One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6)

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6)

by Jasper Fforde

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Overview

The sixth installment in Jasper Fforde’s New York Times bestselling series follows literary detective Thursday Next on another adventure in her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England—from the author of Early Riser

Dazzlingly funny and imaginative, Jasper Fforde's books have won him the affection of readers, reviewers, and-dare we say it-booksellers alike. Fans can breathe a sigh of relief because Thursday Next-or at least one of her-is back. At a time of great unrest in the BookWorld, only the ace literary detective can avert a devastating Genre War—thing is, Thursday has vanished. Now the written Thursday must answer the call, save the Bookworld, evade capture, and find the actual Thursday! With a clockwork Butler in tow, and Men in Plaid as well as her Designated Love Interest in pursuit, she must reluctantly agree to journey up the mysterious Metaphoric River for answers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143120513
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Series: Thursday Next Series , #6
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 246,086
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling series of Thursday Next novels, which includes Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, and The Woman Who Died A Lot. The series has more than one million copies (and counting) in print. He is also the author of The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear of the Nursery Crime series, Shades of Grey, and books for young readers, including The Last Dragonslayer. Visit jasperfforde.com.

Hometown:

Brecon, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

Date of Birth:

January 11, 1961

Place of Birth:

London, United Kingdom

Education:

Left school at 18

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for The Woman Who Died A Lot, the next installment in the Thursday Next series

“Fforde continues to show that his forte is absurdist humor in his seventh crime thriller starring Thursday Next, a member of the Literary Detectives division of Special Operations in an alternate-universe Britain. [An] endearingly-bizarre fantasy world limited only by Fforde’s impressive imagination.” –Publishers Weekly

“As always, Fforde makes this wacky world perfectly plausible, elucidating Ffordian physics with just the right ratio of pseudoscientific jargon to punch lines. It’s a dazzling, heady brew of high concept and low humor, absurd antics with a tea-and-toast sensibility that will appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse alike. Fforde is ffantastic!”
Booklist (starred review)

“Strap in and hang on tight.... Another winner for fans and lovers of sf, time travel, puns, allusions, and all sorts of literary hijinks.”
Library Journal (Starred review)

“Jasper Fforde fans, rejoice! The Woman Who Died a Lot, the seventh installment in his Thursday Next series, delivers all the imagination, complexity and laughs we've come to expect from Fforde and his book-hopping, butt-kicking heroine.The Woman Who Died a Lot brings together the charming lunacy and intricate plotting that have enthralled Fforde's readers over the years.” –Shelf Awareness


“In Misery, Stephen King compares the euphoric feeling writers experience in creative bursts to ‘falling into a hole filled with bright light.’ Avid readers also know that feeling: A good story temporarily erases the world. British novelist Jasper Fforde has expanded on King’s simile in a wonderful seven-book series of novels featuring Thursday Next. Enormously knowledgeable about literary history, Fforde scatters nuggets for nerdy readers like me. By the end, all of Fforde’s myriad particles of plot, accelerated by his immense skill and narrative sense, collide, producing pyrotechnics and a passel of new particles to propel his next tale. I love the Thursday Next books, and when a new one appears, I don’t fall but leap into this bibliophile’s Wonderland.” –The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This is the proverbial madcap lighthearted romp, full of hijinks, parody, and puns. Jasper Fforde does it well. It’s safe to say that if you enjoy that particularly British, Douglas Adams-style absurd delivery of wry observations, you’ll get a kick out of this one.” New York Journal of Books
“The Welsh writer Jasper Fforde's wildly inventive books defy easy description — more accurately, they mercilessly mock the concept of easy description. Are they mysteries? Outrageous parodies of literary classics? Science fiction? Absurdist humor? Gleeful mashups of all the above?” [The Woman Who Died A Lot is] still big, big fun, with enough in-jokes to keep anyone snickering for a long time — especially English Lit geeks.” The Seattle Times

“Quirky and surprising and funny. Thursday fans will welcome her return.”
The Free Lance–Star

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION
“This way to the denouement” (p. 30).

In her heart, Thursday Next accepted the truth: her series had become a bore. Of course, it wasn’t written Thursday’s fault. After “violent and gratuitous-sex Thursday” (p. 33) ran riot, real Thursday stepped in to replace her with someone “softer and kinder” (p. 31). ReadRates plummeted. But just as she’s feeling comfortably settled, written Thursday is drawn into a whirlpool of duplicity and pungent foreshadowing that threatens to shake the BookWorld to its very core.

Written Thursday was never interested in politics. Even after the Great Library BookWorld was remade according to a geographic model, her focus has remained on the workaday business of a “first-person protagonist . . . [in] a sixty-eight-setting five-book series at the speculative end of Fantasy” (p. 1).

It’s a tough job and managing the novels’ recalcitrant cast of characters keeps written Thursday far too busy for a rendezvous at the Inn Uendo with her Designated Love Interest, Whitby Jett. So she’s more than a little surprised when Commander Red Herring, “overall leader of the BookWorld Policing Agency” (p. 23), summons her to meet him in Conspiracy.

Her inherently suspicious journey takes a more sinister turn when she’s given cryptic warnings by a red-haired gentleman from Crime, has the first of many encounters with the ruthless Men in Plaid, and uncharacteristically confronts an angry mob of Conspiracy theorists.

When she at last meets with Herring, written Thursday-accompanied by her new butler, Sprockett-is tasked with investigating the crash of an unknown book for the Jurisfiction Accident Investigation Division (JAID). Since she botched her only other JAID investigation, written Thursday knows she’s been selected for a reason and vows “not [to] impugn my lack of competence by being irresponsibly accurate” (p. 110).

Yet, Sprockett uncovers more about the crash than written Thursday wants to know. Whatever-or whoever-brought down The Murders on the Hareng Rouge and scrubbed its ISBN went to great lengths to make it to look like an accident.

Moreover, written Thursday has a few secrets of her own: she is hopelessly in love with Landon, real Thursday’s very real husband in the Outland-and she knows that real Thursday is missing. Thus burdened, written Thursday travels to Jurisfiction Headquarters to file her report.

Once there, she learns the broader implications of her heroic namesake’s disappearance. Two neighboring genres, Racy Novel and Women’s Fiction, are threatening hostilities, and real Thursday is scheduled to negotiate the upcoming peace talks.

With real Thursday in jeopardy and war looming, written Thursday recalls the red-haired gentleman’s now meaningful words: “On occasion, people of talent are kept in reserve at times of crisis” (p. 41). But can she transcend her identity as “the dopey one who likes to hug a lot” (p. 49) in time to avert disaster?

Dazzlingly inventive and irresistibly funny, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is another madcap excursion through Jasper Fforde’s beloved BookWorld and the unparalleled imagination of one of the most gifted humorists of our times.



ABOUT JASPER FFORDE

Jasper Fforde is the author of five previous Thursday Next novels: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, and First Among Sequels. He is also the author of the novel Shades of Grey, as well as the Nursery Crime series, featuring Detective Jack Spratt, which includes The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear. He lives in Wales with his wife and four daughters.



A CONVERSATION WITH JASPER FFORDE
Q. “In years past, each book was carefully crafted to an infinitely fine degree, but that was in the days of limited reader sophistication. Today, with the plethora of experience through increased media exposure, most books are finished by the readers themselves” (p. 32). Is this a sentiment that you yourself espouse?

To a certain degree, I think this is true-many notions in my books have perhaps one foot based in Fforde’s musings. If I set a book in the plains of Mongolia and wrote it thirty years ago, some explanation and detailed description might be necessary. Today, I think I could get away with a lot less. Mention “Mongolian Plains” to many people these days, and yurts, horsemen, lined faces, and arid treeless desolation would probably pop into the mind. It’s a help in some ways, and a hindrance in others, as these pre-wrapped vignettes are often based on only a few shared sources. To get away from them, or bring variance into a setting, the unlearning and then relearning might be too difficult to do well, if at all.

Q. Do you have an e-reader? If so, how-if at all-has it changed your reading experience? If not, why not?

I have a Kindle, and although I’ve downloaded a few books onto it, I have not used it in anger. But I can see that these devices are here to stay, and I will try and accommodate this new textual device somewhere into my writing-just not sure where.

Q. How much input do you have on the book’s illustrations? Do you tell the illustrators exactly which scenes you want depicted?

Illustrators have three separate skill sets. To be able to draw, to be able to draw to brief, and to be able to complete on a deadline. Dylan Meconis and Bill Mudron who do my illustrations can do all of these. I send them a detailed letter explaining what I want, with reference pictures if required, and they come back with sketches of their ideas. This goes back and forth a bit until we have what we want, and they do the

final work. The great thing with these guys is that they always bring something more to the show-some detail that I hadn’t thought of. They’re fast, too. Oddly enough, Bill and Dylan were at a signing session of mine when they handed me some fan art. I was impressed, asked them for their e-mail-and they’ve been doing my illustrations ever since.

Q. Your depiction of goblins is bound to receive negative backlash from Goblin rights activists. Are you concerned?

Not at all. Nasty little creatures with poor hygiene and disgusting personal habits. Don’t shake hands with one-they rarely use toilet paper. Besides, to complain they’d have to first learn to read or actually care what we think of them-neither of which they want to do.

Q. Does your love of wordplay and-in One of Our Thursdays Is Missing-liberal use of malapropisms make your books a copy editor’s nightmare?

Frequently. Wasn’t sure about the Malaprop stuff, to be honest, but Thursday’s housekeeper was simply another Mrs. Danvers and she was switched out at short notice.

Q. Which Thursday is-thus far-your favorite?

I’ve always liked the “mildly confused” Thursday who needs her hand held, like in Lost in a Good Book when she finds about the BookWorld. I think that’s the reason I liked the Written Thursday in Oootim; it made her softer, and more prone to error and self-doubt. The real Thursday would have been able to find herself in a flash; the Written Thursday has her own demons and failings to confront.

Q. “Although I had not personally supposed that Thursday might battle the Daleks with Dr. Who in a literary landscape, in here it was very much business as usual” (p. 295). Is there Thursday Next fan fiction? If so, has such a match actually been written about?

There IS Thursday Next fan fiction, and the notion that fan fiction is not so much about mindless copying but a celebration is pretty much how I feel about it. I used to feel negative toward fan fiction, but only because I didn’t understand it. All creative endeavors, irrespective of content, is good. People can write what they want and no one should ever say they shouldn’t. Copyright issues are another thing, naturally-there’s a reason the characters I purloin for my books are all in the public domain. And no, I don’t think the Daleks have ever battled in Austenland.

Q. Your plotlines are “of a complexity that would gather plaudits from even the most intractable of political thrillers” (p. 335). With parallel worlds and multiple versions of many characters, what do you do to keep track of all the threads?

I write a very complex and overlong notebook that outlines every character, incident, plot thread, and order of events. To this I add all the descriptions necessary, and even divide it into chapters. Sadly, by this time I have no time to write the book itself, so send off the notebook to my publishers who publish that instead. All my books are actually detailed outlines of much better books I didn’t have time to write. Sorry.

Q. You have often cruelly threatened concluding the Thursday Next series. Is One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, in fact, the end?

Untrue; I have never threatened to curtail the Thursday Next series-quite the opposite. Books about books I can write forever. Indeed, some of my books are now based on previous books that I have written-One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is one of them: It makes little sense without knowing my previous Thursday Next books. I’m currently working on Thursday Next 7: Dark Reading Matter, to be published September 2012. The Thursday Next world is a seriously broad canvas.

Q. Considering the vast strides that have been made in computer generated imagery, is there any chance that Thursday Next might make the leap to the big-or little-screen?

Pretty small, to be honest. I write books for people who like stories, and stories for people who like books. Films, for the most part, are made for undiscerning fifteen-year-olds who want to watch Vin Diesel kill people. I think the Thursday Next series should remain as she is meant to be, and what she is all about-in books. It can be our little secret. HOWEVER, I never say never. Six one-hour episodes for TV for each Thursday Next book-now there’s a possibility. Hmmmm . . .



DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • Immediately after the BookWorld is remade, written Thursday observes “the Cliffs of Irrationality . . . slowly being eroded away, while on the opposite shore the Sands of Science were slowly reclaiming salt marsh from the sea” (p. 13). Does this shift accurately reflect what is happening in the Real World?
  • Early on, written Thursday is warned that, “One of our Thursdays is missing!” (p. 41) Jasper Fforde also uses it as the title of Thursday’s fifth adventure. To whom does the “our” refer?
  • “The problem was, no published books liked anything self-published in the neighborhood. . . . Having something from Vanity close by would, they claimed, ’lower the tone of the prose’ ” (p. 53). Have you ever read a self-published book? If not, why not? If you have, did you consider it to be qualitatively comparable to books released by an established publisher?
  • When Written Thursday is sent into the RealWorld, she is “most worried about meeting Landon. He was the man I was written to love and never meet. And now I was going to meet him” (p. 169). Is actually meeting the person you love an experience overrated by fiction?
  • Just as she was about to kiss Landon, Written Thursday is brought back to the BookWorld four hours ahead of schedule. Did Professor Plum engineer her unexpected return? If so, why?
  • Explaining her successful escape from Fan Fiction, Written Thursday tells Sprockett, “They shoot anyone trying to escape, and they check the causeway every half minute to make sure. You can’t possibly run the distance in less than four minutes, so the answer seemed quite obvious” (pp. 297-98). How did she do it?
  • What elements of the BookWorld would you most like to incorporate into our own? What aspects of it do you find most terrifying?
  • Do you agree with Fforde’s geographical rendering of Fiction Island? Is there a genre that you feel has been unfairly overlooked, or inappropriately included?
  • The red-haired gentleman tells Written Thursday that, “For all its boundless color, depth, boldness, passion and humor, the RealWorld doesn’t appear to have any clearly discernible function” (p. 41). Yet, later she asks Landon if he’s “all right with the support role” and he answers, “Of course! It’s my function” (p. 236). What function does fiction play in your life? Is having a function necessary for happiness?
  • Compassion is one of the novel’s predominant themes and a quality that Sprockett acquires by the end of the novel. Which better teaches compassion: fiction or the real world?
  • What do you think of Written Thursday’s assertion that, “The BookWorld is as orderly as people in the RealWorld hope their own world to be-it isn’t a mirror, it’s an aspiration” (p. 359).

Customer Reviews

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One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing is the sixth novel in the popular Thursday Next series by Welsh author, Jasper Fforde. Not long after the Remake of BookWorld, it seems that Real World Thursday Next is missing. Written Thursday (Thursday 1-4 from First Among Sequels, the huggy one) has been trying to play Thursday with dignity, but the series is virtually unread, so the presence of an understudy allows her to investigate with the help of Sprocket, a clockwork butler she has acquired (everyone needs a butler). This instalment features Men in Plaid as enforcers, a Triumph Bonneville, inter-genre cabs, a book sabotaged by rhetorical worms, a geologist thrown from a window, and a car chase. Written Thursday travels to the Real World, meets the real Landen, is kidnapped by a Wiltshire Stiltonista, tries to interpret obscure clues to Thursday’s whereabouts, travels up the Metaphoric River, meets some Loser Literary Siblings (The Mediocre Gatsby, Brian Heep, Tracy Capulet, Sharon Eyre etc) and is finally offered a job with Jurisfiction. Concepts like character assassins, a mime field, the Large Metaphor Collider and the intricacies of a character’s backstory are also a source of entertainment. Fforde still delights with some absurd names like Keitel Black, Red Herring and D.J. Growling, and each chapter is prefaced by a pertinent passage from Bradshaw’s BookWord Companion, which, we note, runs to at least fifteen editions, confirming that Colonel Bradshaw’s eventual retirement must have been profitable. As always, Fforde is incredibly clever: this is a brilliant read.
Little_Flyer_Speaks More than 1 year ago
It's been a long while since I read the preceding entry in this series (Thursday Next: First Among Sequels), and it took me awhile to settle back into the sort of crazed pace paying attention to apparently-silly-but-frequently-pivotal puns and points of reference, but IT ALL PAID OFF! Hang in there fans, all the bizarre loose ends were tied up and the take-offs on various genres were well worth the wait. Highly recommended!
snape_luver More than 1 year ago
This was a great step in the series, allowing readers to experience the world of Thursday Next from a new P.O.V.
Luv_to_read More than 1 year ago
I love reading Jasper Fforde's books especially the Thursday Next stories. Loved it. There is some very creative writing and his books inspire me to read more classics.
Go4Jugular More than 1 year ago
Entry #6 in the Thursday Next series differs substantially from the other books as it primarily follows written Thursday, in the remade Bookworld, as she seeks to find the missing real Thursday with the help of her clockwork butler Sprockett. Aside from a couple of forays into the real world, most of this book explores the geography and functioning of the various genres, organized like regions, on Fiction Island. There's the usual mix of mysteries to be solved and humor to enjoy, with mostly new, but occasionally recurring, characters. But the real star here is the Bookworld, and it does not disappoint.
FMRox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thursday Next has gone missing... or has she. Fforde spins a fantastical tale in the latest additional to the series.This last one is very complicated. I definitely do not recommend this one if you haven't read any of the first. It's very complicated and confusing. But, enjoyable none the same.
AJBraithwaite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More enjoyable language- and literature-bashing from Jasper Fforde. BookWorld has been re-designed to be geographical, ebooks are having an impact on reading processes and the written Thursday is faced with the disappearance of her RealWorld counterpart and an imminent war between the Racy Novel and Women's Fiction parts of the world.I don't think you could get the most out of this book without having read the earlier ones - which isn't a criticism at all. Quite the reverse, as it means that there's a lot less explanation than there was in earlier books, which is a good thing. I love the way Fforde mucks about with language and with literary conventions. "Double negatives were a complete no-no" was one of my favourite lines.
saffron12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This sixth book in the series is told from the perspective of the "written" Thursday Next. Personally, I highly enjoyed this new point of view. It showed even more fully how BookWorld works, and I found the technical descriptions fascinating. Written-Thursday started to come into her own as a person, which was also fun to watch. It is one of the best books I've read so far this year.
girlsgonereading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Proof once again that I don¿t like fantasy and that I¿m not that crazy about satire, One of Thursdays is Missing was a very difficult book for me to finish.Jasper Fforde is a very popular writer, and his Thursday Next series has found loads of loving fans (all starting with The Eyre Affair). I, however, am not a fan.I found Fforde¿s writing to be very clever, but I want my books to be more than clever. I want to care about the characters. I didn¿t care about Thursday or any of the supporting cast. I just wanted it to be over.Fforde prolonged the fantasy plot with puns and jokes about the world of books. True, these jokes were occasionally funny, but the comic aspect of the novel was not enough to hold my interest.One of Our Thursdays was my first book in the series, and I am sure it will be my last. I am sure that lovers of fantasy and satire will enjoy One of Our Thursdays is missing, and I truly wish that I had like the novel more.
ethel55 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fans of the Thursday Next series won't be disappointed in Fforde's long awaited return. The Book World has been re-drawn in a New World fashion with border scuffles a new worry for lesser genres. The maps included are worth the read, very clever! The introduction and placement of written Thursday as a main character did feel a little different, but soon I was swept up in Fforde's imagination and worried that Racy Novel would indeed ruin their peace talks. I tried to savor each literary bit in the novel, but eventually, I came to the end. It was not so final that there won't be hope for another Thursday adventure, real or written.
Gwendydd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yay, so wonderful to have another Thursday Next book! After TN4 and TN5, I was a little nervous that Fforde was overextending himself, and that he should have stopped before the series got bogged down. But TN6 is fantastic. Fforde is fantastic at writing himself out of holes: he clearly sat down to write this book and thought to himself, "Darn, there are a bunch of things that I've been doing wrong in this series from the very beginning." So he fixes them. Boom, in one fell swoop he plausibly changes the Bookworld from a library layout to a geographic layout. Boom, this book explains why the Thursday Next novels within the Bookworld are different from the real-life Thursday Next novels (and fixes the discrepancy). This is another classic Thursday book - lots of action crammed into a few days, crazy adventures, a plotline that you think can't possibly all come together and then it does at the last moment. Fforde's fount of creativity is amazing: he keeps coming up with new and wonderful and hilarious things. Of all the alternate universes I have ever read about, this is the one in which I would most like to live.I hope he writes more!
kewing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This installment in the Thursday Next was more involved, with Fforde slightly more shrewd, and cagey. BookWorld changes from a library to a geographic organization, reducing some of the gymnastic physics, but easier to navigate and establishing a subplot of territorial conflict based on "mineral" rights. The central "mystery" is the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Thursday Next (real) by Thursday Next (written), but for me the joy came from some of Fforde's technical concepts: a metaphor accelerator, for example, and the geographic BookWorld on the inner surface of a sphere. I enjoyed this installment more than TN5; all in all, a brilliant romp.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the Nextian Universe there are, basically, two worlds. In the RealWorld, dodos are household pets and Neanderthals productive members of society, there is an active black market for cheese and a Socialist Republic of Wales (where, its tourism board proclaims, it's "Not always raining). There is also a BookWorld, in which the genres vie for domination, characters from books are ranked socially according to how often their books are read, and raw metaphor is one of the hottest commodities around.One of Our Thursdays is Missing is the sixth of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books (or the seventh, if you count the no longer available The Great Samual Pepys Affair). As it opens, the BookWorld has been remade into an inverted globe (just go with it), making it no longer necessary to jump from book to book to travel there. The Thursday Next featured in this installment, we quickly learn (although it took this dense reader somewhat longer to figure it out and then make sense of it) is the written version, the somewhat more accessible, kinder gentler version that the real Thursday Next thinks she would like to be. The real Thursday, it turns out, has gone missing...just as she's about to attend the peace talks between Racy Novel and the rest of the genres. It becomes the written Thursday's assignment to take on a mission for which she's not been trained, namely, to find the real Thursday and ensure that the peace talks go as scheduled. But she has to do so while juggling a would-be boyfriend with a dark backstory, a crush on the real Thursday's husband (who was never written into the books and so exists only in the RealWorld), and dissent among the ranks of the characters in her series. Good thing early in her narrative she rescues a mechanical man about to be stoned to pieces by some particularly paranoid inhabitants of Conspiracy, a sub-genre of Thriller, thereby gaining a sidekick who mixes a mean cocktail and thinks deep thoughts. He needs to be wound every once in a while to keep him going, but well, really, when you think about it, who doesn't?The reader must let go and comes to term with the fact that the antic, madcap, and bizarrely violent action may never make perfect sense. Once she accomplishes this, One of Our Thursdays is Missing reveals itself to be fun, clever, mind--and genre--twisting fun.
dknippling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On the one hand, the main character wasn't really driven until near the end of the book.On the other hand, ooooh, some painful digs against the publishing industry! And annoying readers! And a good mystery in which everything may or may not be what it seems! If you liked the previous books, the few flaws will be easily overlooked. I wouldn't start here with the series...therefore, anyone trying to decide to read this should either go, "Read this!" or "Don't read this yet!"
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Its a fun read through the book world. This story shouldn't work, but it does. It has a lot of techno-babble that actually works in this setting. Its a fun read, not very deep, has great characters, and a world that actually seems like it should be real. I keep wondering, how books got created before bookworld realized they weren't real?
Capfox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jasper Fforde has always come off to me as an author with an abundance of ideas and a desire to throw as many of them out there as he can at any time. His novels tend to be stuffed to bursting with concepts and conceits, and this can play out for better or worse, depending on the balance between whichever ones he¿s chosen for a given outing. When we come to the Thursday Next series, I¿ve usually found the books more set in the RealWorld, to borrow Fforde¿s phrase, with SpecOps and Goliath and croquet and such, more enjoyable than the ones primarily set in the BookWorld with Thursday¿s book-jumping Jurisfictional adventures.When I took a look at the latest entry in the series, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, then, I wasn¿t as excited at the arrival of a new Fforde book as I had been for, say, Shades of Gray. Fortunately, however, this run turned out to be very enjoyable. Here, we have the unpopular written version of Thursday Next, a shier, gentler version of the real one from the author-approved version of the Thursday Next series, trying to work out a mystery involving the real Thursday in a totally remade Bookworld, taken from the Great Library model of the previous books to one laid out geographically, with skirmishes and territorial squabbles between neighboring genres, and distinctive cultures within each of the genres themselves.Over the course of the book, the written Thursday gets to interact with a lot of the characters we¿ve seen in the series thus far, along with new characters, such as Whitby Jett, her Designated Love Interest, and Sprockett, a cog-based butler. The mystery takes Thursday all over the island and beyond, and it¿s quite well put together and interesting. Fforde¿s got a good way of doing these things, and in contrast to the previous book, this one finishes on a more complete note, I find.The best part of reading this, though, is Fforde¿s imagination and wit, ranging from low puns to riffing on fictional conventions and fellow authors to quick takes on classic works of fiction to all sorts of callbacks to previous books in the series. As such, I really wouldn¿t recommend starting here; you really need to start with the first book in the series and read through to get a full enjoyment of this one, I think. He also has worked out a new way for the BookWorld to function, within a hollow globe, and it¿s quite well fleshed out, too. I didn¿t exactly rush out to read this one, but I¿m really glad I got around to it, and seeing the written Thursday come into a character in her own right. I¿ll be looking forward to the next one, for sure.
Othemts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sixth book in the Thursday Next series, one of the most imaginative and entertaining book series I've read. This book took me some time to warm up to though. It's set in the BookWorld with the written version of Thursday Next as the protagonist and narrator with the conceit that they are something like actors performing the book each time someone reads. One of my favorite aspects of the Thursday Next series is Fforde's alternate universe Swindon, England so the narrative set almost entirely in the BookWorld is a bit of a disappointment (my least favorite book in the series The Well of Lost Plots is also set entirely in the BookWorld). Yet Fforde is masterful in developing the fictional version of the fictional Thursday as a similar yet different character. I was totally won over by written Thursday's automaton sidekick Sprocket. In the end, this book is a masterful job by Fforde to keep the series alive with the requisite creativity and fun.Favorite Passages:¿Not many people traveled to the RealWorld, and those who did generally noted two things: one, that it was hysterically funny and hideously tragic in almost equal measure, and two, that there were far more domestic cats than baobabs, when it should probably be the other way round.¿"All three were experts, and all three had conflicting views. I was reminded of Clarke's Second Law of Egodynamics: 'For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.'" - p. 159"Literature is claimed to be a mirror of the world but the Outlanders are fooling themselves. The BookWorld is as orderly as people in the RealWorld hope their own world to be -- it isn't a mirror, it's an aspiration." - p. 359
grizzle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed, as always, the self-referencing literary tricks that Fforde plays with the reader: mimefields, characters not knowing who is talking because of the lack of dialogue tags, and Ms. Malaprop's garbled speech among other things. I do tend to enjoy the Thursday Next books that are set more in the RealWorld, but I rooted for the literary Thursday as she overcame her lack of confidence, even while wanting to yell at her a bit.
birdsam0610 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to win this book in a competition run by Borders bookstore. I¿m glad that I won it, because I¿m not sure whether I would have liked this as much had I shelled out hard earned cash for it.This is the sixth book in the Thursday Next series and like the others, is told in first person by Thursday herself. But in this book, it¿s the second fictional Thursday telling the story, not the real Thursday Next, who has disappeared and not the first fictional Thursday Next, who was erased. This is the loving, gentle, hippy Thursday Next that failed Jurisfiction, unlike the real Thursday Next.Too many Thursdays in the above paragraph? This is a book whose plot could be difficult to grasp without reading the previous books. Let me try to summarise: in an alternate universe where cheese is illicit, everyone loves reading and the world is nearly completely controlled by the Goliath Corporation resides Thursday Next. An ex-SpecOps agent, she lives with her husband Landen (who was erased by Goliath temporarily) and children (one who is never seen but anyone besides Thursday). Thursday is also a Jurisfiction agent, meaning she has the ability to `jump¿ into books and solve crimes/issues in the BookWorld. But Thursday is missing from this book and fictional Thursday, a resident in the BookWorld (who acts out the Thursday Next books as you read them) tells this story. The story mainly takes place in the BookWorld and while this world is interesting, we¿ve heard about Netherfield Park and grammacytes in previous books. The `reworking¿ of the BookWorld wasn¿t really interesting and not particularly necessary. The overall plot is basic - that Thursday is looking for Thursday. In her travels, she meets the adorable Sprockett, her robot butler as well as interacts with many well-known fictional characters (e.g. The Lady of Shallott).This books moves a lot more slowly than the previous Thursday Next books (not the fault of fictional Thursday, she doesn¿t really have a detailed plot line to work with) and the conclusion is tied up oh-so-neatly. It lacks the witticisms and fiction in-jokes of the previous books. I think I¿ll wait for the reviews of Thursday Next #7 before I enter competitions to win it.
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe it's been too long, or maybe I was too hyped up, but I couldn't finish this newest installment of the Thursday Next series. It was just kind of blah and disappointing. Bummer.
lynneinfla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was so disappointed when it looked like Jasper Fforde had given up on Thursday Next in First Among Prequels. He had wrapped up all the final details and it certainly seemed like the end. So I was extremely delighted to find another book in the series, and it is Fforde's usual inventive self. The way he writes about Thursday without writing about Thursday is amazing. I hope there are more to come.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weird. But then it was always going to be. You really need to have read the previous books in the series before starting this one. There is a lot of oblique references to thinks that did and did not happen in the series beforehand. Thursday is missing. Fortunately there are other Thursdays around, some left over from the previous book, and a few new ones as well.None of these quite have the vitality of the 'real' Thursday, but each plays their part in Thursdays greater story. Events in the Bookworld are not that much more confusing than normal, despite the great Remaking, which has altered the geography from a vast library to that of an inverted sphere, the the genres now as islands within the TextSea - that eternal constant of the literary world. With a cross genre war looming over the disputed racy novel territories, cheese smuggling still rife, and political machinations between the Council of Genres and it's own police force Jurisfiction, poor written Thursday languishing in her now unread 'happy' series, is asked to investigate a crashed book. The book was in transit and fell apart over Aviation scattering graphemes along the way. Aided by her mechanical butler (everyone needs a butler) written Thursday starts to find some pieces of evidence that lead in surprising directions - well they would, this after all is fiction on the border between Fantasy and Adventure, close to the boundaries of Thriller. Does she have sufficient depth of character to piece together the clues, overcome the villains (there are always villains) separate the consequential from the random (how many random events happen in novels?) and find the real Thursday next, whilst discovering true love in the process? If none of the above makes any sense to you, you obviously don't remember the previous books well enough, go and read them again. If it does make some sense, but still seems a little confusing, then you're in the right place. Enjoy the book, and try and solve the mystery before the grand denouncement. It's inventive and wacky, set almost entirely in the (new) BookWorld. Mostly it makes enough sense to follow along, and although some favourite characters don't make an appearance, there are enough new ones to enjoy. I wasn't completely convinced by he written Thursday's character - she changes too much to be believable as the version the Real Thursday wanted her to be, but other than that the writing is as good as ever. The wackiness and inventiveness are dialed right up, and while lacking the social commentary that Goliath normally adds to the proceedings, it is still very enjoyable.A worthy continuation.
booklove2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First, I must comment on the cover. It is one of my favorites. And if you actually have a copy in your hand, you can see the best part: that the books that are about to fall on Thursday Next actually appear to have words written in ball point pen on the fore edges (the part of the book opposite the spine). The detail! Though I'm not exactly sure Thursday Next would wear that ensemble. Thursday is one of my favorite characters. She kind of reminds me of an older Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) if she had actually read any of those books in the Sunnydale school library (well, other than the demon reference books anyway). Not to mention Spike Stoker, who not only shares a name with Buffy's Spike and has blond hair but also battles the undead. Now to the writing: Could there BE a bad Thursday Next book? Jasper Fforde could write hundreds of these and they would still be amazing (and I do hope he does write many many more). These books are always my favorites. Everything here is so unique and creative, it is difficult to compare Jasper Fforde to any other writer. A lot of the characters are from your favorite classics. Even some writers are mentioned (ie: Zadie Smith and Kurt Vonnegut). If you are a "book person", you can not help but love these books about books. Even if you don't get one of the bookish jokes, the book has already moved onto the next joke. And you don't need to get all of the jokes anyway for this to be very fun and enjoyable. If you have ever picked up even one book in your life and liked it, you'll like the Thursday Next series. You'll just love it more with the more books you have read. Anyone can find things to love in these books, whether you love the humor or the characters or the mystery or the suspense. And that is putting it way too blandly for a Thursday Next book! Start with the first in series, The Eyre Affair, and make your way through them all, pronto!
lorax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in the previous Thursday Next book, First Among Sequels, so I was a little apprehensive about this one, thinking the series may have run out of steam. Fortunately my fears were groundless. This volume focuses not on the Thursday Next that we met in The Eyre Affair, but on her fictional, written counterpart, the star of the Thursday Next books -- which aren't, however, our Thursday Next books! The real Thursday has gone missing, shortly before she's due to participate in key peace talks between genres, and the written Thursday needs to find her.I enjoyed most of the new introductions in this entry; Sprockett, Thursday's clockwork butler rescued from an obscure vanity-published book, and the flat multitudes of Fanfiction Island were particularly amusing. I did find references to recent works jarring; Thursday's world is so different from our own that it strains credibility to suggest that it, too, has a tremendously popular Harry Potter series. (Still, the Potter references are brief and ignorable, and thus only a minor nuisance.)Overall I was quite pleased. Fforde seems to have ffound his ffooting again, and after my trepidation I'm once more looking forward to the next Next.
horomnizon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jasper Fforde just keeps writing stuff that I devour as soon as I can get my hands on it. This one is a little different as we're not following the real Thursday Next, but instead are thrown into the life of the written Thursday Next in BookWorld - or are we? Since nobody has seen the 'real' Thursday for a while, the 'written' one begins an investigation with the help of a new sidekick (an automaton called Sprockett) and some of Thursday's friends.For me, the addition of Sprockett was one of my favorite things. After all, everybody needs a butler who can make you a cocktail at a moment's notice. It turns out that this Thursday has almost as exciting a life as the real one....or maybe she is the real one and just doesn't know it? What I love about Fforde's writing is that although there is a mystery involved, I almost never figure it out - or at least not all of it. There are so many twists and turns and absurdities (oh, and red herrings) that it's difficult to know where he's going - but it's a fun ride getting there!If you haven't read the other books (or like me, it has been awhile since you read the others) you may feel a bit lost for the first couple chapters, but just go with it - or go back and read the others; they are enough fun to be worth it! His Thursday Next series is definitely more fun if you 'get' the literary/grammatical jokes.