three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
53-July-Aug-2011
user_rating: 
0

missing imageBest known for the Thursday Next series, British novelist Jasper Fforde has also published the Nursery Crimes series and the initial volumes of two different planned trilogies, The Last Dragonslayer (2010) and Shades of Grey ( 3.5 of 5 Stars Mar/Apr 2010). One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is the sixth installment featuring literary detective Thursday Next.

The Story: BookWorld has been relocated, transferred from the Great Library to an archipelago where each genre occupies its own island. A prolonged dispute between Women's Fiction and Racy Novel threatens to escalate into a literary war on Fiction Island at the same time that pieces of narrative from an unknown book are falling from the sky and interfering with the island's story lines. Worst of all, Special Operative Thursday Next, a RealWorld detective who safeguards BookWorld's residents from unplotted mischief, is missing, and it's up to the BookWorld's Thursday and her sidekick, a wind-up mechanical butler named Sprockett, to find the RealWorld's Thursday and restore peace in BookWorld.
Viking. 384 pages. $25.95. ISBN: 9780670022526

Kansas City Star 4 of 5 Stars
"Fforde is a keen satirist and lover of wordplay. Each page is peppered with literary allusions, pop culture references and inside jokes." Rob Merrill

Los Angeles Times 4 of 5 Stars
"One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, like other Fforde novels, is jam-packed with spot-on parody, puns and wry observations about words and genres that will delight literary-minded fans of the series. Even those new to the Nextian universe must admire the audacity of the world Fforde has created, with its Steampunk-influenced contraptions, double entendre literary landmarks and skewering of the publishing industry, even the popularity of ‘the ghostwriter's' books." Paula L. Woods

Miami Herald 4 of 5 Stars
"With his sixth installment in the Thursday Next series, Jasper Fforde once again dives deep into the pools of fantasy, mystery and satire while exhibiting whimsical genius, manic wit and a love of books that would make a librarian's pale in comparison, a wild romp through all things literary that he started 10 years ago with The Eyre Affair." John Williford

Milwaukee Jrnl Sentinel 3.5 of 5 Stars
"[The plot is] too clever by half, and the least interesting part of Fforde's book. ... But until ... the last third of the novel, Missing is a fun-filled romp that also makes some very serious points regarding the nature of fiction and why we still read it." Mike Fischer

Chicago Sun-Times 3 of 5 Stars
"There is no denying Fforde's supersized imagination, linguistic agility and love of books, Books, BOOKS. ... If Fforde has a notable failing, one that should concern seasoned followers and newcomers alike, it's that he doesn't write very convincingly or naturally from a female point of view." Lloyd Sachs

Critical Summary

Fforde once again unites his impish, imaginative sense of humor with sharp observations on the publishing industry and pop culture on his return trip to BookWorld, and most of the critics celebrated this new addition to this "deliciously hilarious series" (Miami Herald). Although the Chicago Sun-Times complained that "Fforde has no mercy on uninitiated readers," the Miami Herald declared that "one doesn't have to be a bibliophile"--or even familiar with previous Thursday Next novels--to enjoy Missing. "Just suspend disbelief, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the mind-bending TransGenre Taxi ride with Thursday Next, Sprockett and the rest of Fforde's wacky and wondrous creations" (Los Angeles Times).

First in the Series

The Eyre Affair A Thursday Next Novel (2001): It is 1985, and someone has been kidnapping characters from cherished works of literature and holding them for ransom. To save England's rich literary heritage, literary detective Thursday Next must track down this despicable villain. ( 4 of 5 Stars Summer 2002)