The Woman Who Died A Lot: A Thursday Next Novel

Jasper Fforde. Putnam, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-670-02502-2
Fforde (One of Our Thursdays is Missing) continues to show that his forte is absurdist humor in his seventh crime thriller starring Thursday Next, a member of the Literary Detectives division of Special Operations in an alternate-universe Britain. This time, it’s 2004, and Next is about to have a crowded week, even by her standards. As she puts it, it “began with a trip into Swindon in order to find myself a job and ended with a pillar of cleansing fire descending from the heavens, a rethink on the Wessex Library Service operating budget, and my son shooting Gavin Watkins dead.” Meanwhile, Britain is attempting to manage a stupidity surplus: “[t]he nation’s stupidity—usually discharged on a harmless drip feed of minor bungling—had now risen far beyond the capacity of the nation to dispose of it in a safe and sensible fashion.” Toast has become the newest fad food, spawning a popular chain of topless toast bars known as Tooters. Such details help flesh out this endearingly-bizarre fantasy world limited only by Fforde’s impressive imagination. Agent: Will Francis, Janklow & Nesbit U.K. (Oct. 2)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 10/02/2012
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Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-340-96311-1
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Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-4447-0933-9
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