Six Impossible Things

A Blog About Fiction and Reading

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels

SequelsThursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

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That the main character’s name is right there in the title tells you enough about Jasper Fforde’s most popular character: She can carry the franchise. That seems like a stupid thing to say (she is the franchise), but it’s indicative of how popular the series has become. I’m a little surprised that the books haven’t been optioned for film yet, but I suppose that’s coming….

I adore this series, and I was a little disheartened when I finished Something Rotten. It seemed to wrap the series up nicely, resolving all of the loose ends and giving the four-book series a satisfying ending. I wasn’t disheartened by the ending, just that I was going to miss the adventures of Thursday and SO 27. When Fforde began his Literary Crimes series, I figured Thursday was gone for good, so I was surprised to read at the end of The Fourth Bear that Thursday was returning (although I wondered just what, exactly, Fforde was going to do with her now).

So, First Among Sequels. Is it a worthy read, or just something to pad out the series some more? It’s hard to say. The plot is clever enough, with the self-referential bits and puns one would expect from Fforde by now, and if there’s anyone who can take a metaphor and make it flesh, he’s the man to do it. It’s entertaining, and silly, and just plain fun. So yes, the book is worth reading.

The book doesn’t quite have the shine and flavor that the previous series does, though. It’s hard to pin down the reasons I think so, but there were a number of coincidences and other moments that required a serious suspension of disbelief to feel like the book was a best effort on Fforde’s part. I know he can write brilliant, catchy novels, and to some degree, First Among Sequels is all that; on the other hand, it doesn’t quite match what he’s done with the previous books. But if you’re a fan (like me), then it probably won’t bother you too much.

So, I have mixed feelings, but all in all, even a mediocre Thursday Next book is better than a lot of the other fiction I read. If you haven’t yet had the chance to discover this character and series, find a copy of The Eyre Affair and have fun. I’ll just be in this corner over here, envying you the first experience with a brilliant story….

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August 6, 2007 - Posted by | Adult Fiction, Reviews

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