Thursday, November 17, 2011

One of Our Thursdays is Missing (SF Book)

A Missing Thursday. An Understudy. Malapropism. Cog-based Life Forms. Men in Plaid. An Unrepeatable Accident. Metaphor. Compassion. An Imaginary Daughter.

After finishing One of Our Thursdays is Missing, I feel like a little kid who has just finished running down a hill with her arms wide opened. You definitely need your sneakers tied to read this book. It is wild and wonderful. Jasper Fforde is an amazing world builder and creates some fun characters. Most of the story takes place in the Bookworld, which has been recreated as a geographical place; the book even comes with a map. How can such an odd story seem so real? [Fforde describes the series as being on the speculative side of Fantasy.] This is the sixth book in the Thursday Next series, so don’t even try to read this before reading the other books.

Briefly, One of Our Thursdays is Missing is narrated by book Thursday, the granola munching Thursday from First Among Sequels. She gains an understudy, allowing her to take a break from her usual responsibilities. Early on, she begins to suspect that the real Thursday Next is missing and explores that possibility. Book Thursday is also given the task of investigating an accident in the Bookworld, but realizes that she has been chosen because of her incompetence. Along the way, she acquires a sidekick, Sprockett, a cog-based life-form. Near the end of the book, she visits the Outland, the real world, in hopes of finding clues to what happened to the real Thursday.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing is not as laugh-out-loud funny as some of the earlier books, yet in some ways it is one of the better books in the series. It is very visual. Even though I was reading, I felt that I was watching a fun movie. I especially liked Sprockett, with his emotion indicator. The action scenes are madcap and imaginative. Fforde’s description of the remake of the Bookworld is ingenious and also expanded my knowledge of fiction and of book genres. The ending felt right. This is another novel for those of us who love books but who also have a silly side that too seldom is let out to play.

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