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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

One of Our Thursdays
is Missing

Jasper Fforde

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To purchase One of Our Thursdays is Missing

Title: One of Our Thursdays is Missing
Author: Jasper Fforde
Genre: Novel
Written: 2011
Length: 359 pages
Availability: One of Our Thursdays is Missing - US
One of Our Thursdays is Missing - UK
One of Our Thursdays is Missing - Canada
One of our Thursdays is Missing - India
Wo ist Thursday Next ? - Deutschland
  • A Thursday Next Novel

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Our Assessment:

B : good fun, though more in the details than the story as a whole

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The LA Times . 24/3/2011 Paula L. Woods

  From the Reviews:
  • "One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, like other Fforde novels, is jampacked 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" - Paula L. Woods, The Los Angeles Times

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       One of Our Thursdays is Missing is a slightly different sort of Thursday Next-adventure in that it is the real Thursday Next, the well-known Jurisfiction agent, that has gone missing, and so the novel is narrated by (and centers on) her most recent written version, Thursday Next A8-V-67987-FP, composed 3 June 2006. This Thursday notes:

Although I've been Thursday for so long that sometimes I think I am her, I'm not. I'm just the written her.
       And, identity-issues aside (though they do crop up repeatedly), the written version isn't quite the same as the actual one. She's somewhat flatter, and doesn't have quite all of the proper Thursday's abilities and qualities. But with the real Thursday gone missing the written one is thrust into a more demanding role and does her best to keep up; for the most part that works out fine.
       We are, of course, once again in Jasper Fforde's fantastic BookWorld, the behind-the-scenes written world which proves to be a complicated actual reality that readers remain blithely unaware of. As always, much of the fun of the novel is in the descriptions of this world, from how the Rubik's Cube works here -- "The lack of randomness within the orderly structure of the BookWorld tended not to permit disorder", so try as one might, all the faces on the cube remain the same color -- to the Narrative Clunker Unit:
Villains haven't been allowed to be albinos for years, identical twins as plot devices are banned, and double negatives are a complete no-no.
       (Surprisingly, however, at one point the written Thursday is threatened with the narrative procedure "known as a 'Bobby Ewing'" -- "painless so long as you don't mind any potential readers throwing up their hands in disgust.")
       The story begins with the BookWorld undergoing a 'remaking' -- sort of like a software upgrade, but requiring a complete rebooting of the entire system, which in turn requires all reading, everywhere, to stop for some nine minutes. That doesn't turn out to be such a big problem, but there seem to be enough other problems elsewhere, including one disagreement that the real Thursday Next is supposed to help fix. The written Thursday Next gets drawn into that -- and other complicated proceedings -- as several interested parties either want her to play the real Thursday at the peace talks and elsewhere (after all: "you look exactly like Thursday -- the best cover in the world. And what could possibly go wrong ?"), or are convinced that she is the real Thursday. Either way, it causes no end of problems: she finds herself with Thursday's authentic Jurisfiction badge, and constantly trying to say a step ahead of the Men in Plaid, who remain on her heels.
       She employs a stand-in for when she's away -- should any readers pick up any of the Thursday-stories, as inevitably a few will -- and picks up a trusty sidekick in the model Duplex-5 automaton that goes by the name Sprockett, whom she saved from a mob. The wind-up butler Sprockett -- a clockwork life-form that explains: "everyone needs a butler" -- proves helpful, but when Thursday ventures into the RealWorld she's on her own.
       Sent to the RealWorld to check on whether there's any information about Thursday's whereabouts there, the written Thursday suddenly finds herself in a completely different reality, one she has glimpsed but whose full richness -- extending to Thursday's husband, Landen -- was previously unknown to her. Aside from the identity crisis being taken for the real Thursday in the real world causes, one can't forget that in the BookWorld, with its completely preordained paths it was:
what I yearned for above all, the most underappreciated luxury of the human race: free will.
       The written Thursday stumbles and rushes from one complication and often life-threatening confrontation to the next, in both the RealWorld and the BookWorld. All the while there are egos to soothe -- from pet dodo Pickwick and Mrs. Malaprop at home to the various smaller and larger forces that want a piece of her (or the real Thursday Next). It's all a bit messy and much, but it's the bits and pieces, all the small details, that make One of Our Thursdays is Missing an enjoyable read.
       Fforde's richly imagined behind-the-scenes BookWorld is always fun to enter, and the literary jokes, if often a bit forced, continue to hold appeal for bookish readers.

- M.A.Orthofer, 7 March 2011

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One of Our Thursdays is Missing: Reviews: Jasper Fforde: Other books by Jasper Fforde under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       British author Jasper Fforde was born in 1961.

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© 2011-2024 the complete review

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