cover image Well of Lost Plots

Well of Lost Plots

Jasper Fforde. HighBridge Audio, $36.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56511-837-9

Those new to the Thursday Next series may feel as if they've fallen down the proverbial rabbit hole after listening to a few chapters of Fforde's newest mystery (after Eyre Affair), which is set entirely in other books. Reader Sastre gamely plows through the linguistically complex text and endows the heroine, intrepid detective Thursday Next, with a friendly yet determined voice that rings true to her Northern England roots. But puzzling details soon come to light, such as the fact that Thursday is vacationing in an unpublished book. Insightful listeners (and only the well-read should even attempt this audiobook) will come to realize that Thursday has swapped places with a character named Mary, who resides in a cliched, and thus unpublished, detective novel located in the Well of Lost Plots. The Well, situated in the sub-basement of the Great Library, is a ruthless underworld where a host of wild creatures, including parasitic grammasites and fatal speling vyruses, abound. Sastre stretches her vocal cords to the limit, screeching for one character and swooping low for another. In the end, listeners will leave this zany literary circus with a ringing headache and a whole new appreciation for both books and audiobooks.