|First Among Sequels
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"Literary sleuth Thursday Next is out to save literature in the fifth installment of Jasper Fforde's wildly popular series Beloved for his prodigious imagination, his satirical gifts, his literate humor, and sheer silliness, Jasper Fforde has delighted book lovers since Thursday Next first appeared in The Eyre Affair, a genre send-up hailed as an instant classic. Since the no-nonsense literary detective from Swindon made her debut, literature has never been quite the same. Neither have nursery rhymes, for that matter. With two successful books of the Nursery Crime series under his belt, Fforde takes up once again the brilliant adventures of his signature creation in the highly anticipated fifth installment of the Thursday Next series. And it's better than ever. It's been fourteen years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult sixteen year old. However, Thursday's got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed at the Rheinback Falls and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. When Thursday receives a death threat clearly intended for her written self, she realizes what's going on "there is a serial killer on the loose in the Bookworld. And that's not all" The Goliath Corporation is trying to deregulate book travel. Naturally, Thursday must travel to the outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to triumph against increasing odds. Packed with word play, bizarre and entertaining subplots, and old-fashioned suspense, Thursday's return is sure to be celebrated by Jasper's fanatical fans and the critics who have loved him since the beginning."
- Another Dynamic Story by Jasper Fforde
Thursday Next is back and Jasper Fforde created another entertaining, and dynamic story for the series. I have read all the books, but I believe First Among Sequels is the best. I'm a romantic at heart and just knowing that Thursday Next still carries a loving torch for her husband help to make this book a best read. Still, it's a wonderful story and it is full of suspense with a fast moving plot. There's the off-beat humor (in a nice way, i.e. witty and down right funny) that only Jasper can write down on paper. There are excellent reviews that detail the story, so I won't add more print, except to say if you haven't read the books by Jasper Fforde, I believe this novel would be an excellent place to start your journey into this author's unique and wonderful prose. There is no hesitation by me to recommend this great read to all my friends.
- A bit too much
I enjoy the Thursday Next books, and I love the inventions Fforde has come up with in this novel. The most innovative parts of the book, and by far the most interesting to me, involved the two fictional Thursday Nexts and the interaction between her and her children, the number of which seemed to fluctuate from page to page. Having both an action heroine Thursday 1-4 and an earth mother Thursday 5 was wonderful and novel. The revelations about Friday, Tuesday and Jenny were all fun and interesting.
Unfortunately, Fforde seemed to treat this novel like one of those reunion shows on television, where you absolutely have to have all the characters show up, have to have them all go through their most famous routines and get their canned applause, and this is done at the expense of innovation and plot. But Fforde was writing a novel, not a reunion show of the Thursday Next novels, and the cameos by Felix8, Aornis, the Minotaur, etc. didn't bring much to the book, and made it more complex and difficult to get through than it needed to be.
He did a nice job with the parodies of reality television shows and the governmental crisis involving the stupidity deficit because the Commonsense Party (oddly, not ironically meant) were running things. The relation between that and falling reading rates, and the means by which they were all solved, were interesting and imaginative.
On the other hand, I think Fforde has made Thursday too important in Bookworld. Towards the end, it appeared that no one in Bookworld could do much except for Thursday with her Outlander perspective, and I found that tiresome and that it gave much of the plot a deus ex machina quality. The way to infuse some of the characters with more life is to write them that way, instead of relying on Thursday to do everything.
I look forward to a better constructed next novel in this series. ...more info
- Tuesday Next is aging very well!
Another novel in the Tuesday Next series. It is 16 years since the last book, and Tuesday is now in her early 50s, pretending - but not succeeding - to lead a quiet life. Her son, born in book three, is now 16 and a creep... or so we think. Read the book to learn more!
I'm a Tuesday Next fan. Fforde has created an incredibly complex alternative world in which books are live, and people from our world can visit and interact with the characters and settings in the books. You CANNOT just pick up this fourth installment - you'll be lost. Start with The Eyre Affair, which sets up the entire series. Follow that with Lost In a Good Book, and then The Well of Lost Plots. If you've already read the first three books, then jump joyfully into the fourth (technically the fifth book, but you'll learn about what happened to the real #4 when you read the book!)...more info
- What's next, Thursday?
It's a darned good thing that Thursday Next isn't showing any signs of wanting to slow down, because her life seems to get more and more complicated with each eagerly awaited installment of this brilliant series.
First of all, the Special Operations Network has been disbanded, but that minor detail hasn't stopped Thursday and her colleagues from doing what they do best. Under the cover of a flourishing carpeting company, business continues as usual, except now it's strictly hush-hush. Thursday is also secretly working at Jurisfiction, and a large portion of this book deals with her exploits in the BookWorld.
In the real world, Thursday hasn't yet told her husband that she does more than sell carpets. Her son Friday is a typical rebellious teenager, who flat out refuses to join the ChronoGuard, plays rock guitar and never, ever appears before lunchtime, his sister Tuesday is a math genius, and the other sibling Jenny promises to be the most normal of the lot.
Between training un-trainable apprentices, wheeling and dealing with the Cheese mafia, sorting out the Moral Dilemma, finding the missing comedy from the Thomas Hardy novels and vanquishing demons, time is running out for Thursday to figure out how to save the world, with or without the help of lazy Friday. Add the Minotaur, Aornis Hades, Goliath's latest project, and ghostly visitations from her Uncle Mycroft, and you get an idea of the roller coaster ride that is "First Among Sequels".
The unkindest cut of all however, is the plan to remake classic works into interactive novels, similar in principle to the dreaded Reality TV. It's all up to Thursday Next, and if she fails, you'll soon be glued to your television watching a Bennet sister getting voted out of Pride and Prejudice.
A final warning to fans of this series - after reading this you may suffer acute withdrawal symptoms while waiting for the next installment.
Rated: 4.5 stars
Amanda Richards, September 3, 2007
- Highy recommended
Any Jasper Fforde fan will be delighted to see another chapter in the Thursday Next series. It is a creative, whirlwind of a book full of zany plots, book world antics, and the usual Goliath Corporation mischief. Any of Fforde's books are well worth reading.
While it was an amazing read, I do look forward to the next installment where perhaps the convoluted plotline of this series can find its way again....more info
- Not worth the wait
I love the Thursday Next series but I was so bored by this new installment! The focus on technical descriptions of the book world are dull in the extreme and do not make a good replacement for plot . I also yawned my way through explanations of Goliath's text jumping bus, windy explanations of piano replacement, etc. I can tell J.F. gets off on this geeky stuff but a little of it goes a long way.
I still give it three stars, since it is more original than most anything out there, however I barely made it through the first half of the book, and would have given it up as a bad job if I hadnt read the others in the series.
Although the other books sometimes started slow, it was nothing like the funereal pace of this sequel. Thursday is getting older, why did we have to miss out on the years before 52? I am 51 myself, and although I can relate to her problems, and it's nice to see a middle aged woman protaganist, somehow it was just all a bit.....dull....more info
- Eight Days a Week
Jasper Fforde clearly solidified his position in the literary world with "The Eyre Affair" the first novel in the Thursday Next series which was a wild and imaginative blend of pure literary love and comic genius. Each novel that followed was just as imaginative, if not even more far-fetched, but always as enjoyable as the first one. Sometimes authors can drag a series down when it continues on too far, but Fforde has done his series justice with each and every installment, especially "First Among Sequels".
The fifth book in the series, "First Among Sequels" takes place fourteen years after "Something Rotten", with our heroine settled into domestic life that includes an idle sixteen-year old son who won't assume his destiny with the Chronoguard, two daughters (one of which doesn't exist), and a job at Acme Carpets that is just a front for her old job as a literary detective still working with Jurisfiction (but of course, her husband doesn't know that). Tuesday finds herself drawn into another literary mystery while training two fictional and highly inadequate versions of herself to become Jurisfiction agents. When Britain's stupidity surplus reaches an all time high, a plan to make reality book shows promises to destroy all of classic literature as we know it, and Thursday is the only woman for the job.
Jasper Fforde is a sheer delight to read for anyone who truly loves literature. His novels are full of allusions and characters from great (and small) literary works, and represent a truly inspired take upon how stories come to life. "First Among Sequels" is a fast-paced romp through literature and back, with many twists and convoluted subplots that may or may not go anywhere thrown in between. Fforde knows how to leave his fans hungry for more, offering up tempting bait at the end of the novel that Thursday Next certainly isn't finished with the Book World, and neither is Jasper Fforde. ...more info
- Fforde is so better than Rowling!
I don't understand all this fuss about Rowling and Potter. Jasper Fforde is so better at satire and humor and imaginative, genuinely creative science fiction/fantasy. He's way more talented. I've read all his books so far and have not been disappointed yet....more info
- hilarious as usual
Basically, I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I missed the Cheshire Cat. This book was as funny and convoluted as the others in the series, and its cliff-hanger ending promises more to come.
Now I have to go make tea for Jenny....more info
- Thursday Next: First Among Sequels
Love those Thursday Next books ! Very witty and fun to read. Can't wait for the next sequel....more info
- Thursday Next Continues
Compared to the other books in this series, this one starts out a bit heavy on the slapstick and appears to draw a bit more from personal realities of life in the current era. It is still a great read. While very few Fforde fans will be disappointed, they may not have to work quite so hard to keep all the various subplots straight in their minds. I look forward to many more stories from this author in both series (or new ones?)....more info
- Not As Funny As The Previous Titles In The Series
If possible I would have given this book 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed it but it lost that 1/2 a sar because it wasn't quite as funny as the first four books in the Thursday Next series. This is the first book that has really had a cliff hanger so I know that he's going to write another one, which I am already really excited about.
I was a little disappointed that he got rid of the 'Friday's going to be a time travelling hero' storyline because I really liked that idea. It was a bit weird reading Thursday as a 50 year old - maybe that was why I didn't find it quite as funny as the previous books.
I did finally get one of the jokes from the previous books (Lost in a Good Book I think), I recently started reading George Eliot, but when I first read about Millon De Floss (Thursdays' stalker) I had never heard of her book The Mill On The Floss and so until the last couple of weeks I had never understood the stalker's name (just thought it was more of Fforde's weirdness), but now I get it and so that was a small personal triumph....more info
- Stop Me if You Haven't Heard This One Before
How do you describe a Jasper Fforde book? Two 'f's and a useless 'e'. In truth Fforde's books are like a run-a-way Marx Brothers movie. Anything and everything can happen at any time and most likely will. This is the fifth 'Thursday Next' (and the last according to Fforde) and in this one he tackles the "space-time continuum paradox" of meeting yourself or another copy(ies) of some one you know. We meet at least three Fridays and three Thursdays, two Landons (but we never meet Jenny, 'cause she doesn't exist). Some are in books, some are from books, some are 'outlanders' in books, or book characters in the 'outland'. Got that!
There's no way to describe what goes on in this book because everything goes on an a lot of it simultaneously and even at the same time. (Keeping in mind that time is irrelevant, and an irrelevant if a big gray animal with a long nose that eats peanuts.) This is the book you should be reading when you are told that you will be 'shot at dawn' and you laugh and say 'since I never get up that early, start without me'.
It's a rousing good ending to this series and hopefully that last of the 'Nursery Crimes' will be this good and then it's on to the "Shades of Grey" series. SORRY BULLETIN BULLETIN tHERE wILL BE A 6TH book in the 'Thursday Next' series called "One of our Thursdays is missing". Please disregard everything that I've said and I'll do a review sometime before/after/present of the publication of said book. Cheers!
Zeb Kantrowitz...more info
- Thursday Next: First Among Sequels
Jasper Fforde is back with the wit and humor that are a trademark of this series. Thoroughly enjoyable romp through the Bookworld!...more info
- Not quite as new & refreshing as the beginning of the series...
Seems to have bogged down a bit in technical stuff, ignoring characters & situations. This type of explanation used to be embedded in the story, not handled separately as an instruction manual! But I still enjoy his world, and Thursday's adventures....more info
- Is Fforde running out of new ideas?
Enter Thursday Next in her 5th adventure. As before, Jasper Fforde introduced several hilarious ideas but in my opinion less than in previous books and he keeps on recycling many previously funny but now not so funny anymore plot devices.
Fourteen years after the last book ended Thursday officially now works for Acme carpets while raising her son Friday, daughter #1 Tuesday and daugher #3 Jenny together with her husband Landen. Secretly she still does Special Ops jobs and works for Jurisfiction in the book world.
I've read all of the Thursday Next books and this one is not my favorite. Usually I especially enjoy the chapter intros but in this book it seems to me that Fforde uses them as a review for readers who haven't read the previous books. While the idea of a stupidity surplus, falling outlander reading rates and a reality TV show for books are good they are only small lights in a rather mediocre story. Personally I've always had my issues with Landen's and Thursday's relationship (how can he condone her lying to him?) but in the other books that relationship played a much smaller role and therefore was easier for me to ignore.
I could go on but you may already be as bored reading my review as I was most of the time when reading this book. I don't have to buy the hardback of the next installment. I can wait till it's out in paperback. Maybe I can even wait until I can get it at my library....more info
- Another Brilliant Concoction from Fforde's Imagination!
Product was delivered as promised; in better condition than described. Will surely trust this merchant in future.
The product is pure Jasper Fforde. Full of literary "in jokes" and references to many genres of literature, which will cause any rabid reader many uplifting laughs, not to mention the pure fantasy of the melding of the "real" world and the "literary" world. Reading Fforde, you'll wish that this was really our world, as every intersection is full of humor and/or drama; however you choose to view it. Refreshing in the current field of mystery stories. We all need an occasional light reading....more info
- What's Next?
A fantastic continuance to the Thursday Next saga created by Jasper Fforde. Thursday is a wonderfully written character, as are the rest of the cast, and Mr. Fforde does a splendid job of keeping the reader engrossed in the story.
I highly recommend the entire series, starting with 'The Eyre Affair'. Don't skip any of the books, as you will miss quite a bit! I don't really want to write anythign that would give the great plots points away, trust me, I wouldn't lead you astray on a good book!
If you enjoy a fun read about out-of-this world (figuratively and literally) characters, you absolutely must read all of Jasper Fforde's work. Once you read the Thursday Next series, jump into Nursery Crimes....more info
- Kindle version is flawed
several words that are used repeatedly are broken up, for example: ser vice, bud get, in hosp it able. These speedbumps killed the flow of this book for me...more info
- The Ultimate in Literate Satire and Imaginative Story Telling
In the Thursday Next series, we've been taken into a Wonderland of imagination that creates a humorous, whimsical place where stories and characters are born, develop, thrive, and die. Each of the previous stories uncovered bits and pieces of Jasper Fforde's fertile imagination for describing how fiction gets to be that way. The current world was also knocked askew by meddling from current humans so that we don't quite recognize it, but it does seem familiar nevertheless.
Inevitably, Jasper Fforde was bound to deal with that greatest of all literary challenges, a sequel that builds on what has gone before but plows little new ground. Naturally, by having created such a complex world, Mr. Fforde has to devote a fair amount of space to reintroducing us to what's gone on before. About midpoint in the novel, you'll feel adrift. Yet, the story wonderfully ties together in ways you'll never imagine. It's a remarkable accomplishment.
Thursday Next is older . . . and perhaps not too much wiser. This book takes place 14 years after Something Rotten. Her son Friday seems hopelessly committed to remaining a slug-a-bed who avoids school and showers with equal enthusiasm. That would be all right, but a future version of Friday keeps telling Thursday that there's a horrible crisis coming if Friday doesn't change his ways. In the Bookworld, Thursday finds herself spending time with the two most ineffective and challenging apprentices imaginable. Her uncle Mycroft is haunting her about something he can't remember. The Goliath Corporation is sending probes into the Bookworld as a way to prepare a tourism business. With the Stupidity Index at uncomfortable levels, the government proposes an insane attack on literature. Book reading is plummeting: Some book stores barely have any books in them. The Welsh cheese smugglers have started bringing in cheeses with explosive potential. Even rug-laying isn't the mundane task it used to be.
Will Thursday Next save the world? Can she revive excitement in sequels?
Save this book for a time when you are filled with a limitless desire to wonder and laugh.
Bravo, Mr. Fforde! ...more info
- Great St. Zvelyx, this book is great!!!
This may be the best Thursday Next book to date! Starting a good fifteen years after Something Rotten, Thursday, Landon and their children are facing a national stupidity surplus, an evil literary version of Thursday bent on escaping to the Real World, murdered book characters and the impending end of the world (as always) if the Next-Parke-Lane family can't get their slug of a teenage son to join the Chronoguard. Just a normal day in Swindon! (Added bonus...Goliath has bought the Isle of Wight...it wasn't like anyone else was using it anyway:))
This book was fabulous, I couldn't put it down!!! I was slightly disappointed by the cliffhanger ending, but perked up when I realized a cliffhanger meant there would be another book soon. Some parts of the book are unexplained or unresolved but I'm hoping they'll be dealt with in the next installment...get this book, you'll love it!...more info
- A great start for a possible new direction
I was introduced to the Thursday Next novels witha brief synopsis of "The Eyre Affair" by my uncle. A few months later, I began my journey into Mr. Fforde's strange world with "Lost In A Good Book," not knowing at the time that the books had some form of coninuity. However, I am now reading "The Eyre Affair" after reading the other four books in the series, and I am grateful for waiting because of the events in "First Among Sequels" related to the first book in the series.
Now, with that out of the way, I have to say this is a nice change of pace from "Something Rotten." As I have read in other reviews, "Rotten" seems to move a bit slower then the other books. Maybe it was the feeling of having too many plotlines with not enough resolutions that made me feel as if the story would ever end. Whatever the reason, Fforde still left one of my favorite characters, The Minotaur, alive and well at the end of "Rotten," which helped propel me through the book, desperately wanting another confrontation between Thursday and the mythical beast.
Along the way, though, I lost the desire for that confrontation as I got more into the confrontation of Thursday and Thursday 1-4 and Thursday5. The descriptions of the devices of the BookWorld were excellent, and the interactions between Thursday and her family, friends, colleagues and enemies remains true to the main heroine's style. The fact that the book is written from Thursday's perspective adds further enjoyment, as it leaves many questions at the start of the book, but brings about the answers later when other characters are able to provide their insights.
In conclusion, this is a wonderful book for both those familiar with Thursday Next and those who have not yet stepped over the edge into the land of timestorms, the BookWorld, dodos, vampires, werewolves, Neaderthals and the occasional villain named after a mythological Underword feature.
P.S. - So glad for the resolution concerning the "egg recipe." That time thing was getting just a bit too crazy. ...more info