Monday, April 21, 2014

The Literate Reader's Fun Fantasy Series: Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde

"Whoever controls metaphor controls fiction."

The Peace Talks are coming up and Thursday Next is missing. Thursday Next works for Jurisfiction, keeping BookWorld in order for readers everywhere. The peace talks with Racy Novel will prevent an all out genre war. Thursday was to head the talks. Is she dead, or lost in BookWorld, or hiding out in the OutWorld? Even her husband Landen Parke-Laine does not know where she is.

The written Thursday from BookWorld is drafted to take her place. Of course the written Thursday does not know everything the OutWorld Thursday knows, so she will pretend that irritable vowel disease prevents her from talking.

Thursday (written) saves the life of a robot named Sprocket. "We tick, therefore we are," he tells her. He helps her evade the notorious Men in Plaid who are out to kills her.( It's Tartan, they will testily correct.) A car chase to evade the Men in Plaid lands Thursday (written) and Sprocket in a dangerous mime field. Luckily they find a way to evade the Mimes.

We gain an inside understanding of the interaction between readers and characters. "Harry Potter was seriously pissed off that he'd have to spend the rest of his life looking like Daniel Radcliff."

You would not believe the crimes committed in BookWorld. In "One Of Our Thursdays is Missing" we learn about the met labs turning out illegal metaphor. And cheese smuggling is endemic. The stinkier the cheese the high the street price.

To BookWorld denizens the OutWorld can break a character down in minutes. Thursday (written) is sent there for 12 hours to find the missing Thursday (real).

"Is it as bad as they say it is?"

"I've heard it's worse. Here in the BookWorld we say what needs to be said for the story to proceed. Out there? Well, you can discount at least eighty percent of chat as just meaningless drivel."

Written Thursday Next can't find Thursday Next. She suffers an identity crisis: could she BE the real deal? As she tries to solve the mystery of the missing Next she travels through the far reaches of literature, into Vanity, Fan Fiction, and Racy Novel itself. She discovers a dirty bomb, that is, a loosely bound coil of badly described scenes of a sexual nature. Had it gone off smut would show up higgily-piggily in literature everywhere!

I have been reading Thursday Next novels every since I saw them advertised in my son's Science Fiction Book Club brochure way back when he was a kid. British novelist Jasper Fforde has written five in the series: The Well of Lost Plots; Lost in a Good Book; Something Rotten; Thursday Next: First Among Sequels; and One of Our Thursdays is Missing.

The BookWorld is full of great wisdom.  Such as the Law of Egodynamics: "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert." That is SO true!

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