First Among Sequels is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.
The year is 2002. It is fourteen years since Thursday almost pegged out at the 1988 Croquet SuperHoop, and life is beginning to get back to normal…
Spec Ops have been disbanded. Thursday Next leaves her husband and three children every day to go and work at Acme Carpets. But what she’s not telling her family, is that the carpet business is just a front, oh and that she may just occasionally be jumping into BookWorld to continue her job with Jurisfiction.
Hilarious and incredibly topical in places. I sincerely wish the Common Sense Party were actually real. Although I’m definitely glad we don’t have to smuggle cheese from Wales. Of course, the literary playfulness within BookWorld is just a joy to read. You can open it up at practically any page and find something to laugh at. Thursday is also faced with her fictional selves, who she has to tutor. If you haven’t read this series, you must! I love how the classics are still being shaped by hiccups, just like the initial adventure in Jane Eyre.
Moving Thursday forward in time means that BookWorld is facing some tough challenges. How to compete with multimedia and shortened attention spans? Many a publisher’s thought these days. The Book Reality Show highlights a very real fear among book lovers; we don’t want gimmicks to get in the way of a good story. In a bid to innovate, it’s easy to forget about the novel and end up somewhere in games.
I do absolutely love Jasper Fforde, so I’m pretty happy to read without a discernable plot, which for a large part of the book, I couldn’t really work out. There are lots of threads and some of them seem to be forgotten about. It’s only when you get nearer the end that the connection becomes apparent.
I’m usually quite happy with my favourite series not being adapted for the screen, but I so want to see an actual army of Danverclones. Be prepared for a cliffhanger ending, but it’s OK, the next book is already out.
Also reviewed @ Lucybird’s Book Blog
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