eager to prove herself worthy of her illustrious namesake.

The fictional Thursday is soon hot on the trail of her factual alter-ego, and quickly stumbles upon a plot so fiendish that it threatens the very BookWorld itself.

Review

For the purposes of this review Thursday refers to the real life Thursday Next, Thursday refers to the written Thursday Next.

I found One of our Thursdays is Missing quite different from the other books in the Thursday Next series, not least because you could tell it was written Thursday who was speaking. Although the tone was similar the way in which Thursday approached things was markedly different to that of Thursday. Partly because of this I found the One of Our Thursdays is Missing was a little slow to start, however I did also find this about First Among Sequels so it may just be the pattern the series is taking, certainly in both there was more that needed to be explained,

Having said that having Thursday speaking made a big difference which somewhat slowed down the plot I did like the new Thursday. She was much more pondering and less action focussed than Thursday and it felt like she was discovering things along with the reader rather than leaving them puzzling. I suppose that could be a bad thing but at points she left little tantalising details which suggested that she knew more, I liked that because it made her seem more like a written person, like she was trying to make a narrative, and it kept me interested to find out what she knew.

There were a lot of things I did love about this book. I loved how where before there had been references to novels now there were references to writing, I especially liked when the characters got lost because of lack of references to who was speaking! I loved Thursday, she was like a softer version of Thursday and it was nice to have a little change, even if it meant the book was more pondering. I loved learning a bit more about the book world, about the politics, about how in joined up and how different areas interacted with each other, supported by the rather intriguing map at the beginning and the quotes from Bradshaw’s Guide to the Bookworld. There was less about the real world too, I always preferred the Bookworld side of the storyline so I liked that. Plus where the real world was included in the story I found it really interesting to see it from a fiction point of view.

Again the end seems to lead on to another Thursday Next novel which makes it seem more series like than it once was. In ways I don’t like that, it somehow makes Thursday Next seem more commercial, but I won’t complain about there being more to come!

As a side note the acknowledgements are well worth the read (I was on the bus when I finished, it’s not usually a section I read). There is a section about what happened while Fforde was writing One of Our Thursdays is Missing which is rather entertaining and makes me like him even more (and no, not just because he’s a fellow mac user!)

4.5/5

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First Among Sequels- Jasper Fforde


First Among Sequels

Image via Wikipedia

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Thursday Next is back. And this time it’s personal . . .

Officially, Literary Detective Thursday Next is off the case. Once a key figure in the BookWorld police force, she is concentrating on her duties as a wife and mother. Or so her husband thinks . . .

Unofficially, Thursday is working as hard as ever – and in this world of dangerously short attention spans, there’s no rest for the literate.

Can Thursday stop Pride and Prejudice being turned into a vote-em-off reality book?

Who killed Sherlock Holmes?

And will Thursday get her teenage son out of bed in time for him to save the world?

Review

I must admit to start off with I wasn’t especially impressed with First Among Sequels when compared to other books in the Thursday Next series, it seemed pretty slow to get going and it felt like more of an artificial sequel than the others had. It felt a bit like it had been written for the sake of writing another rather than because the series lent itself to a further book after Something Rotten. Having said that we did know that books would be written about Thursday at the end of Something Rotten and the idea of a fictional Thursday is a little too intriguing to pass by. The different Thursdays were very well done too, it created so much comedy, especially when the two fictional Thursdays were so different from each other. There were some very clever parts of this book too I especially liked (highlight for spoiler)when I thought the ‘real’ Thursday had won only to find out that the voice we presumed to be Thursday was Thursday 1-4, but then actually found that Thursday had planned for that all along! In fact I really liked all the playing round with the different Thursday’s identities.

By the end it did actually feel more like a series book than the others, because it definitely lends itself to there being a further book. I now understand why Jasper Fforde said that One of Our Thursdays is Missing is the first sequel that is really a sequel, and I can’t wait to get started on it,

In retrospect First Among Sequels could actually be my favourite Thursday book.

4.5/5

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Great Literary Women


I thought it would be good to make a post for International Woman’s Day (which, if it has managed to pass you by, is today) So I thought I would make a post about great women in literature. I would love to hear your own thoughts on this, who else would you include? Who wouldn’t you include?

In no particular order

1) Lyra Belacqua/Lyra Silvertongue (His Dark Materials- Phillip Pullman): Lyra’s quest in the first of the Northern Lights starts as a quest to save her friend, but as Lyra grows it becomes a fight for her beliefs and what is right.

2) Ana Fitzgerald (My Sister’s Keeper– Jodi Picoult): Ana is great because he stands up to her parents, a very difficult thing to do for a young girl, because she believes she is right. (Highlight for spoiler)Ultimately she does this not for selfish reasons but because her sister asked her to, which makes me respect her all the more

3) Ma (Room– Emma Donoghue): Ma is strong because she goes through so much but still manages to bring Jack up well despite being away from civilisation, and because she fights to get Jack out of Room

4) Thursday Next (The Thursday Next Series- Jasper Fforde): I find Thursday Next especially strong in Something Rotten, not only is she fighting the criminals, but she’s also fighting the establishment, the corporation, fighting to have her husband re-actualised and being a single parent!

5) Minny (The Help- Kathryn Stockett) Minny doesn’t take rubbish from anyone, even though she may be better off fearing. She holds together her family and is a great friend. When she is loyal she stays loyal but you certainly don’t want to get on the wrong side of her!

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Something Rotten- Jasper Fforde


Something Rotten

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Something Rotten is the fourth book in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Thursday Next, Head of JurisFiction and ex-SpecOps agent, returns to her native Swindon accompanied by a child of two, a pair of dodos and Hamlet, who is on a fact-finding mission in the real world. Thursday has been despatched to capture escaped Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine but even so, now seems as good a time as any to retrieve her husband Landen from his state of eradication at the hands of the Chronoguard.

It’s not going to be easy. Thursday’s former colleagues at the department of Literary Detectives want her to investigate a spate of cloned Shakespeares, the Goliath Corporation are planning to switch to a new Faith based corporate management system and the Neanderthals feel she might be the Chosen One who will lead them to genetic self-determination.

With help from Hamlet, her uncle and time-travelling father, Thursday faces the toughest adventure of her career. Where is the missing President-for-life George Formby? Why is it imperative for the Swindon Mallets to win the World Croquet League final? And why is it so difficult to find reliable childcare?

Review

I seem to forget just how much I love Thursday Next between reading one book and the other, this one was no exception. Funny, exciting, and rather odd. I love Thursday and I liked the addition of some of the new characters. How you can get so much humour from a baby I don’t know but I loved Friday, and I really liked Alan too…although I did miss Pickick’s ‘tricks’ a bit. I loved all the fiction related references and jokes, as always. I don’t think there is really anything specific I want to say about this one. Or at least not that I could say without spoilers. I think it has been my favourite Thursday Next so far though, I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it.

4.5/5

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An evening with Jasper Fforde


Jasper Fforde Writes Books

Image by I am I.A.M. via Flickr

Last night was a very exciting night for this reader. I went to a talk by/with Jasper Fforde at my local (and very favourite) Waterstones on Birmingham New Street.

I can honestly say he’s a very entertaining speaker, and just as funny in real life as he is on the page.

Some stuff I found interesting

  • The nursery crime series were written before Thursday Next, I had always presumed they were spin-offs
  • Jasper Fforde never plans his books (this is quite encouraging to someone like me who hates planning their writing), and where things seem very planned out it’s usually that he’s just left some loose ends just incase he needs them later
  • The Eyre Affair was only originally meant to be a stand-alone book but the publisher asked for more. One Of Our Thursdays is Missing is the only one (at least so far) that is really a sequel as in your couldn’t understand it if your hadn’t read previous Thursday Next books.
  • Jasper often gets the root idea of stories from what if? questions (I cannot for the life of me think of what he called them, narrative somethings….see no plans when writing or I would have known that!)
  • He is currently working on the next book in The Last Dragonslayer series…which I haven’t read yet.
  • The next Shades of Grey book won’t be out until 2013 😦

I am really excited about the prospect of reading One of Our Thursdays is Missing now…but reading First Among Sequels first may be helpful!

 

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Shades of Grey- Jasper Fforde


Synopsis (from Amazon)

Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour.

Eddie Russett is an above average Red who dreams of moving up the ladder by marriage to Constance Oxblood. Until he is sent to the Outer Fringes where he meets Jane – a lowly Grey with an uncontrollable temper and a desire to see him killed.

For Eddie, it’s love at first sight. But his infatuation will lead him to discover that all is not as it seems in a world where everything that looks black and white is really shades of grey . . .

If George Orwell had tripped over a paint pot or Douglas Adams favoured colour swatches instead of towels . . . neither of them would have come up with anything as eccentrically brilliant as Shades of Grey.

Review

I will happily call myself a Jasper Fforde fan. I love the Thursday Next series and really like the nursery crimes series, when I heard Fforde had a new series coming out I was really excited but managed to hold myself off from actually buying it until it came out in paperback.I had heard that Shades of Grey was different from anything else by Jasper Fforde so was a little concerned that I might not like it. Initially I did find things a little confusing, probably because the world that Shades of Grey is set it is so similar but so different from our own, but after a while I began to understand a little more and as the story got going I began to get gripped by it, finding it difficult to put down.I would still say I prefer the Thursday Next novels because they’re a bit easier to get your head around but there are also things that I prefered about Shades of Grey. Overall I found the character’s more engaging. I especially liked Jane- she was so strong and didn’t care about what others thought of her so long as she was doing what she thought was right. I think she could quite easily be seen as a bit of a feminist icon. I liked Violet too because she was so beautifully horrible and manipulative, in some ways she was quite similar to Jane but she directed that energy in different ways. It was more serious than Thursday Next to in that it looked at issues we have in our world but from a different angle, I liked that because I like books that make you think, but it still had the familiar Jasper Fforde humour so wasn’t depressing,

I can’t wait for the next in the series.

5/5



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The Big Over Easy- Jasper Fforde


Cover of "The Big Over Easy"

Cover of The Big Over Easy

Review written 7/08/09

Synopsis(from Amazon)

It’s Easter in Reading; a bad time for eggs; and no one can remember the last sunny day. Humpty Dumpty, well-known nursery favourite, large egg, ex-convict and former millionaire philanthropist is found shattered beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.

Following the pathologist’s careful reconstruction of Humpty’s shell, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his Sergeant Mary Mary are soon grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, the illegal Bearnaise sauce market, corporate politics and the cut and thrust world of international Chiropody.

As Jack and Mary stumble around the streets of Reading in Jack’s Lime Green Austin Allegro, the clues pile up, but Jack has his own problems to deal with.

And on top of everything else, the Jellyman is coming to town…

Review

Have been meaning to write this for nearly a week but don’t really have much to say. I really liked it, but not as much as what I’ve read from the Thursday Next series. It was funny and I loved all the nursery rhyme references. In a way that bit was better than the book references in the Thursday Next books because I’m more likely to know the original stories. My favourite character was Jack, I really thought he was great.

4/5

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The Well of Lost Plots- Jasper Fforde


The Well of Lost Plots

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This review was written 5/6/09

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled ‘Caversham Heights’. Landen, her husband, is still eradicated, Aornis Hades is meddling with Thursday’s memory, and Miss Havisham – when not sewing up plot-holes in ‘Mill on the Floss’ – is trying to break the land-speed record on the A409. But something is rotten in the state of Jurisfiction. Perkins is accidentally eaten by the minotaur, and Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus. As a shadow looms over popular fiction, Thursday must keep her wits about her and discover not only what is going on, but also who she can trust to tell about it …

With grammasites, holesmiths, trainee characters, pagerunners, baby dodos and an adopted home scheduled for demolition, ‘The Well of Lost Plots’ is at once an addictively exciting adventure and an insight into how books are made, who makes them – and why there is no singular for ‘scampi’.

Review

Again a book which fails to disappoint. Funny and exciting. I found this one a little slower to start than the previous two but once it got going the action was at least as good. As always some great funny bits, I particually liked the was was conversation, which was both humourous and a little confusing. I don’t think I really have anything to say much that I haven’t said before. I did find this book, sadder in a way (highlight for spoiler)because the loss was more psychological than in the past books, and for the reader it was hard to see Thursday forgetting about those she loved. I even almost cried when she forgot she as pregnant because that was her one remaining link to Landan and evidence that he had existed.

4/5

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Lost in a Good Book- Jasper Fforde


centre

Image via Wikipedia

This review was written 29/3/09

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of four weeks, actually drowned in an accident when he was two years old. Someone, somewhere, sometime, is responsible. The sinister Goliath Corporation wants its operative Jack Schitt out of the poem in which Thursday trapped him, and it will do almost anything to achieve this – but bribing the ChronoGuard? Is that possible?

Having barely caught her breath after The Eyre Affair, Thursday must battle corrupt politicians, try to save the world from extinction, and help the Neanderthals to species self-determination. Mastadon migrations, journeys into Just William, a chance meeting with the Flopsy Bunnies, and violent life-and-death struggles in the summer sales are all part of a greater plan.

But whose? and why?

Review

This book seemed much more like part of a series that The Eyre Affair did, partly because knowing what had happened in the previous book was fairly important (of course that couldn’ happen with The Eyre Affair because it was the first one!), and partly because at the end the story didn’t quite seem finished (highlight to view spoiler) while it was a conclusion in a sense and deffinately a good stopping point, the fact that Landon was still lost means that part of the plot was left incomplete, meaning you cannot get away with not reading the next book. I must admit this put me off the book a little as I felt I was (in a sense) being forced to read the next in the series, I would have read it anyway because I have enjoyed the series so far but I would have liked to feel I had some choice in it.

I found this story a little more confusing than the last too, with allthe jumping in times, between worlds and distortions in probability, but it was just as exciting. I also found that I understood less of the references to literature in this one- although I’m sure people who have read the books refered to would understand them, and well having read them would have added something to the plot it wasn’t necccersary. I do think because of this I prefered The Eyre Affair though, but not by a significant ammount. I want the next one now!

4/5

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Book Blogger Hop


Again I’m taking part in the Book Blogger Hop, which is a great event taking place every week that helps book blogggers to find one another. To have a look just click the picture. If you’re here from over there welcome! I hope you enjoy looking around, feel free to comment anywhere and pop in to say hi here- I promise to visit your blog in return.

As usual I will be posting my best finds on Monday.

Over the last couple of weeks Jennifer has been asking questions so we can get to know each other better this week she’s asking about our favourite authors and why they are our favourites.

I have a few favourites. JK Rowling because I just love the Harry Potter books, they completely take you into a different world- it’s escapism, and it’s what really brought me to the online world (for more see my me and books section). Jasper Fforde because his books are so clever, there are all types of references that readers like us will appreciate, plus his books are funny and exciting. Sebastian Fawkes because he can really take you into another time and get inside another person’s head. Birdsong remains one of my favourite historical fiction books even though I read it when I was back in school, and Engleby actually made me like a potential murderer. Haruki Murakami, because his writing is so beautiful that it’s almost poetic and his stories are like nothing I’ve ever read before.

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The Fourth Bear- Jasper Fforde


The Fourth Bear

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Synopsis (from Amazon)

The Gingerbreadman – psychopath, sadist, convicted murderer and cake/biscuit – is loose on the streets of Reading.

It isn’t Jack Spratt’s case. Despite the success of the Humpty Dumpty investigation, the well publicised failure to prevent Red Riding-Hood and her Gran being eaten once again plunges the Nursery Crime Division into controversy. Enforced non-involvement with the Gingerbreadman hunt looks to be frustrating until a chance encounter at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club leads them onto the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta ‘Goldy’ Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad.

The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen’s wood. But all is not what it seems. Are the unexplained explosions around the globe somehow related to missing nuclear scientist Angus McGuffin? Is cucumber-growing really that dangerous? Why are National Security involved? But most important of all: How could the bears’ porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?

Review

I really do like Jasper Fforde novels. They’re like nothing I’ve ever read before. Like crime stories but with a bit of a literary twist. This one was particularly good, or at least better than the previous in the nursery crime series (The Big Over Easy). While I still prefer the Thursday Next series in general this is a strong contender to knock them out of place. In ways these are easier too seeing as it’s pretty easy to miss the literary references in Thursday Next, but I have a pretty wide knowledge of nursery rhymes.

I found the general storyline of this one better than the previous in the series, more compelling somehow, and the twists and turns kept me guessing. In fact the only thing I really didn’t like about the book was how much the title gives away, and that there were plenty of alternative titles which wouldn’t have done that.

4.5/5

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