Thursday Next #4
By Jasper Fforde
From the library
Note: This review may contain spoilers for earlier books in the series.
Thursday Next just never seems to catch a break. She is a single mother because the dastardly Goliath Corporation made her husband disappear. She is also in charge of Jurisfiction, where she must maintain the storyline of the books you know and love. Thursday decides to head home to her mother and brother with her son Friday in tow. She hopes to get her beloved husband back by regaining her job with the Literary Detectives. But complications abound when she is also asked to care for the infamous and melancholy prince Hamlet, prevent Danish books from being burned by a power-hungry politician, and ensure that the local (and terrible) croquet team wins the championship.
The Thursday Next series is consistently categorized as fun and this zany cast of characters will leave you chuckling throughout the book. Thursday's young son speaks only in ipsum lorem, the dummy text that is used for the layout of publications. Her father has been erased from time like her husband, but still pops in for the occasional chat. Her mother runs a support group for people whose loved ones have been eradicated and has an ever-revolving group of guests staying in her home. We also encounter an evil space emperor bent on destruction, a familiar Beatrix Potter character, and the cowboys of the Wild West.
This time around, Fforde also jumps into politics and religion. Thursday's nemesis is Yorrick Kane, who has escaped from a book in order to take over England. The politicians engage in a debate during a show called "Evade the Question." The candidates proceed to do just that and are awarded points accordingly. Thursday has returned home just in time to witness the second coming of her hometown's patron saint. While Thomas Zvlkx has an uncanny ability to predict the future, he also seems to have a weakness for cursing and making wagers.
The Thursday Next series is whimsical and clever and downright fun. The story is constantly moving and will give you many opportunities to smile at bad puns or laugh at the ingenious way that Fforde seems to utilize every character, historical event, and idea that you could possibly imagine. If you haven't read this gift to readers, you are missing out!
You can find my reviews of earlier Thursday Next books here.