Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde is the author of a series of dazzlingly silly and imaginative alternate universe/adventure/detective stories, including The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, and Something Rotten. The heroine of the series is Thursday Next, a "SpecOps" operative who spends her days investigating crimes against literature. Fforde's books take place in a world where people regard books with rabid enthusiasm--kids swap famous author trading cards, there are soliloquy-spouting vending machines, and fans of Kit Marlowe go door-to-door peddling the theory that he was the true author of Shakespeare's plays. Thursday eventually becomes an important figure in the BookWorld as well, policing literature as a member of Jurisfiction. Full of Dickensian names, Lewis Carroll-style absurdities, and Douglas Adams-y humor, this series is like porn for lit geeks.

Note: While plenty of Fforde's jokes are obvious (i.e., one of Thursday's enemies from the first book is named "Jack Schitt"), it's well worth looking up some of the more obscure references, as when Thursday's time-traveling father introduces bananas to the world--an invention that he thoughtfully names after Ann Bannon, the author of a series of lesbian pulp novels from the '50s and '60s. (Hee! Okay, I'm twelve....)

Note #2: Fforde's website is well worth a visit. You can take a "How Hamlet-y Are You?" quiz, check out the Seven Wonders of Swindon, or head over to Thursday's site to see blurred pictures of her leaning against her (disfigured) car. Good times.



Other Recommendations:
Anything by Douglas Adams

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

http://www.jasperfforde.com/ -
Posted by: Julia


07 Dec, 2005 02:39 PM @ version 0

I recently read the Eyre Affair and have to say I liked it quite well. I'm sure most of the literary references went right over my head, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the off-beat world where almost everyone has a dodo, it's possible to travel through time, and you can literally jump into a good book. It's also a place where literature is taken VERY seriously.

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