Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I really like Jasper Fforde. I think he is rather brilliant. His first book was The Eyre Affair which starred a fictional female detective, Thursday Next and was set in a fictional 1984, England. It spawned a series of books dealing with Thursday Next and just finished up with book number five (which I am about to start).
I don't know how to describe what category of fiction Fforde's books fit into. I like that Wikipedia says Fforde's known for his "loose adherence to traditional genres." When people asked what I am reading, for The Big Over Easy, I sort of just explained that it's a Nursery Crime detective investigating Humpty Dumpty's death/murder. With The Eyre Affair I've always just said that it's sort of science fiction fantasy with a female detective in England in the past, but a different past. And that it's really good. And that they should read Jane Eyre first. And don't say "no way" to this book because I used science fiction and fantasy to describe it. I don't actually read science fiction and fantasy, I just don't know what other terms could describe these books.
The main character is a Nursery Crime Division detective by the name of Jack Spratt. He has a new partner, Mary Mary (as in, "quite contrary"). Jack isn't respected by the other detectives because he's in charge of all nursery crimes (he recently tried the three little pigs for the murder of the wolf). This book also takes place in England, but not any England we know. It's very realistic, while at the same time, being so unreal. If that's even possible.
I think a fair knowledge of Nursery Rhymes would have helped me in reading this book. I should have brushed up before beginning to read. It's just a fun book that alludes to so many different things. I mean, how could the investigation of Humpty's murder not be fun and exciting!
I would also totally recommend the Thursday Next series. And if you are unfamiliar with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, read that first (the book is awesome) or the new TV serial the BBC made follows the book pretty closely, for the quick fix.