I'm not really sure how I've gone so long without some Thursday Next in my life.
I want to be her
if when I grow up.
WHAT WAS WRITTEN
Fourteen years after she pegged out at the 1988 Superhoop, Thursday is again faced with a heap of problems in BookWorld. This time it's an obstinate assistant, the death of Sherlock Holmes, and the humor missing from the Thomas Hardy novels. The thing is - she's supposedly no longer working in BookWorld. Or at least that's what she's told her husband and business associates.
While she is busy dealing with these issues, back in Swindon the government is dealing with a growing stupidity surplus and the Goliath Corporation is somehow coming back into prominence. And on a personal level, Friday (Thursday's son) is refusing any interest in the ChronoGuard. HE would rather sleep the day away than follow his destiny (and Thursday should know what that is, as older Friday's have come to tell her so).
In this new iteration of the Thursday Next series Thursday will be confronted with a laundry list of problems. And in the end she will have to face down her most vicious and formidable enemy yet: herself.
WHAT MY BRAIN HAS TO SAY ON THE MATTER
This next installment of the Thursday Next series is fantastic. First Among Sequels is the first book of the second of her second four-book series and Jasper Fforde has navigated this new territory masterfully. It's fourteen years later and things are different. Friday has grown up to an angsty and emo teenager and has two younger sisters: one named Tuesday (who is both brilliant and full of sass - yes, I love her) and one named Jenny. SpecOps is no longer in existence - on the surface at least - and Thursday works at a carpet company. And on top of that the country's love of reading is plummeting.
I loved how Fforde tackled the can of worms he opened up by writing a novel about a world that exists inside novels: there must be an alternate Thursday who exists within BookWorld. And, surprise! There are more than one of them! It's kind of like taking a jump down the rabbit hole with Alice - there's no telling where you're going. I love how Fforde handled the interactions between the Thursdays and their story lines.
And then the interactions between Thursday and Jenny? They made my heart melt.
And then Harry Potter can't make an appearance at the Council of Genres because of copyright restrictions? It was hilarious and brilliant (and I love how Thursday5 is incredibly excited to meet him. So much to the point that she pulls out a notebook to get an autograph - it's adorable.)
This book is full of Fforde's classic wit and humor and his intense love of books. However, it takes a little while for the reader to get a foot hold on the story. The gap in time is a little hard to grasp at first, but once into the story it's out of your mind. True, this is not my favorite Thursday Next book so far, but I am excited to see where he will be taking the series from here.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Title: Thursday Next: First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5)
Author: Jasper Fforde
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction, SciFi
Medium: Paperback, 362pp
Publisher: Penguin Books (29 July 2008)
Date Read: 29 October 2013
Source: Purchased @ Barnes & Noble
Recommended For: High School +, Literary Nuts, Anyone
Challenges: Goodreads, Off the Shelf, TBR Pile Challenge,
First Line: The dangerously high level of the stupidity surplus was once again the lead story in The Owl that morning.
Favorite Line: Reading, I had learned, was as creative a process as writing, sometimes more so. When we read of the dying rays of the setting sun or the boom and swish of the incoming tide, we should reserve as much praise for ourselves as for the author. After all, the reader is doing all the work - the writer might have died long ago.
Last Line: "It's Thursday," I panted, running to get clear of the airship before it hit the ground, "and I think we've got a situation..." [whited out, for spoiler's sake]