One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper FfordeOne Of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde

One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Thursday Next Novel

byJasper Fforde

Paperback | January 31, 2012

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The New York Times bestseller and the wildly inventive sixth installment of a series that has more than one million copies (and counting) in print.

Dazzlingly funny and imaginative, Jasper Fforde's books have won him the affection of readers, reviewers, and-dare we say it-booksellers alike. Fans can breathe a sigh of relief because Thursday Next-or at least one of her-is back. At a time of great unrest in the BookWorld, only the ace literary detective can avert a devastating Genre War-thing is, Thursday has vanished. Now the written Thursday must answer the call, save the Bookworld, evade capture, and find the actual Thursday! With a clockwork Butler in tow, and Men in Plaid as well as her Designated Love Interest in pursuit, she must reluctantly agree to journey up the mysterious Metaphoric River for answers. Thursday’s zany investigations continue with Jasper Fforde’s latest bestseller, The Woman Who Died A Lot. Visit for a ffull window into the Ffordian world!
Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling series of Thursday Next novels, which includes Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Se...
Title:One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Thursday Next NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 7.78 × 5.09 × 0.65 inPublished:January 31, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143120514

ISBN - 13:9780143120513

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Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTION“This way to the denouement” (p. 30).In her heart, Thursday Next accepted the truth: her series had become a bore. Of course, it wasn’t written Thursday’s fault. After “violent and gratuitous-sex Thursday” (p. 33) ran riot, real Thursday stepped in to replace her with someone “softer and kinder” (p. 31). ReadRates plummeted. But just as she’s feeling comfortably settled, written Thursday is drawn into a whirlpool of duplicity and pungent foreshadowing that threatens to shake the BookWorld to its very core.Written Thursday was never interested in politics. Even after the Great Library BookWorld was remade according to a geographic model, her focus has remained on the workaday business of a “first-person protagonist . . . [in] a sixty-eight-setting five-book series at the speculative end of Fantasy” (p. 1).It’s a tough job and managing the novels’ recalcitrant cast of characters keeps written Thursday far too busy for a rendezvous at the Inn Uendo with her Designated Love Interest, Whitby Jett. So she’s more than a little surprised when Commander Red Herring, “overall leader of the BookWorld Policing Agency” (p. 23), summons her to meet him in Conspiracy.Her inherently suspicious journey takes a more sinister turn when she’s given cryptic warnings by a red-haired gentleman from Crime, has the first of many encounters with the ruthless Men in Plaid, and uncharacteristically confronts an angry mob of Conspiracy theorists.When she at last meets with Herring, written Thursday-accompanied by her new butler, Sprockett-is tasked with investigating the crash of an unknown book for the Jurisfiction Accident Investigation Division (JAID). Since she botched her only other JAID investigation, written Thursday knows she’s been selected for a reason and vows “not [to] impugn my lack of competence by being irresponsibly accurate” (p. 110).Yet, Sprockett uncovers more about the crash than written Thursday wants to know. Whatever-or whoever-brought down The Murders on the Hareng Rouge and scrubbed its ISBN went to great lengths to make it to look like an accident.Moreover, written Thursday has a few secrets of her own: she is hopelessly in love with Landon, real Thursday’s very real husband in the Outland-and she knows that real Thursday is missing. Thus burdened, written Thursday travels to Jurisfiction Headquarters to file her report.Once there, she learns the broader implications of her heroic namesake’s disappearance. Two neighboring genres, Racy Novel and Women’s Fiction, are threatening hostilities, and real Thursday is scheduled to negotiate the upcoming peace talks.With real Thursday in jeopardy and war looming, written Thursday recalls the red-haired gentleman’s now meaningful words: “On occasion, people of talent are kept in reserve at times of crisis” (p. 41). But can she transcend her identity as “the dopey one who likes to hug a lot” (p. 49) in time to avert disaster?Dazzlingly inventive and irresistibly funny, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is another madcap excursion through Jasper Fforde’s beloved BookWorld and the unparalleled imagination of one of the most gifted humorists of our times.ABOUT JASPER FFORDEJasper Fforde is the author of five previous Thursday Next novels: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, and First Among Sequels. He is also the author of the novel Shades of Grey, as well as the Nursery Crime series, featuring Detective Jack Spratt, which includes The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear. He lives in Wales with his wife and four daughters.A CONVERSATION WITH JASPER FFORDEQ. “In years past, each book was carefully crafted to an infinitely fine degree, but that was in the days of limited reader sophistication. Today, with the plethora of experience through increased media exposure, most books are finished by the readers themselves” (p. 32). Is this a sentiment that you yourself espouse?To a certain degree, I think this is true-many notions in my books have perhaps one foot based in Fforde’s musings. If I set a book in the plains of Mongolia and wrote it thirty years ago, some explanation and detailed description might be necessary. Today, I think I could get away with a lot less. Mention “Mongolian Plains” to many people these days, and yurts, horsemen, lined faces, and arid treeless desolation would probably pop into the mind. It’s a help in some ways, and a hindrance in others, as these pre-wrapped vignettes are often based on only a few shared sources. To get away from them, or bring variance into a setting, the unlearning and then relearning might be too difficult to do well, if at all.Q. Do you have an e-reader? If so, how-if at all-has it changed your reading experience? If not, why not?I have a Kindle, and although I’ve downloaded a few books onto it, I have not used it in anger. But I can see that these devices are here to stay, and I will try and accommodate this new textual device somewhere into my writing-just not sure where.Q. How much input do you have on the book’s illustrations? Do you tell the illustrators exactly which scenes you want depicted?Illustrators have three separate skill sets. To be able to draw, to be able to draw to brief, and to be able to complete on a deadline. Dylan Meconis and Bill Mudron who do my illustrations can do all of these. I send them a detailed letter explaining what I want, with reference pictures if required, and they come back with sketches of their ideas. This goes back and forth a bit until we have what we want, and they do thefinal work. The great thing with these guys is that they always bring something more to the show-some detail that I hadn’t thought of. They’re fast, too. Oddly enough, Bill and Dylan were at a signing session of mine when they handed me some fan art. I was impressed, asked them for their e-mail-and they’ve been doing my illustrations ever since.Q. Your depiction of goblins is bound to receive negative backlash from Goblin rights activists. Are you concerned?Not at all. Nasty little creatures with poor hygiene and disgusting personal habits. Don’t shake hands with one-they rarely use toilet paper. Besides, to complain they’d have to first learn to read or actually care what we think of them-neither of which they want to do.Q. Does your love of wordplay and-in One of Our Thursdays Is Missing-liberal use of malapropisms make your books a copy editor’s nightmare?Frequently. Wasn’t sure about the Malaprop stuff, to be honest, but Thursday’s housekeeper was simply another Mrs. Danvers and she was switched out at short notice.Q. Which Thursday is-thus far-your favorite?I’ve always liked the “mildly confused” Thursday who needs her hand held, like in Lost in a Good Book when she finds about the BookWorld. I think that’s the reason I liked the Written Thursday in Oootim; it made her softer, and more prone to error and self-doubt. The real Thursday would have been able to find herself in a flash; the Written Thursday has her own demons and failings to confront.Q. “Although I had not personally supposed that Thursday might battle the Daleks with Dr. Who in a literary landscape, in here it was very much business as usual” (p. 295). Is there Thursday Next fan fiction? If so, has such a match actually been written about?There IS Thursday Next fan fiction, and the notion that fan fiction is not so much about mindless copying but a celebration is pretty much how I feel about it. I used to feel negative toward fan fiction, but only because I didn’t understand it. All creative endeavors, irrespective of content, is good. People can write what they want and no one should ever say they shouldn’t. Copyright issues are another thing, naturally-there’s a reason the characters I purloin for my books are all in the public domain. And no, I don’t think the Daleks have ever battled in Austenland.Q. Your plotlines are “of a complexity that would gather plaudits from even the most intractable of political thrillers” (p. 335). With parallel worlds and multiple versions of many characters, what do you do to keep track of all the threads?I write a very complex and overlong notebook that outlines every character, incident, plot thread, and order of events. To this I add all the descriptions necessary, and even divide it into chapters. Sadly, by this time I have no time to write the book itself, so send off the notebook to my publishers who publish that instead. All my books are actually detailed outlines of much better books I didn’t have time to write. Sorry.Q. You have often cruelly threatened concluding the Thursday Next series. Is One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, in fact, the end?Untrue; I have never threatened to curtail the Thursday Next series-quite the opposite. Books about books I can write forever. Indeed, some of my books are now based on previous books that I have written-One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is one of them: It makes little sense without knowing my previous Thursday Next books. I’m currently working on Thursday Next 7: Dark Reading Matter, to be published September 2012. The Thursday Next world is a seriously broad canvas.Q. Considering the vast strides that have been made in computer generated imagery, is there any chance that Thursday Next might make the leap to the big-or little-screen?Pretty small, to be honest. I write books for people who like stories, and stories for people who like books. Films, for the most part, are made for undiscerning fifteen-year-olds who want to watch Vin Diesel kill people. I think the Thursday Next series should remain as she is meant to be, and what she is all about-in books. It can be our little secret. HOWEVER, I never say never. Six one-hour episodes for TV for each Thursday Next book-now there’s a possibility. Hmmmm . . .DISCUSSION QUESTIONSImmediately after the BookWorld is remade, written Thursday observes “the Cliffs of Irrationality . . . slowly being eroded away, while on the opposite shore the Sands of Science were slowly reclaiming salt marsh from the sea” (p. 13). Does this shift accurately reflect what is happening in the Real World?Early on, written Thursday is warned that, “One of our Thursdays is missing!” (p. 41) Jasper Fforde also uses it as the title of Thursday’s fifth adventure. To whom does the “our” refer?“The problem was, no published books liked anything self-published in the neighborhood. . . . Having something from Vanity close by would, they claimed, ’lower the tone of the prose’ ” (p. 53). Have you ever read a self-published book? If not, why not? If you have, did you consider it to be qualitatively comparable to books released by an established publisher?When Written Thursday is sent into the RealWorld, she is “most worried about meeting Landon. He was the man I was written to love and never meet. And now I was going to meet him” (p. 169). Is actually meeting the person you love an experience overrated by fiction?Just as she was about to kiss Landon, Written Thursday is brought back to the BookWorld four hours ahead of schedule. Did Professor Plum engineer her unexpected return? If so, why?Explaining her successful escape from Fan Fiction, Written Thursday tells Sprockett, “They shoot anyone trying to escape, and they check the causeway every half minute to make sure. You can’t possibly run the distance in less than four minutes, so the answer seemed quite obvious” (pp. 297-98). How did she do it?What elements of the BookWorld would you most like to incorporate into our own? What aspects of it do you find most terrifying?Do you agree with Fforde’s geographical rendering of Fiction Island? Is there a genre that you feel has been unfairly overlooked, or inappropriately included?The red-haired gentleman tells Written Thursday that, “For all its boundless color, depth, boldness, passion and humor, the RealWorld doesn’t appear to have any clearly discernible function” (p. 41). Yet, later she asks Landon if he’s “all right with the support role” and he answers, “Of course! It’s my function” (p. 236). What function does fiction play in your life? Is having a function necessary for happiness?Compassion is one of the novel’s predominant themes and a quality that Sprockett acquires by the end of the novel. Which better teaches compassion: fiction or the real world?What do you think of Written Thursday’s assertion that, “The BookWorld is as orderly as people in the RealWorld hope their own world to be-it isn’t a mirror, it’s an aspiration” (p. 359).

Editorial Reviews

Praise for One of Our Thursdays is Missing“One of Our Thursdays is Missing, like other Fforde novels, is jam packed with spot-on parody, puns and wry observations about words and genres that will delight literary-minded fans of the series.” - Los Angeles Times “There is no denying Fforde’s supersized imagination, linguistic agility and love of books, Books, BOOKS.” - Chicago Sun-Times “Fforde’s diabolical meshing of insight and humor makes a ‘mimefield’ both frightening and funny, while the reader must traverse a volume that’s minefield of unexpected turns and amusing twists.” - Publishers Weekly “One of Our Thursdays is Missing is filled with passages [in] which geeky humor jostles with genuine insight about the current state of fiction.… [T]ake a joy ride with the passionate reader who wrote this novel.” - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel“[With a] furiously agile imagination…Fforde has shaken up genres—fantasy, comedy, crime, sci-fi, parody, literary criticism—and come up with a superb mishmash with lots of affectionate in-jokes for any book lover.” - Miami Herald “Fforde is a breath of fresh air.” -Kirkus“Fforde’s books are more than just an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and are tautly plotted. They have empathetic heroes and heroines who nearly make terrible mistakes and suitably dastardly villains who do. They also have more twists and turns than Christie, and are embellished with the rich details of Dickens or Pratchett.” -Independent“A riot of puns, in-jokes and literary allusions that Fforde carries off with aplomb.” - Daily Mail“Fans of the late Douglas Adams, or, even, Monty Python, will feel at home with Fforde.” Herald  Praise for The Woman Who Died A Lot, the next installment in the Thursday Next series“Fforde continues to show that his forte is absurdist humor in his seventh crime thriller starring Thursday Next, a member of the Literary Detectives division of Special Operations in an alternate-universe Britain.  [An] endearingly-bizarre fantasy world limited only by Fforde’s impressive imagination.” –Publishers Weekly“As always, Fforde makes this wacky world perfectly plausible, elucidating Ffordian physics with just the right ratio of pseudoscientific jargon to punch lines. It’s a dazzling, heady brew of high concept and low humor, absurd antics with a tea-and-toast sensibility that will appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse alike. Fforde is ffantastic!”–Booklist (starred review)“Strap in and hang on tight.... Another winner for fans and lovers of sf, time travel, puns, allusions, and all sorts of literary hijinks.”–Library Journal (Starred review)“Jasper Fforde fans, rejoice! The Woman Who Died a Lot, the seventh installment in his Thursday Next series, delivers all the imagination, complexity and laughs we've come to expect from Fforde and his book-hopping, butt-kicking heroine.The Woman Who Died a Lot brings together the charming lunacy and intricate plotting that have enthralled Fforde's readers over the years.” –Shelf Awareness “In Misery, Stephen King compares the euphoric feeling writers experience in creative bursts to ‘falling into a hole filled with bright light.’ Avid readers also know that feeling: A good story temporarily erases the world. British novelist Jasper Fforde has expanded on King’s simile in a wonderful seven-book series of novels featuring Thursday Next. Enormously knowledgeable about literary history, Fforde scatters nuggets for nerdy readers like me. By the end, all of Fforde’s myriad particles of plot, accelerated by his immense skill and narrative sense, collide, producing pyrotechnics and a passel of new particles to propel his next tale. I love the Thursday Next books, and when a new one appears, I don’t fall but leap into this bibliophile’s Wonderland.” –The Cleveland Plain Dealer“This is the proverbial madcap lighthearted romp, full of hijinks, parody, and puns. Jasper Fforde does it well. It’s safe to say that if you enjoy that particularly British, Douglas Adams-style absurd delivery of wry observations, you’ll get a kick out of this one.” –New York Journal of Books“The Welsh writer Jasper Fforde's wildly inventive books defy easy description — more accurately, they mercilessly mock the concept of easy description. Are they mysteries? Outrageous parodies of literary classics? Science fiction? Absurdist humor? Gleeful mashups of all the above?” [The Woman Who Died A Lot is] still big, big fun, with enough in-jokes to keep anyone snickering for a long time — especially English Lit geeks.” –The Seattle Times“Quirky and surprising and funny. Thursday fans will welcome her return.”–The Free Lance–Star