Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: BookMooch (my first mooch!)
Genre: Science fiction; Fantasy; Detective fiction...(No idea, really!)
Published: by New English Library Limited in July 2001
There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of 'Jane Eyre'. In this world there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, a great interest in all things literary - and a woman called Thursday Next.
Thursday Next is a member of the Special Operations Network (or 'SpecOps', if you will); more specifically, she's a LiteraTec. One of a team charged with stopping the preservation of the written word and all-round maintenance of literary harmony. Who doesn't love a world where literature is a pillar of society and where there are societies where you can change your name to match your favourite poet and walk around dressed like them...yeh, ok, so perhaps that's a step too far but you see what I'm saying...
The alternative England created by Fforde is one I will happily revel in for many books to come (Lost in a Good Book is already lingering on my bedside table...). Thursday's the kind of girl I will enjoy seeing more of too - her tone as narrator is wry and witty in a self-deprecating, very British way! Not, of course, that we run around the countryside debating whether or not Shakespeare wrote King Lear and jumping through time (If only!) but Fforde uses the kind of humour that compliments the eccentric characters perfectly.
This is, without a doubt, worth reading! Can't really say any more than that! Thank you to all of you lovely bloggers who reviewed this or generally discussed it's wonderfulness - you were right, it's ace!
Overall: I would recommend this to anyone who loves Jane Eyre, anyone who loves Terry Pratchett, anyone who loves books that just don't go where you think they will and...well, anyone who loves books and ever wanted to live in a world where they were revered enough to warrant their own police force!