Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: The Well of Lost Plots

I just finished reading The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde, the third book in the Thursday Next series. For a primer on the series, check out Jasper Fforde’s website here - the first book in the series, The Eyre Affair, is worth checking out even if you aren’t inclined to read the whole series (My review of The Eyre Affair can be found here).

In The Well of Lost Plots, Thursday Next is in hiding after being framed by her old friends at Goliath Corps. She retreats to Book World, finding shelter in a yet-to-be-published novel titled Caversham Heights. She is safe from her Outland persecutors, but is still charged with the crime of changing the ending to Jane Eyre, and must stand trial. This subplot is quite amusing, as it gives Fforde a chance to bring in Kafka as well as the Red Queen. Both trials are humorous studies in logic. As well, Thursday is apprenticing to be a Jurisfiction agent with Miss Haversham (Great Expectations), and becomes involved in a plot to change the way books are read forever. A few characters meet their demise along the way, and it is left to Thursday to save the day.

Meanwhile, she is being tormented by Aornis Hades, sister of the devious Acheron, who met his demise while battling Thursday in The Eyre Affair. Little sister is out for revenge, and she uses her powers of memory to haunt Thursday’s dreams. Thursday struggles to remember her old life in the Outland as Aornis slowly removes the memories from Thursday’s mind.

Fforde does an excellent job once again with this book. He introduces several new characters from literature, such as Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and Uriah Heep from David Copperfield, adding to the cast of memorable literary characters who interact with Thursday. He also maintains a tenuous balance between fantasy and realism throughout the stories - he follows his own rules about Book World. The next book is called Something Rotten - I am looking forward to it!

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