Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

Did you know that one of Jasper Fforde’s top five books is none other than…Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome? Oh, heart of my heart! So bear in mind that, not only do I adore his Thursday Next books…and the Nursery Crime books (oh, Ashley, you are the cutest alien ever!), but I am perhaps a little biased toward the author himself…

If you haven’t read the Thursday Next books, do not start with this one. I have read all of the Thursday Next books and I was a little confused at first. I forgot that certain people were back and, as it’s set fourteen years since the last one (a 50-something Thursday Next? Crazy!), there are some people who are gone now. I did a few double takes, but I got over it. BUT what I was saying was, if you haven’t read the Thursday Next books…what are you waiting for?! Claire, you’ve got my back here, right? Right.

So this one is just really more of the same, which I know should be getting old, but I will never EVER tire of the idea that fiction is real and so is time travel and there are things like a stupidity surplus and there are dodos who go ‘plock!’ and have dodo cozies knit for them (!). NEVER! I did get start to get worried as I neared the end that Jasper wouldn’t be able to wrap up all the plots – in fact, if there is one teensy little problem with this book (okay, there’s another, but I’ll get there in a minute), it’s that there are WAY too many plots going on. But I will tell you now not to worry about it, Jasper has got it covered…well, actually, the next book will have it covered, but still. It’s covered. And, as a bonus, we are guaranteed another Thursday Next book.

The other teensy problem (Claire, you won’t be happy about it…) is that there are a few…illustrations in here. My main problem was that, after not having illustrations for so long, I had a very set picture of what Thursday looked like and, well, her illustrated version of herself does not match that. Also, it’s not really in a style that I like very much (Claire, we’ll have to compare and see if the same illustrator is doing all the versions – yours may be better…). There’s even a two-page spread near the end where the illustration replaces the text, which…was a little jarring. I flipped back and forth a couple of times before I realised that it was intentional. I don’t know – I just don’t think it’s that necessary. I do like the drawings for the little adverts for things like ‘Toast’ or ‘Join the Chronoguard’ that are usually at the end, but those are of a different style than the ones that are part of the text.

But don’t let it dissuade you (Claire, I’m looking at you!) – Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series is still going strong, although I have to admit, I’m kind of hoping that he’ll go back to the Nursery Crime folks (Ashley!) before the next Thursday Next book. I hope that’s not sacrilege…

My rating: B+

One thought on “Fiction

  1. Anne!

    a) Totally got your back. If you’re a fan of books (ie literature), this is for YOU!

    b) Oh the illustrations! It frustrated me so much that I never made it all the way through Nursery Crimes… I don’t see the point either, and agreed, it is a little jarring. Maybe we can start a petition for all jasper fforde books to be illustration free?? Agreed on the little adverts – they’re funny! I even have the SpecOps and Jurisfiction t-shirts (yes, total nerd!).

    c) oh it won’t dissuade me, I’ll just get my dad to cover up all the dorky illustrations before I get home and have a chance to read it.

    And, what is with the changing of the covers? Ok, I have a serious problem with that…the first book came out with a cool bright coloured cover and small cartoony character. Books 2 and 3 came out with the same style of covers, but larger (ok, I can deal with them not being the same size), but then in the 4th book, when the illustrations started showing up, bam! the covers changed too, to dorky illustrated covers! Ah! I was MORTIFIED, to say the least!! EXTREMELY MORTIFIED may be a better example of how MORTIFIED I was at this chop-and-change cover attitude. They look NO WAY as good on my bookshelf now…so disappointing. Another petition maybe? I’ll be interested to see what the Australian cover for this book looks like…if it’s like the American one, I can cope. If it’s the dorky illustrated cover…I don’t know what I’ll do!!

    End of rant.


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