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by Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton, July 2003
366 pages
10.99 GBP
ISBN: 0340825928

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

If you are not familiar with Jasper Fforde's 2 previous books in the Thursday Next series, THE EYRE AFFAIR and LOST IN A GOOD BOOK, then THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS will be totally incomprehensible.

Thursday's husband, Landen Parke-Laine has been disappeared. Only she remembers that he existed, and she is pregnant. She takes refuge in an unpublished book as part of a character exchange program.

The Great Library consists of 26 floors of published fiction above ground and and equal number of stories of unpublished fiction below ground. Bored characters can sign up for a Character Exchange program in which they vacation in another book while they are inactive in the story line in their book. Thursday, a literatec, is given permission to spend time in this program, so she chooses a dull unpublished thriller set in Reading, CAVERSHAM HEIGHTS. She plans to spend a year, while she figures out how to get Landen back and have her baby.

The characters in CAVERSHAM HEIGHTS are trying to save themselves by making the plot more exciting. Otherwise, they will be broken up into component words and punctuation marks. Extra unfinished characters are billeted in books while waiting for an epic to be written. If unfinished characters weren't stored, there wouldn't be enough to go around. Granny turns up in the plane that is Thursday's home in the book. Thursday starts dreaming of the time in the Crimean war when she lost her brother and met Landen. The dreams are planted by the sister of an evil character from the previous books in the series. Once Thursday forgets Landen, he will never have existed, and she will never be able to get him back.

Apparently, there have been no new plots since FLATLAND in 1884, except for a few science fiction story lines. Those original tales ended during the 1950s so now authors are beginning to write the same books. The guiding council is trying to figure out how to get more original plots into the mix, while also introducing a new method of reading books.

I think that THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS may be one of the lost plots that found its way upstairs into the area of published books. For Thursday Next fans, we must wait until the next one to find out if her child will have a father. And we must mourn the death of a major character.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, June 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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