Monday, April 20, 2009

The Well of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde

2004; 373 pages. The third book in the Thursday Next series. Genre : Literary Fantasy. Overall Rating : B+..

    With Spec-Ops, Goliath Corp., and Aornis Hades after her; and since she's with child and without her husband; Thursday decides to get into a book. Literally. It's a great place to hide. Caversham Heights is an atrocious yawner of a novel that no one in his right mind will ever read.
Of course, the peace and quiet is short-lived. Murder and mayhem are afoot, and Aornis implants a memory worm in Thursday's head, meaning all her recollections about her hubby Landen are fading fast.
What's To Like...
    98% of the book takes place in the literature world that Fforde's created. And what a world! The generics (minor characters initially without any character development) are cool. Grammasites run rampant, not to mention a 420-pound, 7'4" feral Minotaur. There's murders to be solved and lots of book-jumping.

.Splitting hairs over loose ends...
    Fforde manages to tie up most of the plotlines he creates in WOLP, but no progress is made on any of the loose ends carried over from the first two books of the series. Landen is still MIF (Missing In Fiction); Thursday's dad is still on the run, and her brother Anton's death promises to be a major topic at some point in the future. About all that's changed by the end of WOLP is that Thursday has trouble buttoning her pants.
The 923rd Annual Bookworld Awards ("Bookies")...
   The book culminates with this spoof of the Oscars. Dastardly deeds are laid bare, and the murderer is unmasked, but it's the awards that steal the show. Among the hundreds of Categories are : Most Implausible Plot in SF; Most Creepy Character in a Dickens Novel; Most Troubled Romantic Lead; Best Talking Cat; Most Incomprehensible Plot; The Shakespearean Character You'd Most Like to Slap; and Best Dead Person in Fiction. Hey, I'd certainly tune in to watch this Awards Ceremony.
.In summary, WOLP is good, but not great. The plot takes a while to get going, and the book has the overall feel of existing merely to set up the next one. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it, what with all its book-jumping and literary allusions. Perhaps the whole series will only appeal to a dyed-in-the-wool bibliophile.

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