The Fourth Bear
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The Fourth Bear : Nursery Crime Adventures 2

4.07 (19,931 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The Gingerbreadman - psychopath, sadist, convicted murderer and cake/biscuit - is loose on the streets of Reading.

It isn't Jack Spratt's case. Despite the success of the Humpty Dumpty investigation, the well publicised failure to prevent Red Riding-Hood and her Gran being eaten once again plunges the Nursery Crime Division into controversy. Enforced non-involvement with the Gingerbreadman hunt looks to be frustrating until a chance encounter at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club leads them onto the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldy' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad.

The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood. But all is not what it seems. Are the unexplained explosions around the globe somehow related to missing nuclear scientist Angus McGuffin? Is cucumber-growing really that dangerous? Why are National Security involved? But most important of all: How could the bears' porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 27mm | 268g
  • Hodder Paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • b/w line illustrations
  • 0340835737
  • 9780340835739
  • 83,328

Review quote

'This novel is a wonderful combination of silliness and cleverness, and a delightful holiday from reality. It's got such a good comic premise that it would work even if played straight, but virtually every page is adorned with puns, gags, tongue-twisters or comic setpieces, keeping the reader in a perpetual state of amusement.' * Independent on Sunday * 'Fforde's dexterously tailored nonsense has an underlying thread of shrewd satire, and the author's own wry, dry narration helps to compensate for the omission in this abridgement of so many of his gloriously surreal jokes.' * The Times * 'This book, energetic, entertaining and packed with gags, is unlike anything you'll ever read.' * Telegraph * 'This is the first of best-selling Fforde's hilarious, absurd and utterly compelling new series of nursery crimes for adults.' * Daily Mirror * 'This novel is a wonderful combination of silliness and cleverness, and a delightful holiday from reality. It's got such a good comic premise that it would work even if played straight, but virtually every page is adorned with puns, gags, tongue-twisters or comic setpieces, keeping the reader in a perpetual state of amusement.' * Independent on Sunday * A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb * Daily Mail * I love it. THE BIG OVER EASY is great not just because it's very funny...but also because it works properly as a whodunit...Comic genius. * Observer * 'Jasper Fforde is flavour of the comedy month, and this genial spoof whodunit if a fine example of his style... Fforde is a relaxed, polished storyteller who never falls in love with his own cleverness' * Sunday Telegraph * 'Fforde's dexterously tailored nonsense has an underlying thread of shrewd satire, and the author's own wry, dry narration helps to compensate for the omission in this abridgement of so many of his gloriously surreal jokes.' * The Times * Praise for Jasper Fforde's new crime series * : * 'With its witty literary allusions, social satire and blurred boundaries between fiction and reality, it's all completely mad, very funny . . . It also adds to Fforde's growing reputation as one of Britain's most inventive novelists and the thriller element keeps you guessing too.' * Word * 'Fforde is inventive and hugely funny.' * The Times * 'THE FOURTH BEAR sees one of our funniest and most inventive authors at the height of his powers. The jokes come so fast that it is clear the author simply let his imagination off the leash and had a great time while writing it. You will have a great time reading it too.' * Daily Express * 'THE FOURTH BEAR is a great choice as it has everything - humour, intrigue and cucumbers as a matter of national security . . . will have you wondering how you haven't discovered Fforde before.' * Anys Scoular, Observer * 'THE FOURTH BEAR is a great choice as it has everything - humour, intrigue and cucumbers as a matter of national security . . . will have you wondering how you haven't discovered Fforde before.' * Anys Scoular, Observer * 'It would be hard not to be won over by Fforde's undeniable energy and the sheer, unrelenting number of gags' * Daily Mail * 'Fforde is inventive and hugely funny.' * The Times * 'THE FOURTH BEAR sees one of our funniest and most inventive authors at the height of his powers. The jokes come so fast that it is clear the author simply let his imagination off the leash and had a great time while writing it. You will have a great time reading it too.' * Daily Express * 'It would be hard not to be won over by Fforde's undeniable energy and the sheer, unrelenting number of gags' * Daily Mail * 'What makes Fforde a star is not his ebullient cleverness, but the elusive sympathy factor. However ridiculous his themes seem, his characters have a compelling immediacy.' * Independent * 'What makes Fforde a star is not his ebullient cleverness, but the elusive sympathy factor. However ridiculous his themes seem, his characters have a compelling immediacy.' * Independent * 'With its witty literary allusions, social satire and blurred boundaries between fiction and reality, it's all completely mad, very funny . . . It also adds to Fforde's growing reputation as one of Britain's most inventive novelists and the thriller element keeps you guessing too.' * Word *
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About Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and chewing the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.
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Rating details

19,931 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 34% (6,826)
4 43% (8,501)
3 20% (3,918)
2 3% (555)
1 1% (131)

Our customer reviews

The Fourth Bear is the second of the Nursery Crime series by popular author Jasper Fforde. Things are not going too well for Detective Chief Inspector Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crime Division: a prime NCD case (the escape from custody of the violent psychopath, The Gingerbreadman) has been allocated to another detective; his boss, Superintendent Briggs, doesn't trust his judgement and has insisted on a psychiatric evaluation of his fitness to function as head of the NCD; and the press, in particular Josh Hatchett of The Toad, constantly trash him. Luckily he has the support of Detective Sergeant Mary Mary and PC Ashley (the blue Rambosian alien). And he needs it, because soon enough, he has been suspended from duty, then asked by John Hatchett to look into the disappearance of his sister Henrietta "Goldy" Hatchett, last seen by the Three Bears in the Anderson woods. And it seems his marriage to the wonderful Madeleine is in trouble. Once again, Fforde's incredible imagination throws up a feast of ridiculous names: villages, psychiatrists, serial killers, street names for illicit substances, theme parks to name a few. With an abundance of wordplay, puns, plot devices and lame jokes that even the characters themselves comment on, Fforde somehow manages to connect unexplained explosions, porridge, missing scientists, cucumbers, anthropomorphic bears, the technical arm of a multinational corporation, a WWI theme park, a psychopathic biscuit, conspiracy theorists and nuclear fusion. Jack also manages to buy himself a new Austin Allegro Equipe with an unusually useful feature, as well as a less desirable one. The definitive reference for it all is the 2004 edition of The Bumper Book of Berkshire Records, without doubt an interesting read. This is probably Fforde's best yet and will whet the reader's appetite for The Last Great Tortoise Race.show more
by Marianne Vincent
I'm a huge fan of Jasper Fforde's work and as much as I love the Thursday Next books I think I love the NCD series better even if they do tend to stretch the imagination a little more. The Fourth Bear is a rollicking good read and you don't see the conclusion until the very last chapters. All the way through there are hints but Fforde's writing is good, and doesn't give any spoilers away. These books are fantastic and make me feel like a kid getting excited about a new author again.show more
by Hannah Stewart
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