Review: The Well of Lost Plots

Jasper Fforde is either a genius or he’s outright insane!  No one writes novels like the Well of Lost Plots, and up until now I actually thought there were some decent reasons why that was the case.  This is an incredibly funny novel, but to get a lot of the jokes you have to have some familiarity with advanced ruled of grammar as well as most of the Western literary canon.  On top of which this can roughly be described as a comedic science-fantasy detective novel and you’ve got a hard sell for any publisher.

And yet here we are, with one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever come across.  This is the third adventure of Jurisfiction agent Thursday Next.  Thursday is a detective from the real world who has been dragged into the book world where she becomes an aprentice (to Miss Havisham from Great Expectations) protector of fiction.  After the events of the prior novel Thursday is hiding out within an unpublished novel and preparing for the birth of her first child (conceived with her now non-existant husband).  But she’s unable to lay low while finishing off her apprenticeship, investigating the deaths of some of her co-workers, getting ready for the annual book-world awards, learning about the new 32 plot book operating system, and helping to rewrite her newfound home into something publishable.

The book is a bit chaotic from all that’s going on, not to mention Fforde’s willingness to throw absolutely anything into a book (including cloned dodo birds, gorillas in coco channel gowns, and MANY Waiting for Godot jokes).  However, Fforde somehow manages to make it all work, creating a witty and often brilliant love letter to everything that makes reading great.

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