Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Literary detective Thursday Next is on a mission to save the world, but first she needs to figure out how to retrieve her husband, who has been erased from existence, and dodge the mysterious villain who is using entropic powers to try and bring Thursday's life to an early end.

It's been some time since I read Fforde's debut novel, "The Eyre Affair", and I'm glad that I finally remembered to pick up this sequel on a recent trip to the library. Fforde's style has been described as "decidedly quirky and strangely thought-provoking" and I'd say that is definitely an accurate assessment of "Lost in a Good Book". Protagonist Thursday Next lives in a sort of "alternate 1980s" where extinct species have been revived, the world is in the clutches of a megacorporation called Goliath, people can travel through time and, most importantly, people and characters can travel in and out of books. A whole bureaucratic system has been set up to detect literary infractions and forgeries, as stories in this world are fluid and changeable.

Like another "humorous" book I read recently, this book did not make me laugh out loud - I'd say that it is merely "clever and amusing", rather than truly funny - but there's a solid story behind the quirky premises in this book, and Thursday Next feels like a real, compelling heroine so it's easy to overlook the silly names and not-quite-funny attempts at social satire.

The next title in this series is waiting on my bookshelf!

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