Friday, 10 June 2011

The Next thing

For my next trick ladies and gentlemen I shall attempt to explain the works of Jasper Fforde to those of you who have never read any of his books. After which I shall recite the entire works of Shakespeare backwards in Esperanto.  Which may make more sense.   And be easier.

Okay.  To date Jasper has had 10 books published with more in the pipeline (hooray!).  These books belong in 4 separate series; Thursday Next, Nursery Crime, Shades of Grey and Dragonslayer.

I'm going to start with the Nursery Crime series and break you in gently, as these are probably the easiest to explain.  They are basically police procedurals/whodunnits set in Reading.  So far so ordinary.  However this is not the everyday Reading that you may know and love, or even Reading in festival mood.  This Reading is populated by nursery rhyme characters living side by side with ordinary people and there is a special police division (Nursery Crimes Division or NCD), headed up by Jack Spratt and his sidekick Mary Mary, which investigates crimes involving PDRs (Persons of Dubious Reality).  The NCD also has, amongst its other members, a binary speaking alien love interest for Mary in the shape of Ashley.  We are also granted a look at Jack's somewhat complicated home life with his wife, children and step-children, and the lodger, Prometheus.

There are so far two books in this series.  The Big Over Easy tells of the investigation into the death of Humpty Dumpty and The Fourth Bear involves the disappearance of Goldilocks.  There's more, much more to it than that though.  I don't propose to go over the plot of either book, but just to give you a flavour, we have a homicidal biscuit (or possibly cake) porridge smuggling, a giant verucca, the Jellyman, mad scientists, Dorian Grey as a used car salesman, exploding cucumbers and a beanstalk just to mention a few things!

Confused?  Want to know more?  Go read the books!

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