I don't know how this series (the fourth was released in July 2004) escaped my attention till now. If you appreciate the wackiness of JK Rowling and Douglas Adams, you won't want to miss Jasper Fforde.
The action takes place back in 1985, but not our 1985 — it's clearly some alternate universe in which the Crimean War is still an on-going concern, time-travel is a possibility, the population of Great Britain avidly consumes great literature rather than bad television, and other unlikely differences come to your attention.
But you scarcely have time to take those differences in because you're hurtling head-first through this adventure with the heroine, Ms Thursday Next, as she's sucked into an adventure of truly literary proportions.
It's hard to do better than the sentence quoted on the back of the book from the reviewer at the Sunday Telegraph: "Forget all the rules of time, space, and reality; just sit back and enjoy the adventure." How can you not love a book in which the main character has a genetically reconstructed Dodo as a pet?
Conrad Gempf, August 2004
Dr Conrad Gempf teaches New Testament at London School of Theology. He is the author of Jesus Asked (Zondervan, 2003), Mealtime Habits of the Messiah (Zondervan, 2005) and Christian Life & The Bible (LST, 2006). He writes extensively for various books, journals, magazines and websites; here's his blog: Not Quite Art; Not Quite Living.
Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.
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