Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

The Well of Lost Plots

The Well of Lost Plots: Jasper Fforde, July 8—10, 2016

My rating: ♦♦◊◊◊

TheWellOfLostPlotsOh dear. ‘Lost plots’ seems an apt description for the latest in the Thursday Next series. The wheels have most definitely come off.

Fforde’s universe is wonderful, let’s be fair. It’s very well thought out and it’s always been the strongest element of the series. Here, we delve into another aspect of it. Next joins the Character Exchange Programme, entitling her a short-term say inside a book playing a minor character. A whole host of new information comes our way about how characters are trained to star in books, and the casting process, mandatory Raymond Chandler excursions and all. Next even tries to inject personality into a couple of extras who are specifically designed to have no such thing.

I won’t deny being impressed with Fforde’s world, but sadly that’s where the brilliance ends. There’s no actual story. We recap Landers’ retroactive removal from existence in Lost in a Good Book but since Next is now in hiding, not an awful lot is done about it. Instead, she follows a few one-note characters around and witnesses the bureaucracy and bumbledom they have to deal with. Convincing and detailed, yes, but a believable world has to be the infrastructure for a story – not the story itself.

Pretty much nobody has any personality to speak of. They all fill a role in this great literature-enamoured world, but none of them are in any way individual. Fforde seems to present them, though, like they are the cleverest chaps to ever grace the page.

Fforde has failed to devise characters or plotlines worthy of his rich setting, which is a great shame and a terrible waste.


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This entry was posted on July 10, 2016 by in 2 star, Thursday Next and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare