Review: Lost In a Good Book

My God is there a lot going on in this book! Jasper Fforde’s second Thursday Next novel picks up immediately from the Eyrie Affair, but does a pretty good job of filling people in on the story if they missed the first book.  But man does it hit the ground running.

Literature Detective Thursday starts off the book fighting her way through PR opportunities mandated by her department after her Jane Eyre adventure, then her life quickly falls apart.  Her husband is murdered as an infant by a rogue timecop, she gets blackmailed into rescuing an enemy from the pages of the Raven, someone is out to murder her through a coincidence-generating weapon, and all life on Earth is about to be turned into some sort of pink goo in a few days time.  Meanwhile she also has to investigate a lost Shakespeare play that’s been turned into a political hot potato thanks to an M.P. with a mad on for Wales, she begins her training as a jurisfiction agent under the guidance of Miss Havisham (from Great Expectations), her pet dodo has laid an egg, and as always the Crimean war is still going on.

I think it’s a miracle that the book holds together as well as it does given the sheer number of plotlines.  It’s also just incredible that Fforde is able to create a world with so many bizarre elements to it that still comes off feeling coherent.  It’s fun, it’s very clever (Miss Havisham’s obsession with car’s with large engines is brilliant), but it doesn’t quite work on its own.  

Fforde lets the book get a little away from him as very few of the plotlines reach any sort of satisfactory conclusion in the book.  On the other hand it definitely leaves you wanting to read the next book, the Well of Lost Plots.

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