I got the second Thurday Next book out of the library and only got as far as the beginning of chapter two. To be fair to the book I’ve developed into an profoundly choosy reader anyway, but there are two reasons I couldn’t go on.

The first was that the entire first chapter was a comic scene that didn’t contribute anything to the plot or develop anyone’s character or have anything interesting to say. I persevered with the Shakespeare Pantomime in the first book because it was halfway through the story so there was enough momentum built up already, but starting with a scene that doesn’t go anywhere is really just a false start. The entire scene could have reduced to a couple of paragraphs, been a lot more punchy and given all the same information.

The second was that everything in Jasper Fforde’s world has to be comically silly. It reminds me of this Boy on a Stick cartoon:


When everything is special, nothing is special… when everything is comic, nothing is comic. When someone puts on a pair of shoes, you don’t need to give the brand of shoes a silly name… sometimes a pair of shoes is just a pair of shoes.