Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde (novel)

The Woman Who Died A Lot is the latest of Jasper Ffordes Thursday Next books. There's a lot of good to be said about it. Fforde restricts his scope by having little or nothing to do with the Bookworld in this book, and that tightens the story wonderfully. The focus on the 'real world' (whatever that means in a Thursday Next novel) gave Fforde more scope for satirizing England and the world we live in today, and in that it does well. The plot is strong and coherent: Ffordes plotting continue to improve even after 10+ books, which is an excellent sign. Fforde has allowed Thursday to grow and age, and in some areas to actually decline. Overall, it was well-written and quite engaging. 


This book was good, but not great. If it sounds like praising with faint damns, yeah, that's what it is. Fforde has set the bar so high with some of this other work that I approach each new books with huge expectations. Woman was a lot of fun, and reading it was time well-spent. But IMHO the series is getting a bit stale, and it may soon be time to let Thursday go into that great Library in the . . . well, wherever the hell it is. While another Next novel is in the queue, I'm looking forward more to his next Nursery Crime novel and the next two in the Shades of Grey series.

Overall, The Woman Who Died A Lot is worth reading for any Thursday Next or Jasper Fforde fan, but you might want to wait for the paperback.


A. N. Loebick said...

I've never read any Jasper Fforde. I'll have to pick up some of his books one day.

Steve Simmons said...

Didn't I push Fforde on you back in the Boardello days? If not, my bad. I think you would hugely enjoy the initial and best of the Thursday Next series, The Eyre Affair.