Thursday Next, Head of JurisFiction and ex-SpecOps agent, returns to her native Swindon accompanied by a child of two, a pair of dodos and Hamlet, who is on a fact-finding mission in the real world.
Thursday has been despatched to capture escaped Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine but even so, now seems as good a time as any to retrieve her husband Landen from his state of eradication at the hands of the Chronoguard.
It's not going to be easy. Thursday's former colleagues at the department of Literary Detectives want her to investigate a spate of cloned Shakespeares, the Goliath Corporation are planning to switch to a new Faith based corporate management system and the Neanderthals feel she might be the Chosen One who will lead them to genetic self-determination.
With help from Hamlet, her uncle and time-travelling father, Thursday faces the toughest adventure of her career. Where is the missing President-for-life George Formby? Why is it imperative for the Swindon Mallets to win the World Croquet League final? And why is it so difficult to find reliable childcare?
©2004 Jasper Fforde (P)2004 Recorded Books
As the titla says, at last we can listen to the complete Thursday Next series. For ages I've had books 1 to 3 & held off from getting book 6, seeing how this and book 5 (First Among Sequels) have not been available. This was particularly galling as the series is really two "four-book" sets where the storylines in books 1 to 4 come to a full conclusion in this book, wrapping up certain character arcs that I won't divulge here in case of ruining the story.
We have a different narrator for this book (Emily Gray as opposed to Gabrielle Kruger who did books 1 to 3). I was a bit unsure about her narration to begin with, and her "male" voices can be a bit archetypal at times. Still, I had no problem with knowing who was speaking, and soon I had forgotten the transition to a new narrator (kind of like a Doctor regenerating in Dr Who, or a new James Bond taking over in a way). One thing I *did* find a tiny bit annoying was that the second part of the character name "Schitt-Hause" was pronounced "hawse" when I am fairly certain the idea was for it to be "house" as a continuation of the puns that Jasper Fforde had put in for this family in the earlier books.
The concept of the "footnoter-phone" comments was a little hard to translate into a linear narration, but the editors seemed to have come up with a reasonable way of doing this without ruining the flow.
Overall the story cracks along like the earlier books, and rounds off the first set of Thursday Next stories nicely. Emily Gray did a good job, and I thoroughly recommend this (but read/listen to the first three books first!)
I'm mark, a full time professional 'IT Guy', Aardvark fan, wannabe author and screenwriter and general geek!
Despite the fact that I have read the Thursday next stories in completely the wrong order, I do really like the world and characters Jasper Forde has created, and I think this is the best Thursday Next story so far.
Maybe it's slightly less funny that others in the series, it has a bit more drama and pathos in it, particularly the scenes involving the chimera's and Thursday at her own deathbed are really very sad.
Yes i know everyone is present at their own death bed, but this is Thursday Next so there are two of her. Confused? Read the story, it all makes sense in the end.
I have just one problem with this audio book and it's more of a problem with me than of the book. By sheer chance all of the Thursday Next audio books I've read have been narrated by Gabrielle Kruger and so she, to me, is Thursday Next. Emily Gray does a good job and she sounds a lot like Gabrielle Kruger, but she isn't Gabrielle Kruger and so for the first few chapters I was thinking, who is this impostor that has replaced Thursday Next? But I got over this and learned to live with it, but I still think Gabrielle Kruger is the authoritative Thursday Next.
The first three books of the series were narrated by Gabrielle and were excellent. Unfortunately the reader of this volume was not as good . Apart from the very peculiar pronunciation of the word Minotaur.....in all my years of studying myths I've never heard it pronounced the way she does, her voicing of the characters completely changes they way they appear to be and to be honest there are too many effeminate men in her version to make the book enjoyable. I will continue to listen to the books because they are fantastic but will not find them as enjoyable with this reader.
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