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Early Riser

Jasper Fforde

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published : 2018 

Copyright : Jasper Fforde 2018

ISBN-10 : HB 1-4736-5022-4
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-4736-5022-0

Publisher's Write-Up

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it's weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.


Terry Pratchett

'Forget all the rules of time, space and reality; just sit back and enjoy the adventure.'


'True literary comic genius.'

Sunday Express
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (120818) Rating (9/10)

Review by Nigel
Book Source: Purchased
Rating 9/10

Short review:
utter genius.

Long review: take a simple (on the surface) idea – the world is much colder and humans have evolved to hibernate in order to survive the severe winters – then expand on this. Who looks after the sleepers? How do the ones that stay awake survive? Who or what is the Gronk?

Now introduce Nightwalkers (zombies of a sort, only nicer), betrayal, Wintervolk, winsomniacs, villains, serious stamp collecting (the kind that could get you killed), viral dreams, blizzards, a thriving transplant industry, lots of weaponry and a corporate conspiracy and you have all the ingredients for a cracking good read. Now all you need is a Michelin Starred author to mix it all together and cook until done. By his own admission Mr. Fforde took a while getting it all ready to serve but the wait was worth it.

Charlie Worthing is a Winter Consul, new to the job and on his first assignment, transporting a person in a Pseudosentient Mobile Vegetative State (this will be the zombies) to Hibertech in Sector Twelve. From the minute Charlie gets off the train things start to go spectacularly wrong. Enough said.

I once read a book by Colin Bateman that built up to a joke that had me in hysterics; some years later Jasper Fforde has achieved the same thing with a background joke that once the punchline is delivered had me laughing out loud. I won’t tell you what it is as it would spoil the fun but I hope you spot it.

I’m a huge fan of Jasper Fforde’s work so may be a little biased but everyone should enjoy reading this book; it is very well written (as with all Jasper’s work) and draws you into a world somewhat different from ours but still very familiar – speculative fiction at its best.

As I said for the short review… utter genius.
Nigel (12th August 2018)

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