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First Among Sequels (Thursday Next) Paperback – 24 Jul 2008

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First Among Sequels (Thursday Next) + One of Our Thursdays is Missing (Thursday Next) + Something Rotten (Thursday Next)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (24 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340752025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340752029
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,246 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


'Once you read one - you'll be hooked.' (David Baldacci)

'Fforde's books are more than just an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and are tautly plotted. They have empathetic heroes and heroines who nearly make terrible mistakes and suitably dastardly villains who do. They also have more twists and turns than Christie, and are embellished with the rich details of Dickens or Pratchett' (Independent)

A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb (Daily Mail)

'Fforde is a master entertainer, and a wordsmith of dexterous genius.' (Scotsman)

'Fans of the late Douglas Adams, or, even, Monty Python, will feel at home with Fforde' (Herald)

Book Description

Everyone's favourite Book World heroine, Thursday Next, returns in her fifth adventure - by Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde.

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
"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 By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ray Blake VINE VOICE on 1 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
The first four Thursday Next novels were contained within a story arc that ended with the fourth novel. First Among Sequels attempts to get things going again, and it does pretty well to begin with. Swindon's more exotic branches of law enforcement are officially defunct, but actually continue behind the facade of a carpet superstore. The new reality takes some time to set up, and it's a while before there's any real direction to the narrative. Indeed, the amount of explantion of the ins and outs of jurisfiction and the book world in the first half is quite offputting.

Fforde pulls it all together just after half way through, though, when the real story emerges, and from then on it's the familiar helter-skelter literary lunacy we've come to expect.

The end, though, hints at a new direction for this series. Might there be a certain amount of convergence with Fforde's other series, about the Nursery Crimes Division?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Haynes on 2 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tinybulcher on 17 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jasper Fforde is rapidly becoming the true heir to Douglas Adams: DNA was essentially a sketch writer, and could write sparkling little skits based round ideas, but had trouble stringing them together in a coherent story. Fforde is similarly ideas-driven, and will bend his plots to accomodate them, but he is much better at plotting than DNA ever was. Readers of TN 1- 4 will find TN 5 absolutely stuffed with ideas, many of them mind-bendingly brilliant, hung on a pretty nifty plot; the characterisation suffers a little as a consequence, but, hey, nobody's perfect. In short, it's business as usual in Thursdayverse, complete with some very funny jokes, a rare crop of vile puns, a whole shedload of literary and other references, and the usual ration of spelling mistakes (Jasper cannot spell for toffee, and while the proof-readers catch most of them, the homonyms get through every time). He's never likely to be accused of literature; but it's fun, and funny, and snaps and crackles with more energy than fifty other books. 4/5 stars; buy it.

One serious note: Aornis' revenge on Thursday is seriously creepy and disturbing. That's how you portray evil. Maybe he can write a bit, after all ... :-)
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