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The Woman Who Died a Lot The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by David Soyka
The woman doing the serial dying here is none other than British Special Ops agent Thursday Next, heroine of six previous novels as well as one imaginary novel who herself may or may not be imaginary. Of course, this is fiction, so of course she's made up, but this is the kind of fiction that calls into question the nature of reality by imagining a reality that is not very real, all the while dropping hints that consensual reality may not be so real as the consensus believes, and that suspending disbelief to sustain narrative is what we do in ordinary life anyway. Confused?

The Last Dragonslayer The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by David Soyka
This is first adventure of Jennifer Strange, adolescent foundling and indentured servant, who manages the Kazam Mystical Arts Management, a collective of wizards for hire. Also it turns out that Strange is a chosen one, the last of a long line of Dragonslayers, destined to kill the last surviving dragon, thereby opening up the heretofore magically protected Dragonlands to land development.

First Among Sequels First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by David Soyka
In Woody Allen's "The Kugelmass Episode," the titular character, an unhappily married college professor, conducts an affair with one of the classic adulteresses of literature -- Madame Bovary. He is able to do this quite literally thanks to the magician Persky the Great, whose contraption can project Kugelmass into the book. The overt joke is that after Kugelmass tires of Bovary, he asks to be thrust into Portnoy's Complaint, but instead is accidentally inserted in a remedial Spanish textbook, with unexpected consequences.

Something Rotten Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by Rich Horton
After a two year stint away, Thursday returns to her home in Swindon. There she finds her husband is still eradicated. Her mother is entertaining a couple of house guests -- Hamlet, who is tired of his reputation for indecisiveness, and Emma Hamilton, who gets into the liquor a lot. The evil Goliath Corporation is trying to turn itself into a religion. And Yorrick Kaine, who has escaped to become England's chancellor, is rousing anti-Danish sentiment as part of a ploy to take over the English government.

The Well of Lost Plots The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by Rich Horton
Thursday is taking over a minor role in an unpublished detective novel, Caversham Heights. She is still troubled in her memory by Aornis Hades, Acheron's sister. Aornis is a mnemonomorph, who can alter people's memories, and she is trying to erase Thursday's memories of her husband Landen. Miss Havisham is showing Thursday the ropes of her new job, while the Bookworld awaits the release of a new book delivery system, UltraWord™. Then some of Thursday's associates begin to be killed.

The Eyre Affair The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Focused as Donna is on genre fiction, I would have entirely missed this one, if it weren't for my book club at work. This novel has been marketed as mainstream literature in Canada, even though it's a Fantasy/alternate history novel with a very Douglas Adams-ish style and content, that fondly reminded her of Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest.

Lost in a Good Book Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Thursday Next is a literary detective. As we join her, she is suffering from the celebrity of her success in the case she investigated in The Eyre Affair. Thursday "improved" the climax of Jane Eyre by using a literary portal, a newly invented device which allowed her to enter the world of the novel and interact with the characters. While not dealing with publicity agents, censors and talk show hosts, Next begins to investigate the discovery of a long lost play by Shakespeare, a routine job in her profession, where most events of this sort are hoaxes or mistakes.

Lost In A Good Book Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by William Thompson
Picking up directly where The Eyre Affair left off, Thursday soon finds herself embroiled in further plots and stratagems, some new, others outgrowths of the previous book. She tries to return to the normalcy of work at Swindon SpecOps as well as to enjoy the domestic pleasures of her recent marriage to author Landon Parke-Laine. However, not unexpectedly, both the past and the future are to intrude upon her tranquility. She soon begins to hear voices, becomes endangered by death through coincidence, almost has a Hispano-Suiza dropped on her while picnicking watching the annual mammoth migration, learns the world may end in a fortnight, and is involved in the discovery of Shakespeare's missing play, "Cardenio."

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