The Well of Lost PlotsPaperback Thursday Next
- 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: 12,910
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is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled 'Caversham Heights'.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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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.
By Marianne Vincent 17 Feb 2012
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.
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
Third course in a feast of hyperliterary alternate-reality thrillers (The Eyre Affair, 2002, etc.) may prove too rich for some stomachs. Fforde's story takes place in several parallel universes that manage, against all laws of logic and geometry, to intersect at many, many points. Our heroine, literary detective Thursday Next, is the nexus of this strangely wired cosmos. Thursday has just returned from the pages of Jane Eyre, in which she foiled archvillain Acheron Hades' attempt to steal the ending. Now pregnant (by a dead veteran of the Crimean War) and badly in need of rest, she requests an assignment in the Character Exchange Program and is sent to fill in for Mary Jones, detective in a dreadful unpublished thriller. Like all unpublished books, Caversham Heights exists in a kind of limbo in the Well of Lost Plots, a warren of sub-basements in the Great Library where all books are born, but few see the light of day. Thursday works her way through Mary's role in the hopeless plot, glad of a safe job for change, but she soon finds plenty of extratextual distractions that hint at trouble ahead. Within the ranks of Jurisfiction (a kind of FBI of the text world), a string of murders begins to claim the lives of various authorities connected with a new process of plot development. Thursday learns that her late husband is not dead at all but was in fact "eradicated" at the behest of rogue elements within Jurisfiction. Between teaching her "generic" houseboys Ibb and Obb how to cook, fending off hostile grammasites (literary parasites that infest a plot with gerunds), and facing Jurisfiction charges that she changed the ending of Jane Eyre, Thursday still has to find the time to solve the various crimes now springing up within and without the text. For instance, who stole the commas from Joyce's Ulysses? Like anchovies, Wagner, and Helmut Newton: will greatly appeal to people with unusual tastes-and befuddle everyone else. (Kirkus Reviews)