First Among Sequels (Thursday Next Series #5)

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Overview


The fifth installment in Jasper Fforde’s New York Times bestselling series follows literary detective Thursday Next on another adventure in her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England

Jasper Fforde has thrilled readers everywhere with his gloriously outlandish novels in the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series. And with another genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainmentis Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, Fforde’s famous ...

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First Among Sequels (Thursday Next Series #5)

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Overview


The fifth installment in Jasper Fforde’s New York Times bestselling series follows literary detective Thursday Next on another adventure in her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England

Jasper Fforde has thrilled readers everywhere with his gloriously outlandish novels in the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series. And with another genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainmentis Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, Fforde’s famous literary detective is once again ready to make the world safe for fiction. Thursday Next is grappling with a host of problems in BookWorld: a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes, and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once- hilarious Thomas Hardy novels, to name just a few—all while captaining the ship Moral Dilemma and facing down her most vicious enemy yet: herself. Thursday’s zany investigations continue with Our Thursdays is Missing. Look for the five other bestselling Thursday Next novels, including Jasper Fforde’s latest bestseller, The Woman Who Died A Lot. Visit jasperfforde.com for a ffull window into the Ffordian world!

Watch a Windows Media trailer for this book.

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Editorial Reviews

John Freeman
What keeps this series humming is Fforde's lively engagement with books and the indefatigable woman he's created to defend them.
People
USA Today
Richly crammed with jokes, ideas, and action. Brainier silliness is hard to find.
Janet Maslin
Playful . . . It's not hard to see what this enthusiasm is about. . . . It's easy to be delighted by a writer who loves books so madly.
The New York Times
Michael Dirda
The BookWorld seems to have encouraged Fforde's rogue imagination to escape all fetters and really go wild.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Full of bizarre subplots, many of which don't go anywhere, bestseller Fforde's fifth novel to feature intrepid literary detective Thursday Next (after 2004's Something Rotten) blends elements of mystery, campy science fiction and screwball fantasy à la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. With the Stupidity Surplus reaching dangerously high levels all over England, Acme Carpets employee and undercover SpecOps investigator Next has her hands full trying to persuade her 16-year-old slacker son, Friday, to join the ChronoGuard, which deals with temporal stability; if Friday continues to sleep away his future, the end is near-for everyone. To complicate matters, a malicious apprentice begins making classic works of literature into reality book shows (Pride and Prejudice becomes The Bennets), a ruthless corporation tries to turn the Bookworld into a tourist trap, and the Cheese Enforcement Agency tries to bust Next for smuggling killer curd. The fate of the world may lie in a Longfellow poem. Fans of satiric literary humor are in for a treat. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The fifth Thursday Next adventure takes place 14 years after the events of Something Rotten, and things have changed. The literary operative's young son, Friday, has become a slacker who refuses to accept his destiny as a member of the time-manipulating Chronoguard. Jurisfiction has been disbanded, leaving Thursday to carry on her duties under the guise of operating a floor-covering business. Worst of all, people have stopped reading because of the popularity of reality TV. Unlike the other titles in the series, First Among Sequelsdoesn't concentrate on a single literary classic, adopting a more scattershot approach that teeters on the edge of a lack of focus. Emily Gray reads without the energy she has shown previously. Despite such weaknesses, Thursday titles still attract an audience. Recommended for popular collections.
—Michael Adams

Kirkus Reviews
Thursday Next returns in another postmodern literary detective fantasy from Fforde (The Big Over Easy, 2005, etc.). Once again, the author creates a world in which only permeable boundaries separate truth from fiction, the living from the dead (or extinct: Thursday knits a sweater for her pet dodo, Pickwick). Our heroine revisits places and people from earlier Fforde novels, as well as from an immoderate number of English and American classics-one memorable page contains allusions to The Woman in White, Robert Ludlum, Jason Bourne, Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Although the Special Operations Network has nominally been shut down, in reality Thursday works undercover with Acme Carpets and on the side runs an underground cheese market, featuring such tempting morsels as Mynachlog-ddu Old Contemptible, "kept in a glass jar because it will eat through cardboard or steel." Thursday embarks on a dizzying set of adventures through fictive territory. Untoward things have been happening in the literary world. For example, the natural comedy in Thomas Hardy novels has mysteriously been removed-Jude the Obscure originally began as one of the most "rip-roaringly funny novels in the English Language"-and Thursday travels through space and time to rectify this situation. Her contemporaries are not as interested in reading as they are in watching reality TV shows like England's Funniest Chainsaw Mishaps or Samaritan Kidney Swap. Meanwhile, Thursday has to deal with Friday, her teenaged lump of a son, whose main goals in life are sleeping and forming a band called The Gobshites. While Fforde's humor can be affecting, it can also grate with its self-consciousness, as theauthor nudges readers to admire his verbal dexterity. Vertiginous cleverness here proves to be almost too much of a good thing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670038718
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/24/2007
  • Series: Thursday Next Series , #5
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling series of Thursday Next novels, which includes Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, and The Woman Who Died A Lot. The series has more than one million copies (and counting) in print. He is also the author of The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear of the Nursery Crime series, Shades of Grey, and books for young readers, including The Last Dragonslayer. Visit jasperfforde.com.

Biography

Jasper Fforde is the author of four previous Thursday Next novels: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, and Something Rotten. He is also the author of the Nursery Crimes Series, featuring Big Over Easy and Fourth Bear. All of Jasper Fforde's books are available from Penguin. He lives in Wales.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

Good To Know

Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair, received 76 rejection letters before it was published.

Fforde tells us in our interview that he got the idea for Pickwick, Thursday's pet dodo, from a visit to the Oxford Natural History Museum. "There was a stuffed dodo there and a withered foot and beak -- the only physical evidence aside from bones that they were ever alive at all," Fforde recalls. "I wandered for a bit and then asked the woman at the museum shop if I could buy a dodo home-cloning kit. She told me to come back in 20 years. That weekend, I wrote in Pickwick."

Fforde continued to reveal another fun fact: "The name of Thursday's husband, Landen Parke-Laine, comes from what happens if you are playing Monopoly and land on the first of the blue set -- a U.S. translation might be 'Landen Boarde-Walke.' Hence, his parents' names, mentioned in Lost in a Good Book, are 'Houson Parke-Laine' and 'Billden Parke-Laine.' "

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    1. Hometown:
      Brecon, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 11, 1961
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, United Kingdom
    1. Education:
      Left school at 18

Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    You've Got to Love Fairy Tales

    At first glance you might think, What the heck are they about!! Then as you get into the Thursday Next series you just have to read them all. You will be glad you did. They are worth it. The stories are great; the villians are great; our heroine is great; the other characters are great and the subtle humor is absolute super. I envy you, if you're just starting! All Fforde's books are worth the read!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    A unique genre recommended for the literate

    It's hard to describe the books in this series: literary science fiction comes closest. They are amusing, complex, and clever. They also make demands on a reader's education: people unfamiliar with the most famous of the classic books will miss at least half the jokes. (My favorite is the stalker whose name is Millon De Floss.)

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Wordplay only lasts for so long

    Its funny book but unless you have read all the classics then some of the jokes will just go over your head. Enjoyable book altogether.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    Jasper Fforde Does It Again!

    Jasper Fforde's"Thursday Next, First Among Sequels" is the 5th "Thursday Next" novel I have read in the past 5 or 6 years. His first was "The Eyre Affair" and it captivated me with its' wacky sci-fi sensibility, its' obvious love of great literature, and its wonderful satiric sense of humor. In subsequent novels Fforde has kept the goofy literary plots spinning while his heroine, Thursday Next, becomes ever more adventurous but still lovable. A lot of what happens in "Thursday Next, First Among Sequels" might not be understandable if you haven't read the earlier books, but to us old hands at Jasper Fforde's shenanigans, this newest entry calls out "welcome home!'.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Unique perspective on the workings of books

    Very readable, getting into the mysterious workings of what makes books come alive when you read them. Interesting commentary on the nature of "now" but not in a preachy way. Very readable, highly entertaining, wonderful character development, and literary allusions that make you want to re-read the classics. Well done!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    Great Read, fast moving witty and smart plot

    suggested for book lovers

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    a reviewer

    Acme Carpets undercover Special Operations investigator Thursday Next¿s son Friday is a sixteen year old pain in the butt, who prefers sleeping in rather than following a plot. His literary agent mom fails to persuade her sequel that ChronoGuard needs him to prevent the Stupidity Surplus reaching danger zones. After being rejected by her offspring, Next has to switch chapters as a lethal plot has surfaced. Apparently Moriarty murdered Sherlock Holmes at the Rheinback Falls his sequels died with him. Soon afterward, Miss Marple dies in a car crash her series dies with her too.----------------- When Thursday receives a death threat, she realizes that a serial killer is killing sleuths and other characters in Bookworld. Additionally, as she struggles with preventing more protagonists from having their story lines ended prematurely, the Goliath Corporation is pushing heavily to deregulate book travel, claiming it is a right of all characters to visit other tales. Thursday knows this crisis means stepping outside genre guidelines beyond the temporal acceptance even as another twist filled with realistic red herring occurs as the classics are being converted into reality books for the masses. Finally the Cheese Enforcement Agency arrests Next for smuggling banned cheesy products into Bookworld. This is just another day for the savior of literature.----------- As always the fate of classic and cheesy literature is at stake as Thursday once again tries to correct all that is wrong in literature starting with her teenage slacker. The satire rips into sequels, the inane customs laws, adults telling teens grow up, and deregulation with no consequences based on the customer (reader) is always wrong. Fans will enjoy lampooning the genres and much more as Thursday saves the world one pun at a time.------------------- Harriet Klausner

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