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Thread: Jasper Fforde and the Thursday Next novels

  1. #1
    Squared
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    Jasper Fforde and the Thursday Next novels

    Of all the threads I have started, this is maybe the least likely to actually take off - but fuck it, I want to try.

    Has anyone read any of the Thursday Next novels, either in the first or the second series?

    If not, they might be worth looking up if you're into reading a lot and like things that are a bit playful. They're alternate history fantasy novels that draw heavily on metafiction and the classics of the English literary canon, and they are full of puns and playing with language.

    Quick summary of the plot of the first novel, The Eyre Affair for the uninitiated: against the backdrop of a Crimean War that has waged for over a century, the main character Thursday Next chases a supervillain, into the pages of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

    I didn't love the first novel but stuck with the series and fell in love with it reading the second novel, called aptly enough Lost in a Good Book.


    They're going to be an acquired taste but if this sounds like it might be your kind of thing, I'd recommend checking them out.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    Does sound a bit interesting! I've got a soft spot for alternate history stuff, especially if it incorporates fiction. That's part of why I love the LXG series so much, as Alan Moore essentially incorporates every piece of fiction he can feasibly adapt together into one universe. I've also got Anno Dracula on my shelf, which has a somewhat similar premise I believe. Thursday Next, eh? I may have to look into that!

  3. #3
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    Yeah definitely take a look. If some of the British references (I am thinking of Swindon here but there may be more) prove impenetrable then I'd be happy to provide context. But they are a lot of fun. Very playful and dont take themselves too seriously.

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Swindon is quite impenetrable to my American brain on first sight, that's for sure!

  5. #5
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    I don't think they'll hamper your enjoyment to be honest, but if they do, then they are easily explained. As I've mentioned it, Swindon is a town, with a reputation for being a bit crap and boring. It's on a motorway and major railway line, so it's the kind of place that you live not because you really want to live there but because it allows you to work in all manner of other places and have good road links.

    The world that this has set in has reoriented things around Swindon, as much to make it unfamiliar and unrecognisable as anything - but it's also something of an in-joke, because it has that reputation, so making Swindon the centre of the world is quite funny when you know something about the place.

    There may be other in-jokes like that which escape me at the moment. Honestly, I don't think it'd stop anyone getting something from the books. But if they did, I'll translate.

  6. #6
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    I didn't read the ones you are talking about but I read his shades of grey. About a society divided based on what colours you can see

  7. #7
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    I have heard of that but don't know it really. I heard it was meant to be a series but they've not published anything else as yet.

    I have recently read The Big Over Easy. It's a crime novel set in the same world as the Thursday Next stuff, and so there are nursery rhyme characters running around. The whole thing is based on the murder of humpty dumpty. It's pretty fun.

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