Is It Time for Thursday Yet?

Jul 18, 2012 by

I love books about books. It’s so. . . meta, somehow. Back in 2001, a little book by Jasper Fforde was published called The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel , a supremely silly book that introduced us to Thursday Next, a real world special operative working in Jurisfiction, a crime-solving agency located in the world of fiction. Confused yet?

There have been six Thursday Next novels to date, and a seventh one, The Woman Who Died a Lot, has just been released. I just finished reading the sixth book in the series, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel, and it made me remember why I love this series so much. First of all, Thursday (whether her actual character or her written character, and yes, they ARE two different entities) is one of the greatest female characters ever. She’s funny, resourceful, and smart, often all at the same time. Second, Fforde clearly loves all genres. The Bookworld that makes up most of the sixth novel is full of inside jokes about the state of publishing, the rise of e-books, and the stigma of the self-published; much of the conflict of Bookworld centers around a border dispute between Racy Novel and Women’s Fiction. Yet with all the wit and crazy puns and literary allusions, there is also a sweetness and humanity to the characters that inhabit these books that make you care about them – even Melanie Bradshaw, the wife of Commander Trafford Bradshaw who coincidentally happens to be a gorilla.

By the way, if the Thursday Next novels don’t provide you with enough silliness, let me point you in the direction of Jasper Fforde‘s fine set of very silly, Monty Pythonesque websites which include the Toast Marketing Board website (complete with Toast Art!!), and the Seven Wonders of Swindon (set in an alternative universe Swindon, in South West England).