Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots

Such fun, these novels by Jasper Fforde! I've already said my piece about The Eyre Affair, the brilliant first novel in this brilliant series, and I'm feeling poorly about skipping (so far) the second one (Lost in a Good Book), but I thoroughly enjoyed The Well of Lost Plots. No point puffing a hugely popular series, but I will say that Fforde deserves every pound, dollar, kroner, and guilder that he earns from them.

The Well itself is a physically manifesting place where the bits that become books live before they finish becoming -- it's literally the underworld, in that it's 26 subterranean floors beneath the 26 above-ground floors of the Bookworld. Our heroine at one point goes to a bar:
The roughest place in the Well. A haven for cutthroats, bounty hunters, murderers, thieves, cheats, shape-shifters, scene-stealers, brigands and plagiarists. (p.54)
I just love that last word in the list. Sounds about right to me, when I'm busy marking papers.

There are all kinds of funny throwaway bits, like the character who keeps getting described in sentences with dangling modifiers - and apologizing for it, since characters are partially responsible for the text in which they appear:
     [a] knock at the door revealed an untidy man wearing a hat named Wyatt.
     "Sorry," he said sheepishly, apologizing for the misrelated grammatical construction almost immediately, "Wyatt is my name, not the hat's."
     "I kind of figured that," I said.
     Wooden and worn with use, he was holding a clipboard.
     "Oh, bother!" he said in the manner of someone who had just referred to George Eliot as "he" in a room full of English professors. "I've done it again!"(p.15)
Wonder who I can buy these for, come Christmas....


fiona-h said…
I will have to read these. Will look for them. They sound very clever!
richard said…
Dazzlingly so! Such fun.
Coley said…
I just absolutely love Jasper Fforde. I've read all of his books except The Fourth Bear, which I will read as soon as my husband gets around to finishing it.

It hasn't been very often that I have had a favorite author that was actually alive while I was reading his/her works.

Keep reading Fforde. I promise you, it only gets better!
fiona-h said…
hate to tell you this, but IE is once again playing freaking with your site. Now the sidebar is gone.
richard said…
I'm glad someone tells me :-)

I'll go muck about with the HTML coding, see if I can figure it out.

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