NESFA Members' Reviews

Lost in a Good Book

by Jasper Fforde

Viking, 2003 [2002], ISBN 0-965-75261-

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

This is the second of the Thursday Next adventures. While I enjoyed the first one, The Eyre Affair, and even though, or perhaps because, Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, I wasn't blown away by it to the same extent that oth ers seem to have been. I was perfectly happy to pick up this second book, but I did so hoping that the tiresome features of the first, including the pointless bathroom humor of many of the names, would not overwhelm a thin story in an alternate world that really doesn't stand up to any examination at all.

In fact, though, while all the background problems are there--the alternate world isn't believable, the names are tiresome--the story and the characters this time felt far more fleshed-out and involving, as Thursday spends frustrating and disjointed time with her not-quite-live father, seeks to recover her no-longer-quite-live husband, and gets recruited into the between-the-covers service that polices the behavior of fictional characters. It's strengthened by numerous little episodes and moments that add depth to this improbable world without changing its nature one bit. Thursday's own trial inside Kafka's The Trial, for the crime of having interfered with the ending of Jane Eyre is almost worth the price of admission by itself, and the Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat, previously the Cheshire Cat, is a grumpy delight.

An excellent read.

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