Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde

>> Friday, October 07, 2005

Lost in a Good Book is book # 2 in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series.

The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with Jasper Fforde’s magnificent second adventure starring the resourceful, fearless literary sleuth Thursday Next. When Landen, the love of her life, is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction—the police force inside books.

She is apprenticed to the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens’s Great Expectations, who grudgingly shows Thursday the ropes. And she gains just enough skill to get herself in a real mess entering the pages of Poe’s "The Raven." What she really wants is to get Landen back. But this latest mission is not without further complications. Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth.
I really liked the first book in the series, The Eyre Affair, but my main criticism, the only reason I didn't absolutely and positively love it, was that there just wasn't much heart in the story. It felt like it was all basically an excuse for the (wonderful) world-building, but not substantial enough in its own right.

Lost in a Good Book, however, has plenty of heart. We have the same level of brilliant world-building, full of all kinds of references and in-jokes. Of course, some of those I didn't catch at all, but I caught enough that I was laughing out loud most of the book.

But apart from this, there was much more emotion here, mostly based on Thursday having to deal with the fact that Goliath has made her husband, Landon, disappear from everywhere but her memories. This made LIAGB better than TEA, IMO.

Apart from these aspects, I loved the twists and turns from the plot. The entropy thing was just brilliant, and I loved what Fforde did with the plot about the pink sludge which would take over the world.

The only thing I didn't love about this one was just that there's too much left unsolved at the end. Luckily, I have the next book (The Well of Lost Plots) ready to start, otherwise I would have been truly pissed!

Final note: For those of you who, like me, aren't well read enough to catch every single reference, but would like to be able to do so, here are a few links. Fforde's website really is chock-full of fascinating stuff!

Guide for readers: The Eyre Affair
Guide for readers: Lost in a Good Book
Guide for readers: Well of Lost Plots

Edited to say: I forgot my grade! It's a B+.


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