Book Review

by Jasper Fforde

Genre: Science Fiction, General Science Fiction

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Literature is alive and well—so alive, in fact, that it takes a dedicated police force known as Jurisfiction to keep fictional characters in line and out of the real world. Thursday Next is supposed to be taking a break from her job as one such literary detective and joins a Character Exchange Program.

In BookWorld, she can hide out in an unpublished, laughably bad detective novel, fill in for the vacationing love interest and relax. Things are awry in BookWorld; however, there's a thriving black market in plot devices. Lousy books (like the one Thursday's in) are being scrapped for salvage, the Minotaur's escaped and, worst of all, someone is murdering Jurisfiction agents. So much for rest and relaxation.

An ambitious, complex tale, Fforde avoids confusion with a tight grasp on plotlines while he turns the world of books inside out. He deftly parodies technophiles and bibliophobes, skewers everything from Moby Dick to chick lit but never lets the satire take over completely. This third novel in Fforde's urban fantasy-mystery series is as delightful and inventive as the others, and conveniently contains a synopsis of the first two books for new readers. If you haven't yet discovered the world of Thursday Next, get thee to a bookstore. (Mar., 375 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed By: Jen Talley Exum

Publisher: Viking

Published: March 2004

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