First Among Sequels – Fforde at his best.

When people ask me if I like Holden or Ford, I always answer – Fforde, of course!

Jasper Fforde is always a favourite, but First Among Sequels is a return to his very best form.

Set fifteen years after Something Rotten, Thursday has quit the defunct Spec Ops, and is making a modest living at Acme Carpets. By the way, Braxton Hicks and Spike work there too. Sounds suspicious? It should! Acme Carpets is a front for Spec Ops – but even Spec Ops is a front for Thursday’s work at Jurisfiction in the Book World.

In a brilliant move, Fforde introduces us to the “fictional” Thursdays who were in the books based upon her life. Thursday 1-4 (from the four books we know) I a course creature, who loves nothing more than sex and violence – and craves revenge on the real Thursday who has been so outspoken against her character.

Then there is the Thursday from The Samuel Pepys Fiasco (a book that doesn’t exist, and is indeed destroyed later in the story) – a tofu eating hippy who seems about as opposite from our Thursday as you can imagine.

So, what challenges does Thursday face in this book? Well for a start, there’s always the end of time. Her son Friday, who is supposed to rise to the highest echelons of the Chronoguard shows no signs of interest, which a parallel version of Friday says will precipitate an end to time travel itself. Then there is a push in the book world to make books interactive that may ultimately destroy the narratives of classics such as Pride and Prejudice. Failing this, there is always the major stupidity surplus that must be expressed somehow.

Throw in a few gun fights, being stuck in a Book World Moral Dilemma, a ghost, a daughter with an IQ approaching 300 and one that never seems to be around, Thursday has plenty on her plate again!

Fforde has lost none of his brilliant literary wit, and I for one cannot wait for more.

If you get the jokes, you will love him!

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