One of our Thursdays is Missing, Jasper Fforde (Hodder & Stoughton)
If a university literature lecturer and an absurdist personality came together for a night of sweet passion, the resulting baby would be novelist Jasper Fforde. Having established a reputation with The Eyre Affair as a ridiculously talented writer with two Fs beginning his surname, Fforde has given us the sixth book in the Thursday Next series.
Our story is a metafictional adventure set in the Bookworld, where all the written books live in an inverted sphere with flesh and blood characters. This is where we find our heroine, the fictional Thursday Next. Her namesake – the Real Thursday Next – is due to negotiate peace talks preventing a war between genres…however she is nowhere to be found. Fictional Thursday secretly pursues the case with her cocktail-making robot butler.
One of our Thursdays is Missing is peppered with literary references that would make any self-respecting Lit student pat themselves on the back on many pages. The many jokes for the sake of wordplay and literary reference could be found a bit wanky by some, but I couldn’t help but giggle at the jaded conspiracy theories placed in fiction instead of non-fiction, meeting the Great Gatsby’s younger brother Mediocre Gatsby, and when our heroine crash landed into a “mimefield” which was full of, well, men dressed in black slacks, striped shirts, white face paint and large hats who became silently murderous when not applauded.
Impossible to pinpoint one genre for One of Our Thursdays is Missing, I can only describe it as kind of like playing bingo with Dr Who and John Cleese, using a four dimensional piece of paper. Trust in Fforde’s creations as they navigate their world and relish the ride.
Now where’s my robot butler? I need a Tahiti Tingle.
If you like your books metafiction-fantastic this will be your cup of tea.
review by Arlene