Source:Library book sale
Description: Welcome to a surreal
version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine,
cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and
literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual
police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth
poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and
forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as
usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary
detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of
literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel,
Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to
avert a heinous act of literary homicide. (Copied from Goodreads.)
Review: I'd heard a lot of good things about this book, and it is a good book. The alternate earth these characters inhabit seems well thought out, the characters themselves are quite likable, especially Thursday, and the plot kept me engaged until the end. I certainly don't regret picking up a good portion of the rest of series at the same book sale.
So why three and a half stars? It's the fault of the first person POV.
Or, more specifically, Jasper Fforde's failure in writing in the first person.
As long as we're following what's going on with Thursday, we don't run into many problems. However, on several occasions, the story moves to cover events which Thursday isn't present for. The transition to these ranges from the the unnoticeable, to slightly clumsy, to the "I had to reread that section four times and its still confusing." We literally change POV in mid-sentence once.
I have no idea how this issue got past an editor, but it did. If you're even mildly sensitive to that sort of writing error, it makes reading the book painful.
Thankfully, for the sake of a promising series, the second book, Lost in a Good Book, doesn't suffer from this problem.
Overall, I'd recommend this book.