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Author Topic: Jasper Fforde  (Read 3303 times)

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Poncho

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Jasper Fforde
« on: July 09, 2007, 08:13:04 AM »

I love to read, but I'm pretty far from a bibliophile.  I read to relax, but I read a lot.  I tend to stay far away from the "Book of the Month" types most of the time and most bestsellers don't really impress me much.  I tend to just wander around the bookstore, flip through a lot of books and buy something that I enjoyed the first chapter of.

I'm a huge fan of Douglas Adams and Jack Finney.  I tend to like my books to be witty, sharp and with a bit of comedic flair.  Several years ago I read Gregory Maguire's Wicked (well before it was the popular beast it now is)  and really liked it.  I have since read Confessions of An Ugly Step-Sister, Mirror Mirror and Son of a Witch.

This weekend I found Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair from about 2001 or so.  The girl at the store asked me to name three authors I like and I gave the thre I listed above, she pointed me to Jasper Fforde.  No idea who this is going to turn out, as I only read the first chapter in the store and haven't had a second to sit down and read any more of it.  I read a review of it online and found an interesting blurb:

Quote
Surreal and hilariously funny, this alternate history, the debut novel of British author Fforde, will appeal to lovers of zany genre work (think Douglas Adams) and lovers of classic literature alike. The scene: Great Britain circa 1985, but a Great Britain where literature has a prominent place in everyday life. For pennies, corner Will-Speak machines will quote Shakespeare; Richard III is performed with audience participation … la Rocky Horror and children swap Henry Fielding bubble-gum cards. In this world where high lit matters, Special Operative Thursday Next (literary detective) seeks to retrieve the stolen manuscript of Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit. The evil Acheron Hades has plans for it: after kidnapping Next's mad-scientist uncle, Mycroft, and commandeering Mycroft's invention, the Prose Portal, which enables people to cross into a literary text, he sends a minion into Chuzzlewit to seize and kill a minor character, thus forever changing the novel. Worse is to come. When the manuscript of Jane Eyre, Next's favorite novel, disappears, and Jane herself is spirited out of the book, Next must pursue Hades inside Charlotte Brontė's masterpiece. The plethora of oddly named characters can be confusing, and the story's episodic nature means that the action moves forward in fits and starts. The cartoonish characters are either all good or all bad, but the villain's comeuppance is still satisfying. Witty and clever, this literate romp heralds a fun new series set in a wonderfully original world.

Apparently, there is a whole series based upon this character Thursday Next.  Anyone read this series or any of it?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 08:14:35 AM by Poncho the Sane »
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Ella Minnow Pea

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2007, 08:50:39 AM »

I love Jasper Fforde! va_vacious is an even bigger fan if you measure by the number of times books are re-read. There are currently 4 books in the Tuesday Next series - after The Eyre Affair is Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, and Something Rotten. After that he went to the Nursery Crimes Division with The Big Over Easy, and The Fourth Bear. A new Thursday Next book is being released this month - First Among Sequels. He's coming to our local bookstore in August, and based on his last appearance, there's going to be a crowd from all over. We had people from Atlanta, Minnesota, DC, etc. I've never experienced that before. He was very entertaining.

He's a modern author, embracing current technology. There are websites to go along with the books. You can access them at http://www.jasperfforde.com/
I love the concept of "upgrades", where typos are identified to be corrected. The way its presented sounds very much like software.

I hope you enjoy the books. The Eyre Affair has been my favorite, but that's partly due to Jane Eyre being my favorite book. I've also enjoyed the NCD books.
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va-vacious

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2007, 08:38:58 PM »

Didn't know that Jane Eyre was your favorite book. I'm more of a Pride and Prejudice gal...

Anyway, Jasper Fforde rocks my world. I got my boss to read them and a couple of other friends, and they have all enjoyed them.  THe plots are original, the characters appealing- I have no problem with the good being good and the bad always rotten- and the puns knock me out. I think that the Nursery Crime Division may have a slight lead for my favorites, but you have to read the Thursday Next books before starting them. Well, you don't have to, but I like it better that way. His send up of Microsoft is pretty funny, and he had the neanderthal thing going before Geico did.

Even if you don't get all of the literary jokes- I know I don't- the books are still funny. Anyone who depicts the porridge from the three bears as the equivalent of hardcore drugs has an amusing way of looking at things. Throw in the serial killer Gingerbread Man and an amusement park about the battle of the Somme (trench warfare) and an interesting story unfolds. (This is in the Fourth Bear)
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Poncho

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 07:20:40 AM »

After the first five chapters, I like it.  Thanks for the suggestions on the order.
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Poncho

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 09:30:23 AM »

After a busy week... I had a little time and finished this.

Nice.  I'll definitely be looking for the others in the series. It kept me hooked and paid off.
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Megs79

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 01:00:31 PM »

I've read all the Thursday Next series and just recently read the Big Over Easy.  I like them a lot!  The Thursday Next series was my favorite though! 
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Ella Minnow Pea

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2007, 07:12:06 PM »

I forgot to mention that I got to see him at a book signing a couple of weeks ago. His partner Mary accompanied him, and they had an entertaining opening reminiscent of the flight attendant spiel at the the beginning of a flight. It was quite well done. He goes the extra step with his book signings, too. In addition to a signature, there's a specific stamp for each book, plus a post card.

Other fun facts - there's a Housing Development in Swindon that now features characters' names:


Finally, he's holding a Colouring in Competition.
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va-vacious

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2007, 07:31:16 PM »

I really want to enter that contest. Just need to come up with a clever way to color/colour!
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Poncho

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2007, 01:04:03 AM »

I'm just finishing up Something Rotten... The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book and The Well of Lost Plots are all finished and Mrs. Poncho has begun to read them.

I'm going to head to the Nursery Crimes books next, whilst I wait on First Among Sequels to hit paperback.
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Your head will collapse and there's nothing in it and you'll ask yourself 'where is my mind'??  - "Where is my Mind?" Pixies

Juliana

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2008, 10:43:36 PM »

Okay, I was about to come here to start a Jasper Fforde thread.

I've read the two Nursery Crime Division books this year,and I'm on the 3rd Thursday book. 

This was purely a case of "ooh, that book cover looks cool as hell"


Of course I've ended up with the less cool British versions of the cover, but the books have really been a pleasure.
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va-vacious

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2008, 07:30:54 PM »

I had to read the FOurth Bear twice to follow all the plot twists- and puns! However I enjoyed both, so no problem! I'm looking forward to his next endeavor.
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Juliana

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2008, 09:14:33 PM »

In the NCD books, would I get more of the characters if I was British and knew...I don't know, British nursery rhymes/stories?
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va-vacious

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Re: Jasper Fforde
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2008, 11:21:07 AM »

I don't know- most of them were familiar to me, except for the scissor-thumb guy.  Punch and Judy, though, are definitely British, but I think their explanation is pretty clear (they beat each other up at high decibels, curse, and sometimes kill the baby). 

Are there specific ones that are causing issues for you? 
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