Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The second Thursday Next adventure

Book-jumping. The lives of books. Good, clean fun: Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde.

What's it about, you ask? Well, according to Fforde . . .

I like subplots a lot, and it probably shows. In fact, you could say that Lost in a Good Book consists only of subplots — a month in the life of a literary detective. The actual plot I have decided, is the love interest between Spike and Cindy — all the rest are just subplots.

This book is very much more about the world Thursday Next inhabits than the sort of narrative that drove The Eyre Affair. It's hard not to be grateful for that — it smells of more adventure to come.

One of my favourite elements is the snippets from the glossary of The Jurisfiction Guide to the Great Library (used, along with other "publications," at chapter openings primarily to fill in backstory — personal, social historical, and technical). For example:

PageRunner: Any character who is out of his or her book and moves through the backstory (or more rarely the plot) of another book. PageRunners may be lost, vacationing, part of the Character Exchange Program or criminals, intent on mischief.

The author's website also includes a little insight into the editing process — how a few simple substitutions can make things so much better.

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