ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING is the latest release from the enlarged creativecerebral mind of Jasper Fforde. This is the sixth installment in the series, the other books in order of their release are: THE EYRE AFFAIR; LOST IN A GOOD BOOK THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS, SOMETHING ROTTEN AND FIRST AMONG SEQUELS. Ever since THE JANE EYRE AFFAIR I have been a fan of the alter world created by Jasper Fforde.
Thursday Next is the main character in this series. When we are introduced to her she works as a detective for Special Operations 27 responsible for dealing with forged or stolen manuscripts and works of literature. I am going to lightly fill in the blanks of where the series has been so that you can pick up this installment and not scratch your head.
As the series progresses she develops powerful enemies and many interesting characters come in and out of her life including her dad. Due to some trouble encountered working a prior case Thursday goes to live in a book when she is pregnant and her husband has been erased. As Thursday is a”real” person rather than a fictional character living in BookWorld there are some issues. It comes to light that a number of fictional Thursday Nexts exist and the real Thursday has actually crossed with some of them.
Fast forward to the current installment, ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING, which opens with the reboot of the BookWorld. The expectation is that this will result in many improvements for the operations of BookWorld. While the characters have some trepidations it seems to go splendidly. The description of all of this is masterful.
The written Thursday Next’s is located in a book that is rarely read by those in the RealWorld. She lives in an apartment with her assistant Mrs. Malaprop retired from THE RIVALS, and her should be extinct dodo Pickwick who has an attitude problem.
With a stand in marking her place for the few readers that might pick up her book, fictional Next sets off to get her assignment from Jurisfiction. The higher ups at Jurisfiction, the police department, want to her to try to locate the real Thursday. She was due to moderate peace talks between to genres that are enemies on FICTION ISLAND .
As it turns out the Jurisfiction wanted her because of her somewhat incompetent past as a detective. Along the way she gets into a number of tangles and rescues a mechanical Duplex-5 model named Sprockett from an angry mob. Sprockett functions as a clockwork butler, he requires constant winding and always mixing up a cocktail. Turns out he is of great assistance to Next in her investigation.
I promise I am not making any of this up but this is the level of detail that exists in the series and I am just scratching the surface. Next does not stumble in her investigation and suspects foul plan in regards to her investigation. In addition to murder, chases, shootings fictional Thursday Next travels to the Real World to look to real Thursday Next. All of the while there are questions as to just who is the real Thursday Next and if she is alive or dead.
You have to understand that Fforde’s masterful creation of this imaginary world, its books, characters and infrastructure are all crafted with such detail it is not to be believed. At every turn literary references are slipped in and this keeps the tone light and reads literary light.