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First Among Sequels [Hardcover]

Jasper Fforde
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 2007

Fourteen years after Thursday Next pegged out at Superhoop '88, her Jurisfiction job has been downgraded due to a potential conflict of interest, since her previous adventures are now themselves in print. Thursday's time is spent worrying about her teenage son Friday and tutoring new recruits. This being fiction, however, jeopardy is never far away. Sherlock Holmes is killed at the Rheinbach falls and his series is stopped in its tracks. Before this can be righted, Miss Marple dies in a narratively inexplicable car accident, bringing her series also to a close. Thursday, receiving a death-threat clearly intended for her written self, realises what is going on - there is a serial killer is loose in the Bookworld. Meanwhile, Goliath have perfected a 22-seater Prose Portal Luxury Coach, and plan on taking literary tourists on a holiday to the works of Jane Austen. Thursday alone realises the true intent of Goliath's unwanted incursions into fiction, but she can't fight all these battles on her own. She must team up with the one person she really can't get along with - the written Thursday Next, currently starring in The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco. But it's no time to be picky. . .

Product details

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340835753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340835753
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 13.9 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


After giving up a varied career in the film world, he now lives and writes in Wales, and has a passion for aviation.

To find out more visit Jasper's website, Facebook page or follow him on Twitter @jasperfforde.

Product Description


'No summaries can do justice to the sheer inventiveness, wit, complexity, erudition, unexpectedness and originality of the works, nor to their vast repertoire of intricate word-play and puns.' (The Times)

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)

'Fforde describes a melange of the mundane and the phantasmagorical that reads like a well edited Harry Potter; FAS is for adults who want sophisticated wit with their fantasy, but who still possess an appreciation for the intricate world-building of a well-imagined children's novel... But the unashamedly bookish will find it satisfying: what dedicated reader would not laugh at the suggestion of a parallel universe in which Jude the Obscure is renowned as a comic novel?' (New Statesman)

"I always experience a spasm of warmth when I see Jasper Fforde's name in the lists, or, as is currently the case, on Waterstone's '3 for 2' tables. Go, Jasper, go: I think. It's not just that the creator of Thursday Next (sleuth extraordinaire) and laureate of Swindon town ('Jewel of the M4') is the wittiest novelist around - and wit is not in over-supply in popular fiction. Jasper is the only novelist ever to acknowledge me as inspirational." (John Sutherland, Telegraph)

Don't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original (Sunday Express on LOST IN A GOOD BOOK)

Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously (Terry Pratchett on THE EYRE AFFAIR)

Jasper Fforde's imagination is a literary volcano in full spate . . . SOMETHING ROTTEN is arguably Fforde's best book yet . . . Fforde has a knack of creating memorable characters whom the reader greets like long-lost friends . . . Buy it; chuckles guaranteed. (Independent)

The pleasure in Fforde's quirkily brilliant books is that they can be enjoyed on so many levels by all ages. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Book Description

Everyone's favourite Book World heroine, Thursday Next, is back in Jasper Fforde's new bestseller

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
"First Among Sequels" is brilliant. I may as well mention that first.

It's a chaotic book. Other reviewers have said that the lack of a main 'villain' is disappointing, I think the opposite- Fforde juggles various plots at the same time and the result is a sort-of murder mystery where any one of several different characters, in different worlds, could be the key. Among the various plot threads are some ideas of pure genius- for example the time-travelling authority the ChronoGuard who have been happily travelling through time on the assumption that time travel would eventually be invented in order to allow them to do it, but who have now reached 23 minutes before the end of the universe only to find that time travel hasn't been invented after all so they're not sure what they're going to do about it. Fforde refers back to ideas from each of the first four books and brings new things in at the same time. These books are heading toward bursting point.

With the ongoing Thursday Next series I'd say that you should definitely start at the beginning ("The Eyre Affair"), partly because you might find "First Among Sequels" very confusing otherwise, but also because reading this book will spoil your reading of the previous books, as , unlike something like the Discworld series, you'll know who's survived and who hasn't.

The fact Fforde is now five books into the series allows him to become introspective, and weave his own books and fictional versions of his own fictional characters (fictional squared?) into the narrative. When I first read that I was worried that this book would be in danger of heading, um, up it's own bottom. Thankfully it manages to avoid that and Fforde weaves "First Among Sequels" into the original "The Eyre Affair" in a way that enriches things rather than messing them up. I was reminded of "Back To The Future II", which in my eyes is a good thing.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fforde delivers again 18 Aug 2007
If you haven't read any Japser Fforde before, go and buy the Eyre Affair, and work through the series. If you have read the earlier Thursday Next novels and are wondering whether to buy this one, it really is a no-brainer. All the usual Fforde touches are present, intricate plot, laugh out loud one liners, underlying erudition, engaging characters. One may worry that five novels in, Fforde could get tired or formulaic, but to my mind, he avoids both such traps admirably. My one gripe is that the political satire is a touch heavy handed, but that is a minor concern. Definitely recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thursday's back! 2 July 2007
After the two Nursery Crime books featuring Jack Spratt this return to the Swindon of Thursday Next feels somewhat slow to start with; of course the inate plot complexity of inter-fiction travel, alternative Swindon, the People's Republic of Wales, the impossibility of time travel and introducing the reader to two fictional versions of Thursday mean quite some time needs to be spent filling in backstory. However once the story gets into full swing its right back to the playful perception flips of the earlier books.

This book is more satisfying than Something Rotten, its predecessor in the series with many teasing little tangents to relish - somebody stealing the jokes out of Thomas Hardy; the funniest books in literature, or the fact that the ChronoGuard could only travel in time because they assumed somebody would be bound to invent time travel at some point in the future.

That said, and whilst I loved the body of the book I was frustrated by an ending that failed to resolve the story and left the reader hanging like at the end of one of those black and white Flash Gordon episodes; cliff hangers are fine if you only have to wait another week for resolution, but two years? Give us a break!

For followers of the series this is a definite must buy, but for a first dip into the world of Jasper Fforde I'd strongly suggest you start with the Eyre Affair (the first Thursday Next book) or The Big Over Easy - a lighter, less complex read featuring stronger characterisation and more laughs.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I always liked time travel stories 5 July 2007
Amazon Germany kindly dropped this book into my mail a full week before the official publication date. Considering the novel's plot that once more revolves around various forms of time travel and its paradoxes this could of course just be a marketing scheme worthy of Goliath, indeed, but just as fine with me.
Having said that I just finished the book today, July 5th and it was a good, fluent and certainly entertaining read. The missing footnotes (see Mr Fforde's website for addendum) are a downer, but you can fill in the gaps without much trouble.
As with most of the Thursday Next series, a main plot is hard to make out. Fforde does sidesteps and elongated narratives that are seemingly unrelated to the presumed main story. Without spoilering, most of those ARE indeed connected in the end, yet some remain to be resolved in the next sequel. True to its title, the novel ends with a cliff hanger, so beware. However, I do not feel cheated but am eagerly expecting the next installment.
In all, it has everything one came to love about Thursday Next, treats you to at least three big surprises in best postmodern Fforde fashion, and finishes one of my favorite story elements for good (though you never know with this one...). As sad as this is, it is exercised beautifully. One star deduction, however, for a feeling of "could have been even better" that I did feel during the whole read. Too many things going on maybe while there is no strong antagonist (in other words: no Hades, not really at least) and the one that poses the biggest threat only gets introduced well into the second act.
Summing it up: Ffans will be more than happy to see Thursday return; people who never read any of her adventures before could start with this one - which is a surprise in its own - but I suggest picking up "The Eyre Affair" and work your way up from there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Typical Jasper Fforde - collecting all the Thursday Next series - wonderful fun. If you like fantasy and humour you will thoroughly enjoy it and the rest of the collection.
Published 3 months ago by Zena H
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking tail!
This is yet another terrific book in the next series, it only remains to ask 'what next?' I am sure the answer will be another totally understandable foray into the world of text,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
if u like the author u will really enjoy this book and im sure u read it again its a good read
Published 7 months ago by alan
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most t imaginative writers I have read
I am an avid fan of Jasper Fforde's. His alternative universe takes a little getting use to, but it is totally believable and internally consistent with well drawn characters and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Azucena
5.0 out of 5 stars As always, brilliant!
He always keeping you on your toes and I never ever get to a point in the book where I want to put it down!
Published 9 months ago by Charlotte Iosson
5.0 out of 5 stars go read this book
a very good read and a nice open end so the series can continue ,well written with great characters can't recommend this series enough
Published 10 months ago by steve whitcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Unsurprisingly, another great Thursday Next book from Jasper Fforde. As always, worth reading as part of the Thursday Next series.
Published 11 months ago by Juliette
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Amazing, complex yet well managed plot. Keeps the reader engaged and interested. Witty, challenging with well rounded, likeable characters (and Dodo's)
Published 11 months ago by jane bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good gift
Gave it to my mother for her birthday and she really really enjoyed it. Good gift for anyone who likes Jasper Fforde
Published 13 months ago by Megan
4.0 out of 5 stars another great chapter . .
another great chapter in the Thursday Series, fantastic and funny as always. Jasper Fforde amuses and entertains me every time
Published 13 months ago by C
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