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Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled 'Caversham Heights'. Landen, her husband, is still eradicated, Aornis Hades is meddling with Thursday's memory, and Miss Havisham - when not sewing up plot-holes in 'Mill on the Floss' - is trying to break the land-speed record on the A409. But something is rotten in the state of Jurisfiction. Perkins is 'accidentally' eaten by the minotaur, and Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus. As a shadow looms over popular fiction, Thursday must keep her wits about her and discover not only what is going on, but also who she can trust to tell about it ...With grammasites, holesmiths, trainee characters, pagerunners, baby dodos and an adopted home scheduled for demolition, 'The Well of Lost Plots' is at once an addictively exciting adventure and an insight into how books are made, who makes them - and why there is no singular for 'scampi'. In the words of one critic: 'Don't ask. Just read it.'

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340825969
ISBN-10: 0340825960
Format: Hardback
(239mm x 162mm x 36mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 7-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » At the end of Lost in a Good Book, heroine and literary detective Thursday Next was planning a quiet retreat to a little-read novel. Her husband Landen has been eradicated by the evil Goliath corporation in a time-travel operation that engineered his death aged two in an accident, and Thursday, pregnant with his child, is the only person who remembers him. She's determined to rescue him, but before starting out on that dangerous mission she decides to rest safely in an unpublished manuscript until the baby is born. Or at least that's her intention. On her arrival in Caversham Heights, a fourth-rate crime novel set in Reading, she discovers that all is not well in the book world. The loner maverick detective with a drink problem is traumatised by his uninteresting role, the pathologist has only been trained as a mother figure in domestic potboilers, and worst of all Caversham Heights itself is under threat of being recycled into plain text. As Thursday travels into the cavernous Well of Lost Plots in an attempt to salvage the situation, she encounters terrifying grammasites, a rampaging mispeling vyrus and a suspicious plan to replace the book with a new technology. Worst of all, her foe Aornis, sister of Acheron Hades, is entering her memory by night and eliminating all trace of Landen. Fforde's imagination is as fertile as ever; from the training academy for fictional characters to the anger-management classes in Wuthering Heights the reader is swept along on a tide of baffling and hilarious invention, with literary references every other line and a nice line in affectionate mockery (just why are breakfasts, minor illnesses and underwear so rare in fiction?). Occasionally the plot becomes too complex for its own good, and, set entirely in the underworld of novels, it sometimes feels like a fill-in between the excitements and terrors of Lost in a Good Book and the thrills that we're certain to encounter in the next instalment. But Fforde's incapable of writing a dull line, and anything featuring Thursday, Pickwick the dodo and Miss Havisham (here seen trying to beat Toad for the land speed record) can't fail to entertain the reader throughout. Lie back and enjoy. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Third course in a feast of hyperliterary alternate-reality thrillers (The Eyre Affair, 2002, etc.) may prove too rich for some stomachs. Fforde's story takes place in several parallel universes that manage, against all laws of logic and geometry, to intersect at many, many points. Our heroine, literary detective Thursday Next, is the nexus of this strangely wired cosmos. Thursday has just returned from the pages of Jane Eyre, in which she foiled archvillain Acheron Hades' attempt to steal the ending. Now pregnant (by a dead veteran of the Crimean War) and badly in need of rest, she requests an assignment in the Character Exchange Program and is sent to fill in for Mary Jones, detective in a dreadful unpublished thriller. Like all unpublished books, Caversham Heights exists in a kind of limbo in the Well of Lost Plots, a warren of sub-basements in the Great Library where all books are born, but few see the light of day. Thursday works her way through Mary's role in the hopeless plot, glad of a safe job for change, but she soon finds plenty of extratextual distractions that hint at trouble ahead. Within the ranks of Jurisfiction (a kind of FBI of the text world), a string of murders begins to claim the lives of various authorities connected with a new process of plot development. Thursday learns that her late husband is not dead at all but was in fact "eradicated" at the behest of rogue elements within Jurisfiction. Between teaching her "generic" houseboys Ibb and Obb how to cook, fending off hostile grammasites (literary parasites that infest a plot with gerunds), and facing Jurisfiction charges that she changed the ending of Jane Eyre, Thursday still has to find the time to solve the various crimes now springing up within and without the text. For instance, who stole the commas from Joyce's Ulysses? Like anchovies, Wagner, and Helmut Newton: will greatly appeal to people with unusual tastes-and befuddle everyone else. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and sucking the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation. 'The Well of Lost Plots' is his third novel.

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