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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Crack it open and, pow, the story goes off at a tangent.", 20 Sept. 2005
This review is from: The Well Of Lost Plots: Thursday Next Book 3 (Paperback)
In his previous two novels, Fforde created a wacky, fictional universe in which "real world" characters could transport themselves into books, associate with the characters there, turn back the clock, and even change the endings. Heroine Thursday Next, has saved Jane Eyre from disaster, imprisoned Jack Schitt in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," and ended the Crimean War, but she has also made enemies of some powerful criminals, one of whom has gone back in time and killed off her husband when he was just a small child. Now, pregnant, she is the only person who can remember him as an adult, and her memory is failing. Anxious for a rest, she decides to go with her dodo Pickwick to visit the Well of Lost Plots, where all book characters, plots, and settings reside until they are chosen for novels.
In this most literary of Fforde's three novels, Thursday is an apprentice agent-in-training for JurisFiction, the policing agency that works inside books, her mentor and guide being Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. Living inside an unpublished crime thriller, Thursday explores the Great Library, where the Cheshire Cat is librarian, sees the workshop for backstories (some used, some not), meets generic characters ("human canvases without paint") and "orals" (nursery rhyme characters), tours available settings (high-capped mountains, arched stone bridges, ruined castles), and watches as Miss Havisham joyrides in "Chitty Bang Bang." Holesmiths work there fixing holes in narratives, grammatacists try to prevent grammacites (gerunds) and mispeling vyruses from infecting novels, and pace-setters, moodmongers, and plot speculators work on new creations.
As the Well considers installing the UltraWord operating system, which will expand the basic eight-plot architecture into thirty-two plots, Thursday tries to preserve the memory of Landen, fight against her enemies, and win her trial for a fiction infraction. Fforde pulls out all the stops here, creating a carnival ride through books and the creative process with surprises and delights on every page. Less plot-driven than the previous novels, this novel is episodic, with scenes ranging from a Star Wars-type bar scene to a group counseling session for the characters in Wuthering Heights. While Thursday's exact role is not always clear, Fforde's ability to free the reader's imagination and keep him/her involved in the literary world with its infinite possibilities is daunting. Full of satire, parody, puns, literary jokes, and word play, this latest in the Thursday Next series provides hours of entertainment for anyone interested in books and how they "work." Mary Whipple
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