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Lost in a Good Book

Jasper Fforde

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : NEL

Published : 2002

Copyright : Jasper Fforde 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-73357-8
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-73357-8

Publisher's Write-Up

'All life on earth was due to end in a month but I had more pressing matters to attend to. My husband didn’t exist and unless I did something about it soon, he might remain that way for ever.'

Thursday Next, literary detective and registered dodo owner begins her married life with the disturbing news that her husband of only a month drowned thirty-eight years ago, and no one but Thursday has any memory of him at all. Someone, somewhere, sometime, is responsible. Could it be the ubiquitous Goliath Corporation, who will stop at nothing to get their operative Jack Schitt out of The Raven - the poem in which Thursday trapped him? Or are more sinister forces at work in Swindon?

Having barely caught her breath after The Eyre Affair, Thursday heads back into fiction to search for some answers. Along the way she finds herself helping Miss Havisham close narrative loopholes in Great Expectations, struggling for a deeper understanding of The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and learning the truth about Larry the Lamb. Paper politicians, lost Shakespearean manuscripts, woolly mammoth migrations, a flurry of near-fatal coincidences and impending Armageddon are all part of a greater plan.

But whose? And why?

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (050103) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
The sequel to The Eyre Affair sees Thursday Next of Spec. Ops. fighting the Goliath Corporation to get her husband of two months back. He has been eradicated from time and died thirty-eight years previously in an accident he should have been rescued from… oh, and she has to save the world that is going to end next month.

Thursday has to find a way to get into books now that the prose portal has gone and so becomes a Jurisfiction Agent, assigned the task of protecting literature, and is apprenticed to Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.

Full of jokes for the reader of Classical literature this book is delightfully written as a cross between Science Fiction (Chronoguard, Gravitube), Horror (Spike Stoker and the Living Dead) and Surreal Comedy. The story is full of wonderful comedic moments. The capture of Supreme Evil Beings (SEBs) by agent Spike Stoker of SO 17 is so funny. Each SEB considers itself to be unique and supreme, by definition, yet there are thousands of them caught and locked up together. The vacuum cleaner scene when the latest SEB is captured is a classic:

‘Keep him talking!’ yelled Spike as he grabbed the holdall and pulled out the vacuum cleaner.
‘A vacuum cleaner!’ sneered the low voice. ‘Spike you insult me!’
Spike didn’t answer but instead unravelled the hose and switched the battery-powered appliance on.
‘A vacuum cleaner won’t hold me!’ sneered the voice again. ‘Do you really believe that I can be trapped in a bag like so much dust?’
Spike sucked up the small spirit in a trice.
‘He didn’t seem that frightened of it,’ I murmured as Spike fiddled with the machine’s controls.
‘This isn’t any vacuum cleaner, Thursday. James over at R&D dreamt it up for me. You see, unlike conventional vacuum cleaners this one works on a dual cyclone principle that traps dust and evil spirits by powerful centrifugal force. Since there is no bag there is no loss of suction - you can use a lower wattage motor; there’s a hose action - and a small brush for stair carpets.’
‘You find evil spirits in stair carpets?’
‘No, but my stair carpets need cleaning just the same as anyone else’s.’
I looked at the glass container and could see a small vestige of white spinning round very rapidly. Spike deftly placed the lid on the jar and detached it from the machine. He held it up and there inside was a very pissed-off spirit of the Evil One - well and truly trapped.

As I've said before about The Eyre Affair, if you have read the many classics that are referred to you will enjoy this book immensely, but even if not it is still a very enjoyable read.
Nigel (5th January 2003)

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