One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6)

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6)

by Jasper Fforde


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143120513
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Series: Thursday Next Series , #6
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 216,253
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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


Brecon, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

Date of Birth:

January 11, 1961

Place of Birth:

London, United Kingdom


Left school at 18

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for The Woman Who Died A Lot, the next installment in the Thursday Next series

“Fforde continues to show that his forte is absurdist humor in his seventh crime thriller starring Thursday Next, a member of the Literary Detectives division of Special Operations in an alternate-universe Britain. [An] endearingly-bizarre fantasy world limited only by Fforde’s impressive imagination.” –Publishers Weekly

“As always, Fforde makes this wacky world perfectly plausible, elucidating Ffordian physics with just the right ratio of pseudoscientific jargon to punch lines. It’s a dazzling, heady brew of high concept and low humor, absurd antics with a tea-and-toast sensibility that will appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse alike. Fforde is ffantastic!”
Booklist (starred review)

“Strap in and hang on tight.... Another winner for fans and lovers of sf, time travel, puns, allusions, and all sorts of literary hijinks.”
Library Journal (Starred review)

“Jasper Fforde fans, rejoice! The Woman Who Died a Lot, the seventh installment in his Thursday Next series, delivers all the imagination, complexity and laughs we've come to expect from Fforde and his book-hopping, butt-kicking heroine.The Woman Who Died a Lot brings together the charming lunacy and intricate plotting that have enthralled Fforde's readers over the years.” –Shelf Awareness

“In Misery, Stephen King compares the euphoric feeling writers experience in creative bursts to ‘falling into a hole filled with bright light.’ Avid readers also know that feeling: A good story temporarily erases the world. British novelist Jasper Fforde has expanded on King’s simile in a wonderful seven-book series of novels featuring Thursday Next. Enormously knowledgeable about literary history, Fforde scatters nuggets for nerdy readers like me. By the end, all of Fforde’s myriad particles of plot, accelerated by his immense skill and narrative sense, collide, producing pyrotechnics and a passel of new particles to propel his next tale. I love the Thursday Next books, and when a new one appears, I don’t fall but leap into this bibliophile’s Wonderland.” –The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This is the proverbial madcap lighthearted romp, full of hijinks, parody, and puns. Jasper Fforde does it well. It’s safe to say that if you enjoy that particularly British, Douglas Adams-style absurd delivery of wry observations, you’ll get a kick out of this one.” New York Journal of Books
“The Welsh writer Jasper Fforde's wildly inventive books defy easy description — more accurately, they mercilessly mock the concept of easy description. Are they mysteries? Outrageous parodies of literary classics? Science fiction? Absurdist humor? Gleeful mashups of all the above?” [The Woman Who Died A Lot is] still big, big fun, with enough in-jokes to keep anyone snickering for a long time — especially English Lit geeks.” The Seattle Times

“Quirky and surprising and funny. Thursday fans will welcome her return.”
The Free Lance–Star

Reading Group Guide

“This way to the denouement” (p. 30).

In her heart, Thursday Next accepted the truth: her series had become a bore. Of course, it wasn’t written Thursday’s fault. After “violent and gratuitous-sex Thursday” (p. 33) ran riot, real Thursday stepped in to replace her with someone “softer and kinder” (p. 31). ReadRates plummeted. But just as she’s feeling comfortably settled, written Thursday is drawn into a whirlpool of duplicity and pungent foreshadowing that threatens to shake the BookWorld to its very core.

Written Thursday was never interested in politics. Even after the Great Library BookWorld was remade according to a geographic model, her focus has remained on the workaday business of a “first-person protagonist . . . [in] a sixty-eight-setting five-book series at the speculative end of Fantasy” (p. 1).

It’s a tough job and managing the novels’ recalcitrant cast of characters keeps written Thursday far too busy for a rendezvous at the Inn Uendo with her Designated Love Interest, Whitby Jett. So she’s more than a little surprised when Commander Red Herring, “overall leader of the BookWorld Policing Agency” (p. 23), summons her to meet him in Conspiracy.

Her inherently suspicious journey takes a more sinister turn when she’s given cryptic warnings by a red-haired gentleman from Crime, has the first of many encounters with the ruthless Men in Plaid, and uncharacteristically confronts an angry mob of Conspiracy theorists.

When she at last meets with Herring, written Thursday-accompanied by her new butler, Sprockett-is tasked with investigating the crash of an unknown book for the Jurisfiction Accident Investigation Division (JAID). Since she botched her only other JAID investigation, written Thursday knows she’s been selected for a reason and vows “not [to] impugn my lack of competence by being irresponsibly accurate” (p. 110).

Yet, Sprockett uncovers more about the crash than written Thursday wants to know. Whatever-or whoever-brought down The Murders on the Hareng Rouge and scrubbed its ISBN went to great lengths to make it to look like an accident.

Moreover, written Thursday has a few secrets of her own: she is hopelessly in love with Landon, real Thursday’s very real husband in the Outland-and she knows that real Thursday is missing. Thus burdened, written Thursday travels to Jurisfiction Headquarters to file her report.

Once there, she learns the broader implications of her heroic namesake’s disappearance. Two neighboring genres, Racy Novel and Women’s Fiction, are threatening hostilities, and real Thursday is scheduled to negotiate the upcoming peace talks.

With real Thursday in jeopardy and war looming, written Thursday recalls the red-haired gentleman’s now meaningful words: “On occasion, people of talent are kept in reserve at times of crisis” (p. 41). But can she transcend her identity as “the dopey one who likes to hug a lot” (p. 49) in time to avert disaster?

Dazzlingly inventive and irresistibly funny, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is another madcap excursion through Jasper Fforde’s beloved BookWorld and the unparalleled imagination of one of the most gifted humorists of our times.


Jasper Fforde is the author of five previous Thursday Next novels: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, and First Among Sequels. He is also the author of the novel Shades of Grey, as well as the Nursery Crime series, featuring Detective Jack Spratt, which includes The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear. He lives in Wales with his wife and four daughters.

Q. “In years past, each book was carefully crafted to an infinitely fine degree, but that was in the days of limited reader sophistication. Today, with the plethora of experience through increased media exposure, most books are finished by the readers themselves” (p. 32). Is this a sentiment that you yourself espouse?

To a certain degree, I think this is true-many notions in my books have perhaps one foot based in Fforde’s musings. If I set a book in the plains of Mongolia and wrote it thirty years ago, some explanation and detailed description might be necessary. Today, I think I could get away with a lot less. Mention “Mongolian Plains” to many people these days, and yurts, horsemen, lined faces, and arid treeless desolation would probably pop into the mind. It’s a help in some ways, and a hindrance in others, as these pre-wrapped vignettes are often based on only a few shared sources. To get away from them, or bring variance into a setting, the unlearning and then relearning might be too difficult to do well, if at all.

Q. Do you have an e-reader? If so, how-if at all-has it changed your reading experience? If not, why not?

I have a Kindle, and although I’ve downloaded a few books onto it, I have not used it in anger. But I can see that these devices are here to stay, and I will try and accommodate this new textual device somewhere into my writing-just not sure where.

Q. How much input do you have on the book’s illustrations? Do you tell the illustrators exactly which scenes you want depicted?

Illustrators have three separate skill sets. To be able to draw, to be able to draw to brief, and to be able to complete on a deadline. Dylan Meconis and Bill Mudron who do my illustrations can do all of these. I send them a detailed letter explaining what I want, with reference pictures if required, and they come back with sketches of their ideas. This goes back and forth a bit until we have what we want, and they do the

final work. The great thing with these guys is that they always bring something more to the show-some detail that I hadn’t thought of. They’re fast, too. Oddly enough, Bill and Dylan were at a signing session of mine when they handed me some fan art. I was impressed, asked them for their e-mail-and they’ve been doing my illustrations ever since.

Q. Your depiction of goblins is bound to receive negative backlash from Goblin rights activists. Are you concerned?

Not at all. Nasty little creatures with poor hygiene and disgusting personal habits. Don’t shake hands with one-they rarely use toilet paper. Besides, to complain they’d have to first learn to read or actually care what we think of them-neither of which they want to do.

Q. Does your love of wordplay and-in One of Our Thursdays Is Missing-liberal use of malapropisms make your books a copy editor’s nightmare?

Frequently. Wasn’t sure about the Malaprop stuff, to be honest, but Thursday’s housekeeper was simply another Mrs. Danvers and she was switched out at short notice.

Q. Which Thursday is-thus far-your favorite?

I’ve always liked the “mildly confused” Thursday who needs her hand held, like in Lost in a Good Book when she finds about the BookWorld. I think that’s the reason I liked the Written Thursday in Oootim; it made her softer, and more prone to error and self-doubt. The real Thursday would have been able to find herself in a flash; the Written Thursday has her own demons and failings to confront.

Q. “Although I had not personally supposed that Thursday might battle the Daleks with Dr. Who in a literary landscape, in here it was very much business as usual” (p. 295). Is there Thursday Next fan fiction? If so, has such a match actually been written about?

There IS Thursday Next fan fiction, and the notion that fan fiction is not so much about mindless copying but a celebration is pretty much how I feel about it. I used to feel negative toward fan fiction, but only because I didn’t understand it. All creative endeavors, irrespective of content, is good. People can write what they want and no one should ever say they shouldn’t. Copyright issues are another thing, naturally-there’s a reason the characters I purloin for my books are all in the public domain. And no, I don’t think the Daleks have ever battled in Austenland.

Q. Your plotlines are “of a complexity that would gather plaudits from even the most intractable of political thrillers” (p. 335). With parallel worlds and multiple versions of many characters, what do you do to keep track of all the threads?

I write a very complex and overlong notebook that outlines every character, incident, plot thread, and order of events. To this I add all the descriptions necessary, and even divide it into chapters. Sadly, by this time I have no time to write the book itself, so send off the notebook to my publishers who publish that instead. All my books are actually detailed outlines of much better books I didn’t have time to write. Sorry.

Q. You have often cruelly threatened concluding the Thursday Next series. Is One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, in fact, the end?

Untrue; I have never threatened to curtail the Thursday Next series-quite the opposite. Books about books I can write forever. Indeed, some of my books are now based on previous books that I have written-One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is one of them: It makes little sense without knowing my previous Thursday Next books. I’m currently working on Thursday Next 7: Dark Reading Matter, to be published September 2012. The Thursday Next world is a seriously broad canvas.

Q. Considering the vast strides that have been made in computer generated imagery, is there any chance that Thursday Next might make the leap to the big-or little-screen?

Pretty small, to be honest. I write books for people who like stories, and stories for people who like books. Films, for the most part, are made for undiscerning fifteen-year-olds who want to watch Vin Diesel kill people. I think the Thursday Next series should remain as she is meant to be, and what she is all about-in books. It can be our little secret. HOWEVER, I never say never. Six one-hour episodes for TV for each Thursday Next book-now there’s a possibility. Hmmmm . . .

  • Immediately after the BookWorld is remade, written Thursday observes “the Cliffs of Irrationality . . . slowly being eroded away, while on the opposite shore the Sands of Science were slowly reclaiming salt marsh from the sea” (p. 13). Does this shift accurately reflect what is happening in the Real World?
  • Early on, written Thursday is warned that, “One of our Thursdays is missing!” (p. 41) Jasper Fforde also uses it as the title of Thursday’s fifth adventure. To whom does the “our” refer?
  • “The problem was, no published books liked anything self-published in the neighborhood. . . . Having something from Vanity close by would, they claimed, ’lower the tone of the prose’ ” (p. 53). Have you ever read a self-published book? If not, why not? If you have, did you consider it to be qualitatively comparable to books released by an established publisher?
  • When Written Thursday is sent into the RealWorld, she is “most worried about meeting Landon. He was the man I was written to love and never meet. And now I was going to meet him” (p. 169). Is actually meeting the person you love an experience overrated by fiction?
  • Just as she was about to kiss Landon, Written Thursday is brought back to the BookWorld four hours ahead of schedule. Did Professor Plum engineer her unexpected return? If so, why?
  • Explaining her successful escape from Fan Fiction, Written Thursday tells Sprockett, “They shoot anyone trying to escape, and they check the causeway every half minute to make sure. You can’t possibly run the distance in less than four minutes, so the answer seemed quite obvious” (pp. 297-98). How did she do it?
  • What elements of the BookWorld would you most like to incorporate into our own? What aspects of it do you find most terrifying?
  • Do you agree with Fforde’s geographical rendering of Fiction Island? Is there a genre that you feel has been unfairly overlooked, or inappropriately included?
  • The red-haired gentleman tells Written Thursday that, “For all its boundless color, depth, boldness, passion and humor, the RealWorld doesn’t appear to have any clearly discernible function” (p. 41). Yet, later she asks Landon if he’s “all right with the support role” and he answers, “Of course! It’s my function” (p. 236). What function does fiction play in your life? Is having a function necessary for happiness?
  • Compassion is one of the novel’s predominant themes and a quality that Sprockett acquires by the end of the novel. Which better teaches compassion: fiction or the real world?
  • What do you think of Written Thursday’s assertion that, “The BookWorld is as orderly as people in the RealWorld hope their own world to be-it isn’t a mirror, it’s an aspiration” (p. 359).
  • Customer Reviews

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    One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
    cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
    One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing is the sixth novel in the popular Thursday Next series by Welsh author, Jasper Fforde. Not long after the Remake of BookWorld, it seems that Real World Thursday Next is missing. Written Thursday (Thursday 1-4 from First Among Sequels, the huggy one) has been trying to play Thursday with dignity, but the series is virtually unread, so the presence of an understudy allows her to investigate with the help of Sprocket, a clockwork butler she has acquired (everyone needs a butler). This instalment features Men in Plaid as enforcers, a Triumph Bonneville, inter-genre cabs, a book sabotaged by rhetorical worms, a geologist thrown from a window, and a car chase. Written Thursday travels to the Real World, meets the real Landen, is kidnapped by a Wiltshire Stiltonista, tries to interpret obscure clues to Thursday’s whereabouts, travels up the Metaphoric River, meets some Loser Literary Siblings (The Mediocre Gatsby, Brian Heep, Tracy Capulet, Sharon Eyre etc) and is finally offered a job with Jurisfiction. Concepts like character assassins, a mime field, the Large Metaphor Collider and the intricacies of a character’s backstory are also a source of entertainment. Fforde still delights with some absurd names like Keitel Black, Red Herring and D.J. Growling, and each chapter is prefaced by a pertinent passage from Bradshaw’s BookWord Companion, which, we note, runs to at least fifteen editions, confirming that Colonel Bradshaw’s eventual retirement must have been profitable. As always, Fforde is incredibly clever: this is a brilliant read.
    Little_Flyer_Speaks More than 1 year ago
    It's been a long while since I read the preceding entry in this series (Thursday Next: First Among Sequels), and it took me awhile to settle back into the sort of crazed pace paying attention to apparently-silly-but-frequently-pivotal puns and points of reference, but IT ALL PAID OFF! Hang in there fans, all the bizarre loose ends were tied up and the take-offs on various genres were well worth the wait. Highly recommended!
    snape_luver More than 1 year ago
    This was a great step in the series, allowing readers to experience the world of Thursday Next from a new P.O.V.
    Luv_to_read More than 1 year ago
    I love reading Jasper Fforde's books especially the Thursday Next stories. Loved it. There is some very creative writing and his books inspire me to read more classics.
    Tsana on LibraryThing 2 days ago
    One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde is the sixth book in his apparently ongoing Thursday Next saga. This review doesn¿t contain spoilers for previous books.The Thursday Next books are based around the premise that BookWorld, the reality in which all fiction (and non-fiction, come to that) comes to life, is a real place. Thursday Next, in earlier books, has adventures travelling in an out of BookWorld with evil corporation and miscellaneous bad guys doing, er, bad things both in RealWorld and BookWorld. It¿s an enjoyable series. The first book is The Eyre Affair, involving shenanigans in Jane Eyre. If you¿re a book geek (and especially if you¿ve read some of the classics, although I haven¿t and was still able to enjoy the books) I recommend them. The first few books should be mandated book geek reading. ;-pOn the other hand, One of Our Thursdays is Missing is not a place to start reading this series. It depends a little too heavily on having a knowledge of earlier books. It¿s set mostly in BookWorld just as BookWorld undergoes a restructuring. That part isn¿t problematic as new BookWorld is new for all readers. But later RealWorld comes up and Thursday¿s RealWorld bears only a passing similarity to ours. I¿d actually forgotten about that until it came up but at least I¿d read the earlier books and had those memories to fall back on. I think a new reader would have found that section quite confusing.The set up for One of Our Thursdays is Missing is that RealWorld Thursday has (surprise!) gone missing. BookWorld Thursday, the one playing Thursday in the novelisations of Thursday¿s adventures (which aren¿t quite identical to the earlier books in the series but are closely related¿ it¿s all very meta) has to work out what happened. And why Real Thursday is missing. And so forth. Also there are peace talks that Real Thursday was supposed to attend which may or may not have something to do with her disappearance but by golly it¿s all a bit of a problem.I didn¿t hate the book. I quite enjoyed the first third or so of it. (Whether or not this was because I was suffering delusions due to prolonged lack of sleep is debatable.) But I felt it lagged from them onwards. It was amusing ¿ the humour wasn¿t the problem ¿ but it just left me a little cold. I read three other books while still in the middle of this one, which doesn¿t say much for it¿s ability to keep my attention.Overall, I¿d recommend it to fans of Fforde¿s other work who have read the previous books. (Actually, having read all previous books isn¿t strictly necessary. The plot is self-contained, it¿s just the world-building that isn¿t. However, as I remember enjoying the rest of the Thursday Next books, I do recommend reading them before getting to this one, lest One of Our Thursdays is Missing put you off the others.)3.5 / 5 stars
    ktleyed on LibraryThing 2 days ago
    On audio. I've really enjoyed all of the previous Thursday Next book in this series, most of which I've listened to on audio, as was this one. But this sixth installment to the series was simply... awful. I could barely makes heads or tails of it, it wasn't even the "real" Thursday through the entire book. Most of it just seemed to be a number of literary and grammatically themed gags all thrown together higgledy-piggledy in order to create an incoherent plot line about Thursday Next being missing (or is she?) and the "written" Thursday Next has to masquerade as the "real" Thursday to find out what happened to the real Thursday! Yes, we see some old familiar faces, but I missed the real Thursday as she's supposed to be! It just wasn't the same, although the narration was fine, as usual. Still there was no jumping in and out of books, or seeing familiar classic characters from books we all know and love. The fact I even finished this book took superhuman effort on my part. Big disappointment.
    riverwillow on LibraryThing 2 days ago
    This is the much anticipated sixth instalment in the Thursday Next series and I'm pleased to say that it doesn't disappoint. The main setting for the book is BookWorld as we follow the adventures and misadventures of the fictional Thursday, whose resemblance to the real Thursday is so striking that she has to remind her fellow characters that she is 'the written one.' The real Thursday is missing so, accompanied by her faithful robot butler Spockett, the fictional Thursday investigates her disappearance. This is a cracking read, the mystery element really holds together, I really wasn't sure if the real world Thursday had chosen to disappear or whether she had been kidnapped or murdered. Fforde's satirical humour is as sharp and funny as ever - Vanity Island has the '""Siblings of the More Famous BookWorld Personalities"" self-help group' whose members include Loser Gatsby. 'the youngest of the three Gatsbys' - Great and Mediocre - Sharon Eyre, Jane's younger sister, 'Rupert Bond, still a virgin and can't keep a secret' Tracy Capulet, who has slept her way round Verona twice; and Nancy Potter, who is ... well let's say she's a term that is subject to several international trademark agreements.'
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The first books in this series are very entertaining, the last one dropped to ok. This book is just, incredibly boring.
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I had forgotten how cool and original these books are. It took awhile for the story to get going, but I loved having to guess who is the real Thursday is. Can't wait to read the next one.
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book. I'm a huge fan of the series and i highly recommend all of Jasper's books. I first read The Eyre Affair in my comparative lit class and I couldn't put it down. After that I got all of Jasper's books. Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite authors.
    Icaria More than 1 year ago
    Even though I love Fforde's work, I was a bit reluctant to read this one because I didn't care for the synopsis. Once I finally settled in to read the work, I found that I loved the new direction the series was taking. The ending didn't go quite as far as I would have liked it to, but overall, it was still a great work.
    joenglish More than 1 year ago
    I have enjoyed every book that Fforde has written including this one. It was definitely worth reading, but not as original as the first couple books in his Thursday Next series. I think Fforde's brilliant "book world" can provide material for at least another one or two books, but this one felt more like a spin-off to me rather than a continuation of Thursday's original story.
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