Normally I like to read a series in order. When it happens that I don’t, (i.e., the Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes), I’m often pleasantly surprised at reading the next (or the first) book in the series and having ‘aha!’ moments of figuring out why things happened the way they did in the book I did read.
I’d heard about the Thursday Next series for awhile before I bought the first in the series and added it to my TBR pile. The concept of the books appealed to me – characters in the books come alive and deal with ‘BookWorld’ issues. So when I was offered an opportunity to review the sixth book, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, I thought it was the chance to get down to reading them. It turns out my first foray into Jasper Fforde’s BookWorld was a fascinating journey that I’m so pleased I took.
Thursday Next (the written Thursday) is a wonderfully unassuming character. With just the right amount of self-deprecation, she leads the reader (in more ways than one and no pun intended) through the search for the missing Thursday referred to in the title. How she deals with other characters and situations is some of the most entertaining reading I’ve done in awhile. This book has loads of humour, double-entendres, numerous plays on words, and very cleverly written passages. From page 130:
I’m Captain Phantastic, by the way, but you can call me ‘the Captain.’ You and I haven’t met, but the real Thursday and I go back a ways - even partnered together during the whole sorry issue surrounding The Cat I the Hat III-Revenge of the Things. Did you hear about it?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t.”
“No matter.” And he sniffed at me delicately for a moment with his trunk.
“Do you have a chicken living in your house?”
“Would that be Lorina?”
“We call her Pickwick these days, but yes.”
“Tell her Captain Phantastic is still waiting for that date she promised.”
I wasn’t aware that Pickwick dated elephants - or anyone, come to that.
“Did she promise you recently?”
“Eighty-six years, three months, and two days ago. Would you like me to relate the conversation? I can do it word for word.”
There are many passages like this - some amusing and witty, always very unexpected and highly imaginative. This book is funny, whimsical and a pure joy to read. I highly recommend it.