The Well of Lost Plots

The Well of Lost Plots

Book rating: 05 Paperback Thursday Next

By (author) Jasper Fforde

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  • Publisher: Hodder Paperback
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 32mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 19 January 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0340825936
  • ISBN 13: 9780340825938
  • Edition: 4000
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 14,100

Product description

Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled 'Caversham Heights'. Landen, her husband, is still eradicated, Aornis Hades is meddling with Thursday's memory, and Miss Havisham - when not sewing up plot-holes in 'Mill on the Floss' - is trying to break the land-speed record on the A409. But something is rotten in the state of Jurisfiction. Perkins is 'accidentally' eaten by the minotaur, and Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus. As a shadow looms over popular fiction, Thursday must keep her wits about her and discover not only what is going on, but also who she can trust to tell about it ...With grammasites, holesmiths, trainee characters, pagerunners, baby dodos and an adopted home scheduled for demolition, 'The Well of Lost Plots' is at once an addictively exciting adventure and an insight into how books are made, who makes them - and why there is no singular for 'scampi'.

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Author information

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and sucking the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation. 'The Well of Lost Plots' is his third novel.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 17 Feb 2012 5

The Well of Lost Plots is the third of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. Having changed the ending of Jane Eyre, ended the Crimean war and had her husband, Landen Parke-Laine eradicated by the ChronoGuard, Thursday has joined Jurisfition and is currently taking a break, for the duration of her pregnancy, through the Character Exchange Program, inside a mediocre detective novel in the Well of Lost Plots. However, what she thinks will be a quiet sojourn is anything but, with Aornis Hades, sister of Acheron, out to take revenge for her brother's death by altering Thursday's memories, the detective novel under threat of demolition, the murder of a Jurisfiction agent, the escape of the Minotaur, Jurisfiction exams to take, the spread of the mispeling vyrus, a Rage Counselling session for the characters of Wuthering Heights, her fiction infraction trial coming up, the imminent launch of the new (and very Kindle-like) UltraWordTM and Nursery Rhyme characters on strike for better conditions. Miss Havisham continues to mentor her apprentice, and one-hundred-and-eight-year-old Granny Next comes to help Thursday out.
Fforde's plot is highly original and imaginative. He shows us that politics, corruption and error as well as red tape and bureaucracy in their most irritating and frustrating forms thrive no matter which version of the world one inhabits. Junk mail and African money scams plague Fforde's version of the world too. Parasites, pests, acronyms and lofty-sounding names in officialdom also abound: an ImaginoTransference Device is, of course, a word. Fforde endows his characters with some hilarious names, gives us some comical book titles and his dialogue will have the reader snickering and often laughing out loud. The prefaces at the start of each chapter include handy Fforde-type explanations of the rules under which fiction exists, how books are actually written, plot recycling and some history of storytelling, writing and printing. We also learn about Literary Mechanisms like Plot Devices, Echolocators, Chapter-Ending Emporiums, Backstories built-to-order, Generic Characters and the Text Sea. In this instalment we finally discover what really happened in the Crimea with Thursday, Landen and Anton during the Charge of the Light Armoured Brigade in 1973. Fforde's writing strikes me as a cross between that of Terry Pratchett and the late Douglas Adams, and, as these are two of my favourite authors, from me this is high praise indeed. Readers will look forward to the next instalment, Something Rotten.

Review quote

Jasper Fforde has gone where no other fictioneer has gone before. Millions of readers now follow ... Thank you, Jasper John Sutherland, Guardian A born wordsmith of effervescent imagination Christina Hardyment, Independent [Fforde's] brand of inspired lunacy truly stands on its own ... this new book completes his creation of a world of true literary comic genius Sunday Express on The Well of Lost Plots The third of this cult series sees Jasper Fforde hitting his stride ... should be a joy to anyone who loves reading Time Out on The Well of Lost Plots An immensely enjoyable, almost compulsive experience New York Times on Lost in a Good Book Douglas Adams would be proud Scotsman on Lost in a Good Book Don't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original Sunday Express on Lost in a Good Book This year's grown-up JK Rowling Sunday Times The Eyre Affair is a silly book for smart people; postmodernism played as raw, howling farce Independent It is always a privilege to watch the birth of a cult, and Hodder has just cut the umbilical cord ... There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters Time Out, on 'The Eyre Affair' Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously Terry Pratchett on The Eyre Affair This year's grown-up JK Rowling Sunday Times on Lost in a Good Book

Editorial reviews

At the end of Lost in a Good Book, heroine and literary detective Thursday Next was planning a quiet retreat to a little-read novel. Her husband Landen has been eradicated by the evil Goliath corporation in a time-travel operation that engineered his death aged two in an accident, and Thursday, pregnant with his child, is the only person who remembers him. She's determined to rescue him, but before starting out on that dangerous mission she decides to rest safely in an unpublished manuscript until the baby is born. Or at least that's her intention. On her arrival in Caversham Heights, a fourth-rate crime novel set in Reading, she discovers that all is not well in the book world. The loner maverick detective with a drink problem is traumatised by his uninteresting role, the pathologist has only been trained as a mother figure in domestic potboilers, and worst of all Caversham Heights itself is under threat of being recycled into plain text. As Thursday travels into the cavernous Well of Lost Plots in an attempt to salvage the situation, she encounters terrifying grammasites, a rampaging mispeling vyrus and a suspicious plan to replace the book with a new technology. Worst of all, her foe Aornis, sister of Acheron Hades, is entering her memory by night and eliminating all trace of Landen. Fforde's imagination is as fertile as ever; from the training academy for fictional characters to the anger-management classes in Wuthering Heights the reader is swept along on a tide of baffling and hilarious invention, with literary references every other line and a nice line in affectionate mockery (just why are breakfasts, minor illnesses and underwear so rare in fiction?). Occasionally the plot becomes too complex for its own good, and, set entirely in the underworld of novels, it sometimes feels like a fill-in between the excitements and terrors of Lost in a Good Book and the thrills that we're certain to encounter in the next instalment. But Fforde's incapable of writing a dull line, and anything featuring Thursday, Pickwick the dodo and Miss Havisham (here seen trying to beat Toad for the land speed record) can't fail to entertain the reader throughout. Lie back and enjoy. (Kirkus UK)