I usually skip posting on the lighter and/or sillier reading I do, but this week I’m on vacation, which should be a lighter and/or sillier time. And when I read Jasper Fforde’s latest installment in the Thursday Next series last week, I was really struck by how much I still liked it, how much I still felt like the series was going strong, and just overall what a pleasant and smart job he does of being light and silly.
I think the concept of the Thursday Next books is the kind of thing that is very easily hateable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of my readers weren’t into it, but it’s the kind of thing I love. The books, starting with The Eyre Affair, take place in an alternate-history universe where Great Britain continued fighting the Crimean War up through the 1980s and lives under a quasi-totalitarian corporatist government controlled in large part by Goliath Industries, croquet is the most important professional sport in the world, and airplanes have not been invented but time travel machines have. Thursday Next herself is a detective and book lover (and Crimea vet), who ends up discovering that in addition to this world (later known as the RealWorld, somewhat confusingly out here in this actually real world), there is a BookWorld inhabited by characters and settings from literature. In addition to her RealWorld detective duties, Thursday becomes a Jurisfiction agent who solves BookWorld crimes. Typically the stories involve some nefarious plot that crosses both worlds (so Thursday can save them both, of course).
The BookWorld is a very silly place, and Fforde treats it lightly but not stupidly. The characters in Wuthering Heights argue all the time and must have group therapy sessions in order to keep the book together
Continue reading One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde