Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next Series #2)

Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next Series #2)

4.2 89
by Jasper Fforde
     
 

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The second 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


The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with New York Times bestselling author

Overview

The second 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


The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with New York Times bestselling author Jasper Fforde’s magnificent second adventure starring the resourceful, fearless literary sleuth Thursday Next. When Landen, the love of her life, is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction—the police force inside the BookWorld. She is apprenticed to the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens’s Great Expectations, who grudgingly shows Thursday the ropes. And she gains just enough skill to get herself in a real mess entering the pages of Poe’s “The Raven.” What she really wants is to get Landen back. But this latest mission is not without further complications. Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth. It’s another genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainment for fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse. Thursday’s zany investigations continue with The Well of Lost Plots. Look for the five other bestselling Thursday Next novels, including One of Our Thursdays is Missing and Jasper Fforde’s latest bestseller, The Woman Who Died A Lot. Visit jasperfforde.com for a ffull window into the Ffordian world!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A]n analogue of Harry Potter just for, adults…effortlessly readable and unashamedly escapist…. [A]n immensely enjoy able, almost compulsive experience.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Fforde [has a] head-spinning narrative agility. His novel is satire, fantasy, literary criticism, thriller, whodunit, game, puzzle, joke, postmodern prank and tilt-a-whirl. Okay, maybe Lost in a Good Book is a creature with more than the usual number of feet. But it’s exceptionally light on all of them…[Fforde] is irrepressible good company” —The Washington Post

“Enchanting…a tale to savor. Harry Potter fans outgrowing Hogwarts should dive in.” —People

“Lost [ in a Good Book] is even more richly crammed with jokes, ideas and action. Brainier silliness is hard to find. A-.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Car chases, missing husbands, evil villains, a plucky heroine, and the Cheshire Cat. Jasper Fforde’s latest is mystery at its most fun—with a sci-fi twist.” —Marie Claire

“A joyful read, full of puns, allusions, and sheer fun. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

“Time flies—and leaps and zigzags—while reading this wickedly funny and clever fantasy. Would-be wordsmiths and mystery fans will find the surreal genre-buster irresistible.” —Publishers Weekly

“Just what the doctor ordered now, in a world under the shadow of war, at the tail end of a long, cold winter…Lost in a Good Book resembles whipped cream—as sweet and light as the promise of spring.” —Salon.com

“Entertainingly surreal. Perhaps even more clever than its predecessor [The Eyre Affair], the new story offers a plot stuffed with enough coincidences and characters to make Dickens proud.” —Orlando Sentinel

“The book-jumping high jinks continue in Fforde’s equally whimsical Lost in a Good Book… its mix of surrealism, satire and adventure proves to be totally absorbing.” —Time Out New York

“Fforde’s wicked sense of humor and wide-ranging intelligence make every page a joy.” —The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Fforde packs Lost in a Good Book to the rafters with sophisticated literary allusions, numerous interweaving subplots and wildly imaginative details. It’s obvious from the way he leaves things that Fforde has many more adventures in mind for his heroine; and with so many classics to choose from, Thursday will certainly have plenty of allies on her side.” —The Seattle Times

Tuesday Next, the hero of The Eyre Affair, is back in another ingenious adventure. In Lost in a Good Book, our delightful literary interloper ventures into forbidding classics from Edgar Allan Poe to Beatrix Potter. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times described this novel as "part Bridget Jones, part Nancy Drew and part Dirty Harry."
The New York Times
It may be that Fforde has succeeded in doing for the anxieties of 21st-century book lovers -- nagged by the feeling that perhaps they aren't getting as swept away by books as they used to -- what Helen Fielding did for the anxieties of the 30-something single urban female. In attempting to come up with an adult Harry Potter, he may also have stumbled across that other Holy Grail of modern fiction, the male-friendly (or at least the gender-neutral) Bridget Jones -- which, for everyone but Fforde's accountant, is a fairly terrifying prospect. — Bruno Maddox
The Washington Post
In the long and fabulous tradition of British nonsense, Jasper Fforde, though only on his second book, has already earned a place of honor. — Lloyd Rose
Publishers Weekly
Det. Thursday Next is back for another round of time traveling and bookish sleuthing after Fforde's successful debut, The Eyre Affair. Like his earlier novel, this one is set in the U.K., in an alternate version of our universe-one in which time travel is possible and the boundaries between life and literature are porous. Thursday works for Special Ops in the Literary Detectives division. She's made an enemy of the corrupt Goliath Corporation, which manufactures absolutely everything, by imprisoning one of its executives, Jack Schitt, in the pages of Poe's The Raven. In return, the corporation eradicates her new husband, Landen. Since no one really dies in this chronologically fluid universe, Landen could be restored-but Goliath won't do it until Thursday brings back Schitt. But rescuing Schitt is easier said than done-Poe's oeuvre is dangerous territory. Thursday enlists the help of Great Expectations' Miss Havisham, who works for the intra-literature police force, Jurisfiction, and the two leap into the pages of Kafka's The Trial, Austen's Sense and Sensibility and Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Thursday also finds time to authenticate Cardenio, a newly discovered Shakespeare tragedy, and save the world from being engulfed by an oozing pink sludge. Time flies-and leaps and zigzags-while reading this wickedly funny and clever fantasy. Would-be wordsmiths and mystery fans will find the surreal genre-buster irresistible. 12-city author tour. (Mar.) Forecast: Are there enough English lit lovers to send this book aloft? If the author is as funny in person as he is on the page, his book tour may increase the cult that began with rave reviews for The Eyre Affair. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fear not, literature lovers! Thursday Next is back with another romp through Fforde's alterna-England, where books are followed as closely as we follow J. Lo, dodos are friendly pets, and it is truly possible to get lost in a book; fortunately, Next and her cronies in law enforcement will make sure one gets out before one ruins the plot. Picking up where The Eyre Affair left off, this book finds Thursday caught up in a new adventure that pops her through time and literature, including works by Poe, Austen, and Beatrix Potter. This time she must not only find a way to get her husband back from the clutches of the Goliath conglomerate but also save the world from destruction by a mysterious pink goo. Though slightly less buoyant than its predecessor, this is still a joyful read, full of puns, allusions, and sheer fun. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/02.]-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-In an alternate 1980s England, woolly mammoths migrate through the countryside, Tunbridge Wells has been given to Imperial Russia as Crimean War reparation, and the prevailing culture is based on literature. Due to her adventures in The Eyre Affair (Viking, 2002), newly married Thursday Next has become a media darling, but when an unknown work by Shakespeare surfaces, she is happy to be back to work. However, the megacorporation Goliath hasn't finished bedeviling her: Thursday's husband has been "time-slipped" and exists only in her memory. Further complicating matters, her Uncle Mycroft gives her an entroposcope-a jar of lentils and rice-revealing that the chaos in her life is rapidly escalating. So once again, Thursday jumps into a surreal literary world. This time, she has joined the "Jurisfiction" division and is paired with Charles Dickens's Miss Havesham, who has a penchant for leather jackets and driving recklessly. Absurd and amusing scenes take readers through discussions on theoretical physics, geometry, literature, art, and philosophy. Fforde not only tilts at ideological and insipid corporate windmills and human foibles, but can also make the naming of minor characters hilarious, as in the two unfortunate members of the dangerous SO-5 division, Phodder and Kannon. Reading this novel is like being at a fabulous party of phenomenally funny and wickedly profound guests. Teens will delight in the satire and wit.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lively, pun-packed sequel to the Welsh novelist's debut, The Eyre Affair (2002). Here, his lissome literary detective once again prowls the mean streets and elusive texts of classic English literature. We're back in Fforde's Alternate Wales, 1985, when previously endangered species (e.g., dodos, woolly mammoths) thrive, the vast and sinister Goliath Corporation fulfills every imaginable need, and literature has replaced pop culture as the people's chosen opiate. As "Baconians" wreak havoc defending their favorite's authorship of Shakespeare's plays and Richard III draws Rocky Horror Picture Show-like participatory audiences, Thursday, a veteran of the never-ending Crimean War, finds herself enmeshed in numerous baffling intrigues. Her new husband, writer Landen Parke-Laine, has been "deleted" (perhaps by Goliath bigwigs revenging themselves on Thursday for imprisoning their op Jack Schitt in the text of Poe's "The Raven"). And Thursday, aware that "without entry to books I would never see Landen again," goes bravely off into bookdom-abetted and hindered here and there by her hardboiled partner Bowden Cable, her time-traveling dad, and post-centenarian "Gran" (condemned to live until she has read "the ten most boring classics"). Denied access to the normal means of entry to literary works (the Prose Portal), Thursday finagles her way inside such texts as Kafka's The Trial and Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, enduring meaningful encounters with such worthies as a bookwormy Cheshire Cat and an unusually extroverted Miss Havisham (from Great Expectations, of course). And, oh yes, Thursday must also deal with a newly discovered Shakespeare play (Cardenio) and a mammoth stampede. Just as shedid in Eyre, Thursday preserves the integrity of embattled masterpieces, ending up gracefully poised for the next forthcoming sequel (announced in an endnote), The Well of Lost Plots. Fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels should check out Fforde's engagingly skewed comic utopia. As one of his characters predicts: the likely result will be "paroxysms of litjoy." Author tour. Agents: Eric Simonoff & Tif Loehnis/Janklow & Nesbit

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142004036
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/24/2004
Series:
Thursday Next Series, #2
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
167,614
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

I didn’t ask to be a celebrity. I never wanted to appear on The Adrian Lush Show. And let’s get one thing straight right now – the world would have to be hurtling towards imminent destruction before I’d agree to anything as dopey as The Thursday Next Workout Video.

The publicity surrounding the successful rebookment of Jane Eyre was fun to begin with but rapidly grew wearisome. I happily posed for photocalls, agreed to newspaper interviews, hesitantly appeared on Desert Island Smells and was thankfully excused the embarrassment of Celebrity Name That Fruit! The public, ever fascinated by celebrity, had wanted to know everything about me following my excursion within the pages of Jane Eyre, and since the Special Operations Network have a PR record on a par with that of Vlad the Impaler, the top brass thought it would be a good wheeze to use me to boost their flagging popularity. I dutifully toured all points of the globe doing signings, library openings, talks and interviews. The same questions, the same SpecOps-approved answers. Supermarket openings, literary dinners, offers of book deals. I even met the actress Lola Vavoom, who said that she would simply adore to play me if there were a film. It was tiring, but more than that – it was dull. For the first time in my career at the Literary Detectives I actually missed authenticating Milton.

I’d taken a week’s leave as soon my tour ended so Landen and I could devote some time to married life. I moved all my stuff to his house, rearranged his furniture, added my books to his and introduced my dodo, Pickwick, to his new home. Landen and I ceremoniously partitioned the bedroom closet space, decided to share the sock drawer, then had an argument over who was to sleep on the wall side of the bed. We had long and wonderfully pointless conversations about nothing in particular, walked Pickwick in the park, went out to dinner, stayed in for dinner, stared at each other a lot and slept in late every morning. It was wonderful.

On the fourth day of my leave, just between lunch with Landen’s mum and Pickwick’s notable first fight with the neighbour’s cat, I got a call from Cordelia Flakk. She was the senior SpecOps PR agent here in Swindon and she told me that Adrian Lush wanted me on his show. I wasn’t mad keen on the idea – or the show. But there was an upside. The Adrian Lush Show went out live and Flakk assured me that this would be a ‘no holds barred’ interview, something that held a great deal of appeal. Despite my many appearances, the true story about Jane Eyre was yet to be told – and I had been wanting to drop the Goliath Corporation in it for quite a while. Flakk’s assurance that this would finally be the end of the press junket clinched my decision. Adrian Lush it would be.

I travelled up to the Network Toad studios a few days later on my own; Landen had a deadline looming and needed to get his head down. But I wasn’t alone for long. As soon as I stepped into the large entrance lobby a milk-curdling shade of green strode purposefully towards me.

‘Thursday, darling!’ cried Cordelia, beads rattling. ‘So glad you could make it!’

The SpecOps dress code stated that our apparel should be ‘dignified’ but in Cordelia’s case they had obviously stretched a point. Anyone looking less like a serving officer was impossible to imagine. Looks, in her case, were highly deceptive. She was SpecOps all the way from her high heels to the pink-and-yellow scarf tied in her hair.

She air-kissed me affectionately.

‘How was New Zealand?’

‘Green and full of sheep,’ I replied. ‘I brought you this.’

I handed her a fluffy toy lamb that bleated realistically when you turned it upside down.

‘How adorable! How’s married life treating you?’

‘Very well.’

‘Excellent, my dear, I wish you both the best. Love what you’ve done with your hair!’

‘My hair? I haven’t done anything with my hair!’

‘Exactly!’ replied Flakk quickly. ‘It’s so incredibly you.’

She did a twirl.

‘What do you think of the outfit?’

‘One’s attention is drawn straight to it,’ I replied ambiguously.

‘This is 1985,’ she explained, ‘bright colours are the future. I’ll let you loose in my wardrobe one day.’

‘I think I’ve got some pink socks of my own somewhere.’

‘It’s a start, my dear. Listen, you’ve been a star about all this publicity work; I’m very grateful – and so is SpecOps.’

‘Grateful enough to post me somewhere other than the Literary Detectives?’

‘Well,’ murmured Cordelia reflectively, ‘first things first. As soon as you’ve done the Lush interview your transfer application will be aggressively considered, you have my word on that.’

It didn’t sound terribly promising. Despite the successes at work, I still wanted to move up within the Network. Cordelia took my arm and steered me towards the waiting area.

‘Coffee?’

‘Thank you.’

‘Spot of bother in Auckland?’

‘Bronte Federation offshoot caused a bit of trouble,’ I explained.

‘They didn’t like the new ending of Jane Eyre.’

‘There’ll always be a few malcontents,’ observed Flakk. ‘Milk?’

‘Thanks.’

‘Oh,’ she said, staring at the milk jug, ‘this milk’s off. No matter. Listen,’ she went on quietly, ‘I’d love to stay and watch but some SpecOps 17 clot in Penzance staked a Goth by mistake; it’s going to be PR hell on earth down there.’

SO-17 were the vampire and werewolf disposal squad. Despite a new ‘three-point’ confirmation procedure, a jumpy cadet with a sharpened stake could still spell big trouble.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“[A]n analogue of Harry Potter just for, adults…effortlessly readable and unashamedly escapist…. [A]n immensely enjoy able, almost compulsive experience.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Fforde [has a] head-spinning narrative agility. His novel is satire, fantasy, literary criticism, thriller, whodunit, game, puzzle, joke, postmodern prank and tilt-a-whirl. Okay, maybe Lost in a Good Book is a creature with more than the usual number of feet. But it’s exceptionally light on all of them…[Fforde] is irrepressible good company” —The Washington Post

“Enchanting…a tale to savor. Harry Potter fans outgrowing Hogwarts should dive in.” —People

“Lost [ in a Good Book] is even more richly crammed with jokes, ideas and action. Brainier silliness is hard to find. A-.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Car chases, missing husbands, evil villains, a plucky heroine, and the Cheshire Cat. Jasper Fforde’s latest is mystery at its most fun—with a sci-fi twist.” —Marie Claire

“A joyful read, full of puns, allusions, and sheer fun. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

“Time flies—and leaps and zigzags—while reading this wickedly funny and clever fantasy. Would-be wordsmiths and mystery fans will find the surreal genre-buster irresistible.” —Publishers Weekly

“Just what the doctor ordered now, in a world under the shadow of war, at the tail end of a long, cold winter…Lost in a Good Book resembles whipped cream—as sweet and light as the promise of spring.” —Salon.com

“Entertainingly surreal. Perhaps even more clever than its predecessor [The Eyre Affair], the new story offers a plot stuffed with enough coincidences and characters to make Dickens proud.” —Orlando Sentinel

“The book-jumping high jinks continue in Fforde’s equally whimsical Lost in a Good Book… its mix of surrealism, satire and adventure proves to be totally absorbing.” —Time Out New York

“Fforde’s wicked sense of humor and wide-ranging intelligence make every page a joy.” —The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Fforde packs Lost in a Good Book to the rafters with sophisticated literary allusions, numerous interweaving subplots and wildly imaginative details. It’s obvious from the way he leaves things that Fforde has many more adventures in mind for his heroine; and with so many classics to choose from, Thursday will certainly have plenty of allies on her side.” —The Seattle Times

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

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Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I first read the Eyre Affair for my Literature class and I fell in love with it; so I had to get the second book in the series. I'm starting the third book in the series now!!!!!! Jasper Fforde is a genius!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You don't need to read the first in the series though. The author will have you caught up well in the first few pages. I enjoyed the series so much that I had to run out and get all the books. It's great reading for a summer day or just to escape the everyday. A great mixture of Sci-fi and mystery. The mystery's take place inside of books. But the book's characters are able to jump from their book world into the three-dimensional earth world. The earth world outside of the books is England but with a very different evolution than the England we know today. Alot of fun and very enjoyable reading.
The_hibernators More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Thursday Next series, and is every bit as good as the first. In Lost in a Good Book, Thursday Next must save the world while trying to rescue her eradicated husband Landen. Fforde’s writing is humorous, making for a quick, light read. Several reviewers said this book is darker than the first, which I suppose it is, though it never would have occurred to me. It has very little violence and given the nature of Fforde’s universe everything is reversible, so what does it matter if the attacks on Thursday are a little more personal in this book? I plan on reading the rest of the series, but I think I’ll take a break and clean the puns out of my brain before I start another one. Fforde’s humor is great, but I just can’t read punny humor continuously.
mobiusgrl More than 1 year ago
The Thursday Next series is great for anyone who loves literature, adventure, detective, British humor, etc. A great read!
ReaderVA More than 1 year ago
Book lovers will appreciate Fforde's many literary references. Great great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable book with a good mix of fun and danger. An unusual cast of characters with great names that will make you laugh. It is a fun trip through the past, present and future with all sorts of quirky adventures along the way. I am listening to this book on book tape, and the narrator has truly caught the personality of Thursday Next. What a great concept - to travel through books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just couldn't get into this book. It might make a much better movie than a read. I think it would help to understand it better had I read the first one.
amyisabel More than 1 year ago
For all you book lovers out there youwill never read a book the same after you read this series. It's terrific!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bur still a lovely continuation of one of my favorite series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting concept & a great read. Definitely going to continue on in the series.
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