Author: Jasper Fforde
Thursday Next Series, vol. 5
At first glance, Thursday Next appears to be your average working wife and mother of three. Once you go past the cover of her nice little job installing carpet (has she ever actually installed carpet?) however, you find a much different story. Ms. Next is actually a Jurisfiction agent, policing the world of books and making sure that stories run as they’re supposed to. Which is a lot more complicated than it sounds, since the Book World is an actual world . . . that operates with its own completely unique and confusing set of rules. And if just keeping Story in order weren’t enough, Thursday is tasked to train up her fictional other self Thursday5 for Jurisfiction work, keep the governing body of the Book World (the Council of Genres) from doing something stupid like going to war or re-writing the classics as a reality show, convince her teenage son Friday to join the Chrono Guard and figure out time travel before time ends . . . oh, and keep the whole Jurisfiction thing a secret from her husband. Wait, I think I forgot something. . . .
I enjoyed Thursday Next: First Among Sequels very much–it’s a book-lover’s book to be sure! Of course, Jasper Fforde is a wonderful author, period. Even though I accidentally jumped into the series in volume 5, it wasn’t too particularly difficult to jump into the flow and figure out what’s happening. And there is a lot happening! The story is a mix-up of detective/police novel, literary fantasy/sci-fi, time-travel paradox, and fun family story, and Fforde pulls off the mix brilliantly–somehow without being absurdly confusing. I’ve really never read anything like it. The literary allusions, grammar humor, and general bookishness are very endearing–and incredibly funny at times. Thursday herself is a wonderful character: smart, caring, tough, insightful, and surprising. You should read First Among Sequels; I really can’t see anyone who loves books regretting diving into this one.