First Among Sequels


First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

This 5th novel in the Thursday Next series picks up the story fourteen years after the end of book 4, Something Rotten. Thursday works for a carpet business now that SpecOps has been disbanded, at least that's what she tells her family. Her husband, Landon, is back after being "eradicated" for a few years and they now have three children: Friday, the surly 16 yr old son; Tuesday, the brilliant 13 yr old daughter; and Jenny, the 11yr old who never seems to be anyplace you'd expect her to be. 

The carpet business is really a front for Jurisfiction: "Jurisfiction is the name given to the policing agency within books. Working with the intelligence-gathering capabilities of Text Grand Central, the Prose Resource Operatives at Jurisfiction work tirelessly to maintain the continuity of the narrative within the pages of all the books ever written." Thursday is accompanied on her assignments in Book World by a trainee she's to evaluate for suitability as an agent, an awkward job due to the trainee being a version of herself, Thursday 5, the character in the 5th book of the series written about the original Thursday and her work (that's the fictional 5th book within Book World, not the real 5th book in our real world. Confused Intrigued yet?)

Thursday 1-4, all one character because she didn't change in any way through books 1-4, is wreaking havoc in Book World, imitating the real Thursday and using her authority to accomplish her own nefarious purposes. Meanwhile another situation needs Thursday's attention: someone is attempting to replace classic literature with tv reality shows. If successful, those books will disappear forever, and with the first show already in production, something has to be done to stop them fast.

Complicating her life and her work are an alarming drop in Real World readership rates, future versions of her son appearing regularly, trans-genre taxis that are never available when she needs one to get into a book, and a minotaur who wants...and kill her. Never a dull moment.     

These books have been classified as science ficiton, comedy, fantasy, absurdist fiction, and any number of other things. For me they're just a ton of fun. Jasper Fforde has built a unique, fantastic world, a total immersion experience. Nothing I tell you will prepare you for the glorious ridiculousness that is Book World. All I can say is pick one up, and jump in.


Post a Comment