F ull of bizarre subplots, many of which don't go anywhere, bestseller Fforde's fifth novel to feature intrepid literary detective Thursday Next (after 20"/>

First Among Sequels

Jasper Fforde, Author . Viking $24.95 (363p) ISBN 978-0-670-03871-8

F ull of bizarre subplots, many of which don't go anywhere, bestseller Fforde's fifth novel to feature intrepid literary detective Thursday Next (after 2004's Something Rotten ) blends elements of mystery, campy science fiction and screwball fantasy à la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. With the Stupidity Surplus reaching dangerously high levels all over England, Acme Carpets employee and undercover SpecOps investigator Next has her hands full trying to persuade her 16-year-old slacker son, Friday, to join the ChronoGuard, which deals with temporal stability; if Friday continues to sleep away his future, the end is near—for everyone. To complicate matters, a malicious apprentice begins making classic works of literature into reality book shows (Pride and Prejudic e becomes The Bennets ), a ruthless corporation tries to turn the Bookworld into a tourist trap, and the Cheese Enforcement Agency tries to bust Next for smuggling killer curd. The fate of the world may lie in a Longfellow poem. Fans of satiric literary humor are in for a treat. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/14/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
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