Search This Blog

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thursday Next

Having just reread the first three in Jasper Fforde's series (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, and The Well of Lost Plots) and read the next two for the first time (Something Rotten and First Among Sequels), I find I don't have a lot to say about them -- which is just as well, as I have two papers and a take-home final to complete in the next week and a half.

I will say that the Thursday Next series, set in an alternate universe where literature is taken very seriously, is a mash-up of all my favorite genres -- fantasy, mystery, literary fiction, and metafiction. The books are goofy and irreverent and fun and stuffed with neat concepts, like the Book World where texts are created for publication (or not) in the real world, and people getting trapped inside fiction, and illegally re-engineered extinct species like dodos and Neanderthals (the Neanderthal society Fforde has created is fascinating). There is one more book in the series coming out within the next couple of years, and so First Among Sequels ends on a cliff-hanger, with someone trying to kill Temperance Brennan, Next, and other heroes of book series -- a serial killer, if you will. I'm just surprised it took Fforde so long to work that in.

Every time I read the books, I find myself wishing I lived in a world where productions of Richard the Third are events like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, there are street gangs devoted to who wrote the Shakespearean plays, and people read Jane Eyre with bated breath in case a villain tries to remove her from the book. So much more interesting than our current fascination with celebrities and scandals.

No comments:

Post a Comment