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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
"Umberto Eco meets Harry Potter," is the way Randolph, one of our Discover readers, described this imaginative first novel. The two may be an unlikely pair, but in many ways they serve up an apt description of this highly original work, which examines what might happen if the barriers between fiction and reality disappeared and made it possible to share, or even alter, an important moment in classic literary history.
In Jasper Fforde's hilarious romp through time and space, heroine Thursday Next -- an agent with the secretive Special Operations Network, Literary Detective Division -- is sent to investigate the theft of Dickens's original manuscript for Martin Chuzzlewit by a diabolical archvillain. What really happened to the elusive character Mr. Quaverly in Dickens's book? Or for that matter, to the drunken tinker Christopher Sly from Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew? Why do these characters appear once, only to play no further role in the stories? Is it possible that their disappearances were not the result of innocent editorial decisions by Dickens and Shakespeare but were instead due to devilish doings? Thursday's resolute pursuit of literary truth and justice takes her and an extended cast of ingenious characters on a convoluted historical caper, including a wild and crazy performance of Richard III that takes many of its theatrical cues from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Fforde's first fiction foray will delight a broad spectrum of intrepid readers, including aficionados of science fiction, history, British humor, and classic literature alike. (Winter 2002 Selection)