One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love the humor, imagination, and authorial madness of the Thursday Next series, and this volume did not disappoint. The sidestep that is the premise - this story is told from the viewpoint of the fictional Thursday, the version of her that exists in the BookWorld after novels were written based on her life - is handled very well. I got a clear sense of this not-Thursday's personality, and her butler / sidekick, Sprockett, is also a delight.
I have only minor quibbles. I felt that the eventual resolution wasn't laid out clearly enough to be wholly satisfying when it came - it felt like a mystery where the writer had deliberately withheld a bit of information so the reader couldn't solve the problem. The other elements of the conclusion, however, were fulfilling enough to balance this out, and an entirely appropriate end for written-Thursday's character arc.
The other problem I had has been an ongoing one: I'm never quite convinced by Landen, Thursday's husband. He seems one-dimensional to me, existing only to be a supportive ideal. It's actually a little more appropriate here, considering that written-Thursday lost "her" Landen, so he is an unattainable dream ... but the character still bothers me, and it's hard to invest in her desires when he feels flat.
Jasper Fforde has a rare ability to make complete nonsense feel cohesive and internally consistent. You know, logically, that there's no way the BookWorld makes sense, but any attempts to pick it apart end in throwing up your hands and going along for the ride. Relax and enjoy it.
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