Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “jasper fforde”

TylerDFC #CBR4 Review 22 #One of Our Thursdays is Missing by #Jasper Fforde

NOTE: This is the 6th Thursday Next novel. If you are new to this brilliant fantasy series, start with The Eyre Affair. This review is for readers that have been introduced to the series because it would take literally pages to explain what the hell is going on to newbies.

One of Our Thursday is Missing continues the story begun in First Among Sequels. The Bookworld is on the brink of war with skirmishes increasing between the Feminist and Racy genres. Speedy Muffler, the head of Racy, is purported to have a dirty bomb that could infect the surrounding genres with an uncontainable amount of explicit descriptions and lewd metaphors. Mere days before a crucial peace summit, Jurisfiction agent Thursday Next has gone missing and presumed dead. Now it’s up to the written Thursday Next to discover the truth behind the “real” Thursday’s disappearance and save the day.

For the first time the series is not written from the real Thursday’s perspective but from her written counterpart. This makes the 6th installment feel fresh while introducing some brilliant meta-commentary on the relationship between writer and their creations. The thing I’ve always loved about the Thursday Next series is how interactive the books are. Jasper Fforde is a book lover and his books are for the like minded. Clever jokes, puns, wordplay, and even brainteasers fill the book from beginning to end. Other than a quick jaunt into the real world the action this time is almost entirely confined to the Bookworld. We are there for every step of written Thursday’s investigation with the reader sharing Thursday’s bafflement trying to figure out what is really going on. While there are a great many mysteries, the one at the center of the novel, “Where is Thursday Next?” is the biggest one written Thursday has to solve. Without spoiling it, in true Thursday Next fashion, the answer to the puzzle is hidden in the themes of the novel itself. Personally I found the solution immensely satisfying, especially how it deconstructs every theory the reader has had throughout the novel while lampooning the genre in question.

Highly recommended.

ambern’s #CBR4 Review #4 The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

I couldn’t help it; I had to get the sequel.  This is the second book in the Dragonslayer series and is just as much fun.  There are slight spoilers ahead for those that haven’t read the first book.

Jennifer is still working at Kazam’s, which has become much busier since magic had its resurgence, but still has its problems.  The biggest being King Snodd and his official sorcerer the Amazing Blix.  These two have realized the untapped financial possibilities that magic presents and only need to get rid of Kazam and its sorcerers to do it.  Blix challenges Kazam to a bridge-rebuilding contest for control over the magical houses and he makes sure to incapacitate all but one of Kazam’s wizards to ensure his victory.  Jennifer has to do all she can to win this contest and defeat the greedy and shortsighted King.

This chapter in the Dragonslayer series is just as ridiculous and entertaining as the first one, but I expect nothing less from Fforde.  I wish that I had an imagination as large as his.  But I am perfectly content being a rabid fan and cannot wait for the final part of the series.

ambern’s #CBR4 Review #3 The Last Dragon Slayer by Jasper Fforde

I love Jasper Fforde.  A few years ago I saw a review of The Eyre Affair on Cannonball Read, the plot intrigued me so I picked it up and have been a little obsessed with his books ever since.  He has a way of weaving crazy ideas, British idiosyncrasies, and literary humor in a way that reminds me a lot of Douglas Adams.  So, already finished with his other books, I patiently awaited the US release of The last Dragonslayer, Fforde’s first attempt at young adult fiction.  And I waited.  And waited.  It got to the point where I couldn’t wait anymore.  The sequel was already out in England and we didn’t even have the first one here!  So I gave up and ordered it elsewhere, even though I hadn’t read it yet.  I don’t do this often anymore because I’m trying really hard not to hoard books, but I don’t regret this purchase at all.  The Last Dragonslayer may not be as dear to me as the Thursday Next series but I really enjoyed it and anxiously await the next entries.

Jennifer Strange is almost 16, a foundling, and the acting manager of Kazam’s since the disappearance of her boss.  It’s a lot of responsibility to put on a young person’s shoulders but she is much more mature than most, especially the sorcerers that she has to deal with.  Early on she receives another foundling to help her at Kazam’s, a long-held tradition.  These kids come to assist the sorcerers with anything they need, working as indentured servants for nine years.  This used to be a more prestigious job before magic started to wane.  In magic’s heyday, sorcerers were well respected and able to move buildings at a whim.  It now takes several magicians to finish a plumbing job.

Sorcerers had been under suspicion for years, resulting in high regulations for any amount of magic used, and lots of paper work.  These regulations coupled with waning magic made the magical arts a quickly fading idea and relegated sorcerers to household repair jobs and car towing to make ends meet.  One day a strong prophecy comes that says the last dragon will die.  More people start to feel magic, not surprising considering the supposed link between magic and dragons.  Jennifer is prophesized as this final dragonslayer and though she has no interest in killing a dragon, she gets more and more pressure from fate, royalty, and marketing opportunities to fulfill the prophecy.

As I said, I enjoyed this book a lot; it was definitely geared towards a younger audience than his other books, making it easier to follow and a lot easier to explain to others.  It is an interesting story that I feel only someone like Fforde could come up with; he’s just that weird.  I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in fantasy and a sense of humor.

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #33: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Title: The Eyre Affair
Author: Jasper Fforde
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary:  There aren’t many books out there which remind me of Catch-22 or Douglas Adam’s novels, but this is one of them and it’s hilarious.  Witty, fun, a great plot, and a happy ending – I loved it.

In The Eyre Affair, in an alternate reality London, Thursday Next works for a special operatives group devoted to literary crimes.  Theft, forgery, and violence related to great literary works is becoming more common in a world including a cult devoted to proving Francis Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare and kids playing collectible card games based on obscure authors. And things are only going to get more exciting as the evil-for-evil’s-sake Acheron Hades begins kidnapping fictional characters from original works, threatening to re-write the classics if Thursday doesn’t stop him.

Read more here…

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