Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

I read the fifth installment of the Thursday Next series at the beach immediately after finishing Something Rotten. Turns out it wasn't necessary; Thursday Next: First Among Sequels takes place some fourteen years after Something Rotten ends. Thursday and Landen are still together, but everything else has changed: Friday is now a sullen, lazy teenager who refuses to fill his destiny within the Chromaguard, they have had two other children (or have they?), Tuesday and Jenny, and SpecOps has been disbanded (or has it?), forcing Thursday to take a job laying carpets.

Over the course of the novel, Thursday must deal with the usual difficulties. The carpet-laying business is a front for the old SpecOps; however, since ReadRates have fallen dramatically, she spends the bulk of her time helping her friend Spike battle the undead, smuggling illegal cheese in from Wales, and, of course, working for Jurisfiction. The BookWorld has fallen on hard times due to the lack of readers, and Thursday must foil a number of desperate schemes by the Council of Genres, one of which seeks to turn Pride and Prejudice into a reality series while dealing with her fictional alter-egos: Thursday 1-4, a violent, power-crazed narcissist and Thursday 5, the softer, dirty hippie side of Thursdays. All of this, of course, she must hide from her family, who think she's a carpet layer.

All in all, I really enjoyed Thursday Next: First Among Sequels. Fforde manages to keep the characters and plots familiarly entertaining without becoming dull or formulaic. As always, I love the surreal silliness-- especially when exploding cheese is involved. 4 out of 5 stars.

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