Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde is my book three for Carl's Once Upon a Time V challenge. My daughter very kindly grabbed it for me from the city library in Exeter and I decided to read it quickly so that it can go back and free up the space on her ticket. (Her and her husand, and our grand-daughter for that matter, always max out their library cards with books and then share them as they all, mostly, read the same thing.) Anyhoo, like I said, this my book three for the challenge and so far I'm quite pleased with the way it's going. Two of the books were off the tbr pool I put aside - and one from the library.
Thursday Next, SpecOps agent for LiteraTec, is now very happily married to Landen Parke-Laine. Or at least she has been. Thursday was responsible for putting the evil Jack Schitt, from the Goliath corporation, into The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe and leaving him there as punishment after the events of The Eyre Affair. Now the corporation, in the shape of Jack's brother, want him back. In order to do this they've 'eradicated' Landen and won't return him unless Thursday does what they want. History has been altered and Landen actually died when he was two in a drowning accident, whereas in reality he was saved by his father. But the portal book invented by her uncle has been destroyed and her uncle has retired so the way into books is no longer clear to Thursday.
And that's not the only problem Thursday has. Her father (a sort of time-travelling agent) visits her and tells her the world is going to end in two weeks and it's up to her to save it. Someone is out to kill her and that person's methods smack of Acheron Hades... but he's dead... isn't he? The people she works for even seem to have it in for her, despite her defeat of Hades. And worst of all she's now a celebrity and expected to do PR in the form of chat shows and public appearances.
Landen's eradication is her main priority though. Thursday's search takes her to a library - the biggest she has ever seen. It contains all the books ever written and all of those that will be written. And there she meets The Cheshire Cat who runs the library, and a group of special agents from books whose task it is to police the book world. Thursday finds herself apprenticed to Miss Havisham, from Great Expectations, not the frail old lady of the book but an old lady who likes fast cars and drives them like a crazy woman. Will Thursday be able to learn to book hop quickly enough to save Landen, before the world ends or before whoever is after her kills her?
Difficult to explain the plot of this one to be honest. So much going on and so many plot twists and turns. And I'm a bit hopeless at following time travel plots anyway. Regardless of all that, Lost in a Good Book is a worthy sequel to The Eyre Affair. To be honest, I think I liked it even more.
My favourite character was definitely Miss Havisham who went around in her wedding dress... and trainers... hates men, naturally, and loves fast cars. The world she inhabits is a fascinating one. The library is *huge* and made me drool quite frankly - it has to go down as one of the all-time amazing literary libraries!
There's much that's quirky and inventive about these books. A method of travel that takes you right through the centre of the earth. Mammoths brought back from extinction and trampling people's gardens on their annual migration through Swindon. Neanderthals also brought back from extinction, to do menial tasks, but feeling undervalued and looking for equality. A Kafka-like trial which made me realise that I don't want to read Kafka! LOL. I could go on and on... The books are pacey, unpredictable, funny, clever - unique in my opinion. A book lover's joy if you enjoy a bit of craziness. Not for everyone, but certainly for me.