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by Jasper Fforde
Penguin, April 2003
371 pages
ISBN: 0670031909

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Thursday Next has become a celebrity because of her brilliant handling of the problems caused by Jack Schitt of The Goliath Corporation and Acheron Hades . Schitt is currently immured in Poe's RAVEN and Hades is dead, existing only in Thursday's memories. She is currently fulfilling PR duties for SP-27 (Literary Division of the Special Operations Network), enjoying her new marriage, and trying just to get back to work authenticating works of literature.

However, Brik Schitt-Hawse of The Goliath Corporation has other ideas. He wants his half-brother back, but Uncle Mycroft's Prose Portal has been destroyed and Thursday has no idea how to get into THE RAVEN to get Jack out. Schitt-Hawse has her husband eradicated, but promises Thursday that if she figures out how to jump into the book and get Jack, then Landon Parke-Laine will be restored to her.

She figures out how to get into a book and finds herself in a library talking to the Cheshire Cat. This isn't just a library. The books here are alive. This is the Jurisfiction library, containing every book that has ever been written and those that will be written. There is also a basement of ideas that will never work out. Next is told to go into DAVID COPPERFIELD where she is to be apprenticed to Miss Havisham, and chaos ensues.

It would be wise to read THE EYRE AFFAIR first, otherwise it will take too long to figure out what is happening. Jasper Fford is another seriously deranged Brit who has developed a parallel universe, in which it always seems to be 1985, but since the Chrono-Guard (SO 12) can travel through time, it doesn't have to be. Be prepared for literary references, outrageous wordplay, and general insanity as you read this book.

Note: Available from any British bookstore or indpendent that carries UK books. I got my copy at Crime in Store in London (CrimeBks@aol.com) if you can't wait until April for the US hardcover. The cover shown is of the UK paperback published in June 2002 at 6.99

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, December 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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