Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Reviews: One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

I really hope that One of Our Thursdays is Missing isn't the last Thursday Next book. The end hasn't been formally announced, of course, but you never know (Dear Jasper Fforde-- please don't get hit by a bus). It seems that most of Fforde's other series (Shades of Grey, Dragonslayer, Nursery Crimes Division) have been trilogies, and the Thursday Next books are the ongoing exception. With each one that I read, the more I'd like to know about Thursday and her ongoing adventures.

The interesting thing about One of Our Thursdays is Missing is that Thursday is only in it for three pages. The protagonist is instead Fictional Thursday Next, or Thursday5 from Thursday Next: First Among Sequels. While she's come a long way from her super-crunchy, pacifistic days in the previous installment, she still suffers from a near-crippling passivity and is content to represent Thursday in the novels, occasionally moonlighting for a Jurisfiction subsidiary. Her quiet life is thrown into chaos when a red-headed stranger on the train informs her that the real Thursday has gone missing, and slips Real Thursday's Jurisfiction badge into her pocket, urging her to get to the bottom of it. Fictional Thursday embarks on a long, twisted journey through the BookWorld and RealWorld, searching desperately for her inspiration and trying to figure out why she went missing.

It was strange reading a Thursday Next book in which Thursday herself wasn't the protagonist and narrator, but I really enjoyed Fictional Thursday's alternate perspective and evolution as a character. It was also neat to get an outside perspective on Real Thursday's life and see just how important her presence in both the BookWorld and the RealWorld is. As always, Fforde's gift for comedy and absurdity shines through. 5 out of 5 stars.

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