The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next Series #3)

 The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde 

Well this was fun. I say that after every one, I know, but the whole series is a hoot. In this installment, Thursday is vacationing inside a cheesy novel called Caversham Heights, where she will replace a character off on a vacation of her own. Caversham Heights is in the Well of Lost Plots, the place where all unpublished books live and which is located on the 26 sublevels beneath The Library, where all published books are kept on its 26 levels (one for each letter of the alphabet). 

 Besides vacationing, Thursday will also be working with Jurisfiction, the organization responsible for keeping the peace and fighting crime in Book World. She's currently an apprentice Jurisfiction agent working toward her full licence. 

A run in with Aornis, the daughter of her now deceased arch enemy Archeron Hades, will find her fighting to retain any memory of her past life, including her (now eradicated) husband and the child she's carrying. But when her grandmother - always dressed head to toe in blue gingham -  unexpectedly shows up, Thursday will get the help she needs to rid herself of her enemy and regain her memories.

Additional challenges to a restful vacation will be a Mispeling Vyrus, a runaway Minotaur, a blackmarket for Plot Devices, Jurisfiction agents being targeted, Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights refusing to attend anger management, and a revolt by Nursery Rhyme characters. Tying it all together is the impending release of the new Story Operating System, UltraWord, which seems quite wonderful until Thursday begins to suspect it's creators may have a hidden agenda. 

There's a lot going on, perhaps a little too much for one book, as it begins to feel frantic at times. But there's so much pure entertainment in the way Fforde makes use of books and their characters that I enjoyed every word of it. It's the little (made up, of course) revelations about familiar characters and hilarious explanations of things that happened in various novels that are some of my favourite moments. His imagination is wild, and apparently endless. 

Oh, and we finally find out what happened to the puctuation in the last chapter of Ulysses. I didn't like Ulysses, but I love Fforde's explanation, and his attitude. 

ps - read these books in order because you'll be completely lost if you don't begin at the beginning.


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