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Thursday Next
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About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling series of Thursday Next novels, which includes Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, and The Woman Who Died A Lot. The series has more than one million copies (and counting) in print. He is also the author of The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear of the Nursery Crime series, Shades of Grey, and books for young readers, including The Last Dragonslayer. Visit jasperfforde.com.

Reviews

The fifth Thursday Next adventure takes place 14 years after the events of Something Rotten, and things have changed. The literary operative's young son, Friday, has become a slacker who refuses to accept his destiny as a member of the time--manipulating Chronoguard. Jurisfiction has been disbanded, leaving Thursday to carry on her duties under the guise of operating a floor-covering business. Worst of all, people have stopped reading because of the popularity of reality TV. Unlike the other titles in the series, First Among Sequels doesn't concentrate on a single literary classic, adopting a more scattershot approach that teeters on the edge of a lack of focus. Emily Gray reads without the energy she has shown previously. Despite such weaknesses, Thursday titles still attract an audience. Recommended for popular collections.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Full of bizarre subplots, many of which don't go anywhere, bestseller Fforde's fifth novel to feature intrepid literary detective Thursday Next (after 2004's Something Rotten) blends elements of mystery, campy science fiction and screwball fantasy a la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. With the Stupidity Surplus reaching dangerously high levels all over England, Acme Carpets employee and undercover SpecOps investigator Next has her hands full trying to persuade her 16-year-old slacker son, Friday, to join the ChronoGuard, which deals with temporal stability; if Friday continues to sleep away his future, the end is near-for everyone. To complicate matters, a malicious apprentice begins making classic works of literature into reality book shows (Pride and Prejudice becomes The Bennets), a ruthless corporation tries to turn the Bookworld into a tourist trap, and the Cheese Enforcement Agency tries to bust Next for smuggling killer curd. The fate of the world may lie in a Longfellow poem. Fans of satiric literary humor are in for a treat. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Playful . . . It's not hard to see what this enthusiasm is about. . . . It's easy to be delighted by a writer who loves books so madly."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"What keeps this series humming is Fforde's lively engagement with books and the indefatigable woman he's created to defend them."
--People

"Richly crammed with jokes, ideas, and action. Brainier silliness is hard to find"
--USA Today

"The BookWorld seems to have encouraged Fforde's rogue imagination to escape all fetters and really go wild."
--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"For the past six years, Jasper Fforde has been . . . churning out one impossibly winning book after the next about Thursday Next. You needn't have spent half your childhood sitting up at night with a flashlight reading these books to enjoy First Among Sequels. What captivates here is something that will appeal to any reader--and that's the feeling that there's something at stake in fiction, that characters created in books are every bit as real as the memory of a person. Of all the Thursday books, this one is by far the most busily plotted, but Fforde's greatest gift is on display. He beautifully captures that sense of embattlement which hovers over readers today in a world crowed with other forms of entertainment."
--John Freeman, Newsday

"Bookworms looking for a new literary world to escape to after Harry Potter may find this a welcome addition to the bookshelf."
--The Boston Globe

"An invigorating romp for all lovers of literature. In his 2003 novel The Eyre Affair, Fforde introduced readers to a futuristic world where books reigned supreme. Now, years later, [Thursday Next] is back, older, wiser, married with children and working for Jurisdiction, the policing agency that works within books. It's not entirely necessary--though perhaps more fun--to read the books in the proper order. Fforde gives enough background in Thursday Next to inform readers of all they need to know to find both books hilarious, entertaining."
--Kim Curtis, Associated Press

"First Among Sequels is so jam-packed with goofy jokes and shaggy plot lines that some readers may tire before the end. That would be a shame, since they'd miss the book's exciting conclusion on the dangerous high seas of piratical swashbuckling. Argh!"
--The Seattle Times

"[With a] furiously agile imagination . . . Fforde has shaken up genres--fantasy, comedy, crime, sci-fi, parody, literary criticism--and come up with a superb mishmash with lots of affectionate in-jokes for any book lover. There's a good chance the aptly titled First Among Sequels is the best of Fforde's novels."
--The Miami Herald

"Fforde really unleashes his imagination, and it knows no bounds, especially in reference to specific books, displaying . . . his 'bibliowit.' Despite all the allusions, illusions, neologisms, puns, and other literary sleights-of-hand, the reader comes to see that for all its futuristic, alternate-world shenanigans, First Among Sequels is a down-to-earth (well, sort of) cautionary tale about good and evil, as well as a family-centered love story about a good marriage."
--The Washington Times

"Warning: Reading one of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels could, if you are not careful, have the effect of making other novels appear dull, uninspired, pedestrian, and predictable. Outright silliness . . . surrounded by strokes of inspired, demented genius. This is a novel with a deep love for fiction and a respect for how books, more than any other medium, can transform a life."
--The Tampa Tribute

"Fans of satiric literary humor are in for a treat."
--Knoxville News

"Reads like a well-edited Harry Potter; First Among Sequels is for adults who want sophisticated with their fantasy, but who still possess an appreciation for the intricate world-building of a well-imagined children's novel. Canonical in-jokes abound. . . .What dedicated reader wouldn't laugh at the suggestion of a parallel universe in which Jude the Obscure is renowned as a comic novel?"
--New Statesman

"What is most enjoyable about Jasper Fforde's work is not its silliness--though there is plenty of that. It is admiring the skill that keeps all of those silly balls in the air. First Among Sequels does something as highly improbably as the life of its heroine: it continues to surprise and entertain. What makes Fforde's work such fun is [his] unrestrained combination of wit and lunacy. Underlying that, though, is a love of a good story that rights true. It works magnificently."
--The Denver Post

"Recommending Fforde's novels is a bookseller's dilemma. You can go on about literature-as-technology in popular culture in the Nextian world. . . . Or you can tackle his Nursery Crime series. But handselling First Among Sequels is easy. Just hand [the reader] a copy and tell them to read a couple of pages--and have plenty of earlier titles on hand, because you'll sell them too!"
--Publishers Weekly

"Irrepressibly playful and relentlessly imaginative."
--Adam Begley, The New York Observer

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