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    Review of LOST IN A GOOD BOOK by Jasper Fforde (see his website)


    Viking, March 2003

    Literary Detective Thursday Next, who has just discovered she is pregnant, is in hot water again when her husband, Landen, is eradicated at age 2 in an evil attempt by the corrupt Goliath Corporation to blackmail Thursday. In her previous adventure, Thursday trapped one of Goliath's key employees inside The Raven, and they want him back. If all this sounds impossibly confusing, it isn't once you get into the swing of Fforde's incredibly complex alternate reality.

    Thursday, who has slipped into an alternate alternate reality where she has no husband (but seems to have a mysterious boyfriend named Miles of whom she has no memory), is determined to do whatever it takes to get Landen back. To meet Goliath's demands she has to learn how to jump into books without the help of her uncle's invention, the Prose Portal, which has been destroyed. She seeks out the mysterious Mrs. Nakajima, the only other person Thursday knows who can "book jump." Her search leads her into the shadowy world of Jurisfiction, where a dedicated group of fictional characters police the fictional world from inside the books, just as Thursday's agency, LiteraTec, does from the human side. As an apprentice to Miss Haversham (yes, that Miss Haversham), Thursday undertakes her education while dodging evil Goliath persons, coincidences gone wild, and a corrupt ChronoGuard agent attempting to catch Thursday's time-jumping fugitive father (who often pops in to give Thursday a hand).

    And then there's Pickwick, Thursday's genetically engineered dodo, who has laid an egg .

    The second Thursday Next installment is every bit as fun as the first. The writing is incredibly clever, filled with literary allusions and amazingly deft wordplay. About 90 percent of it goes straight over my head, but the 10 percent that I do get is plenty to make me laugh out loud. And just when you think it can't get any crazier or funnier, you get socked between the eyes with tender, emotional moments that make me wonder if Thursday could actually "book jump" into my living room. I'm off now to read the third in the series, which has already been reviewed here on BooksForABuck (but not by this reviewer).

    See more reviews of novels by Jasper Fforde

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 5/04/04

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