10 July 2011

Books: The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (2003)

In the third Thursday Next novel, we see that our favorite LiraTech –still longing for her eradicated husband, all while being pursued by Hades sister, Aornis - is taking a much-needed vacation inside Caversham Heights, a never-published detective novel inside the Well of Lost Plots. It is also a good place to be while waiting for her child to be born. As a cover, she must pretend to be the character she is replacing. In the book, she encounters two Generics, students of St Tabularasa's, who have yet to be assigned to a book, and DCI Jack Spratt, a detective who partners with her in investigating a murder. Stil under the apprenticeship with Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, Thursday continues her struggle Yorrick Kaine - a fictional character (from Lost in a Good Book) - loose in real world, but another person from the real world has entered the BookWorld and is working with Kaine that could destroy the entire Well of Lost Plots.

While perhaps the weakest of the three so far, the book is still a fairly brilliant parody of book publishing, about reading and writing. It also takes a swipe at readers who seem to enjoy reading the same formulaic plot over and over again (the “works” of James Patterson come to mind, along with every romance novel ever written). And like the first two, Fforde leaves a lot of character development out, with the exception of Thursday of course, in favor of clever puns, bad jokes and silly humor. And as any longtime reader would enjoy, the idea of interacting with the characters of your favorite books is an altogether brilliant idea.

Its Fforde’s unrelenting creativity that drives these books, and I look forward to see what is up his sleeve, hoping that the novels don’t get as formulaic as he makes fun of in this volume.

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