Tag Archives: Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book – Review

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Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
Age: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Three months after Thursday’s Next’s adventures in the Eyre Affair, she is back for another round with Goliath industries. This time, she has to figure out a way to delve into Poe’s The Raven to rescue the Goliath agent she banished into the dismal poem in order to get her life back to normal and bring her husband back from eradication. With the help of various literary figures, Miss Havishamm and the Cheshire Cat, Thursday has to figure out a way to delve into literature without the prose portal and set things back in their proper order.

The Thursday Next series is one of the best books for literary nerds who love literary fiction. Although I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the Eyre Affair, I did have a few issues with the book. I think the biggest obstacle for me was the representation of Miss Havisham as anything other than doom-&-gloom matchmaker. It just didn’t sit write turning that character into a cartoon parody of herself. The plot and the writing overall is hilarious, especially for those with a soft spot for puns. Fforde has a huge imagination and he made no hints at reigning it in for this novel. Thursday is a strong character, full of spunk, insecurities, pride and morals.  Fforde also manages to cover some serious issues in a light way. Issues of cloning are apparent with the Neanderthal characters, fighting for their rights, despite being classified as something other than living, breathing beings. The ending of this novel sets itself up right away for the third installment of the Thursday Next series, Well of Lost Plots, one I can’t wait to start reading.

Lost in a Good Book
By Jasper Fforde
Viking, 2002
ISBN 0965752615
399 pages
 
Book 19 of 2011
 
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Find this book at your local library
Lost in a Good Book.
 
 

April Recap

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****The reviews for the children’s books can now be found at http://librarycrossing.wordpress.com/****

April has been incredibly slow reading month for me. Can you blame me though, I did get married in the middle of the month. Quite happily married at that. =)

I did manage to sneak in a new feature to the blog, Sunday Storytime. This is my opportunity to discuss different picture books, and how they can be incorporated into library storytimes along with fingerplays, feltboard stories and other similarly themed books.

Although pretty much  all of the book reviews for this month are picture books, I did spend a good portion of my time reading Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde.

Books:

1. Copy me, Copycub

2. book jacket

3. book jacket

4. Lost in a Good Book.

  1. Copy Me, Copycub by Richard Edwards
  2. Wake Up Kisses by Pamela Duncan Edwards
  3. Zookeeper Sue by Chris Demarest
  4. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

The Big Over Easy – Review

The Big Over Easy Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the Kings Horses and all the King’s Men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

The death of one Humperdink Stuyvesant van Dumpty is at the root of this literary mystery novel for detectives Jack Spratt and Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division. After a depressing acquittal of murder charges brought against the Little Pigs for the death of “Big Bad” Wolffe, Jack Spratt is in need of a major case to help boost his career before the NCD is disbanded and Spratt is out of a job. New to the force is Mary Mary, who has something of a crush on Friedland Chymes, Reading’s most popular detective. In the city of Reading, the story is often more important than the actual case, since publication counts of cases are used in the criteria of a successful agent. Chymes and Spratt have a large bit of rivalry going throughout the case.

The case of Humpty Dumpy starts innocently enough, with a simple investigation of a possible suicide. But as forensics and common sense start to get involved, Spratt and Mary realize there is more than meets the eye as turn of events keep getting more and more confusing with each progression and appearance of evidence. Spratt is dealt with more questions than answers and more opposition than support from his superiors.

Although I am a fan of Fforde’s writing style and his witty use of puns and blatant literary allusions (are they still allusions when they are so obvious?), this book was not as good as The Eyre Affair of the Thursday Next series. In this book, I felt that there was plenty of set-up for Chymes to be the evil cop, but that expectation fell through, and Chymes was just whiny and stayed on the side-lines for the majority of the novel. The storyline is amusing, although I wasn’t laughing out loud at each page as many other reviewers claimed to have done. I did find the ending(s) endearing, just because Jack Spratt is a really lovable character. I think Fforde is very gifted at taking a simple nursery rhyme and creating a whole world around four simple lines. Although his characters could have used more work, I think his plot was well paced and effective.

From a previous Weekly Geek, a few other bloggers asked me some questions about this book, so I’ll answer them now:

Christine over at She Reads Books asked: How did you like The Big Over Easy? In particular, what did you think of the ending (and ending, and ending, and ending…)?

I liked the continuous ending. I think Fforde was wise enough to cut it off after a certain point and I think he was able to neatly tie up all the loose ends. I think the multiple endings was a big character trait of Spratt as well and worked in his favor for drawing sympathy from the readers.

Tiny Library over at The Tiny Reading Room asked: Did you find you enjoyed The Big Over Easy? Did you think the book “worked?” My book club had mixed reactions to it.

I did enjoy the book for the most part. A few characters I think should have been either more developed or just cut out completely. I think Fforde had an outline and premise for this book went about it in a way pleasing and fun way (if you like puns…which I love).

FINAL GRADE: B

Find this book at your local library

Buy this book from Better World Books

Buy this book from Amazon

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The Big Over Easy
By Jasper Fforde
Hodder and Stoughton, 2005
ISBN 0340897104
398 pages

Weekly Geek #12

This week’s meme:

1. In your blog, list any books you’ve read but haven’t reviewed yet. If you’re all caught up on reviews, maybe you could try this with whatever book(s) you finish this week.

2. Ask your readers to ask you questions about any of the books they want. In your comments, not in their blogs. Most likely, people who will ask you questions will be people who have read one of the books or know something about it because they want to read it.

3. Later, take whichever questions you like from your comments and use them in a post about each book. I’ll probably turn mine into a sort of interview-review. Link to each blogger next to that blogger’s question(s).

4. Visit other Weekly Geeks and ask them some questions!

Autobiography of a FaceI am currently reading Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy.  Since I’m caught up on my reviews, I figure I can try a slight variation on this meme and just ask my readers which book I should read next! If you’ve read from the list below, let me know if you think I should read it next, or if you think I should just skip these 7 books completely and read something completely new! Thanks for playing along!

But here is my to-read pile.

1. The History of Love (Nicole Krauss)

2. The Hoax (Clifford Irving)

3. The Secret Life of Houdini (William Kalush and Larry Soloman)

4. Allensworth, The Freedom Colony (Alice C. Royal)

5. The Big Over Easy (Jasper Fforde)

6. Fly By Night (Frances Hardinge)

7. A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole)